Thursday, August 9, 2012

Living Without Regrets

At ninety years old, Mom is still getting around pretty good, but her legs are giving out. Always ready to go when someone drops by or my sister asks her if she'd like to get out for a while, she pushes herself to the limit. I can picture the smile on her face now, and know a lunch of fried chicken and biscuits is in the back of her mind. :)
She's the one who guided me into adulthood, along with a village of love. Yes, I'm aware it takes a village to raise a child, and my mom had a large village full of loving family and friends who willingly took over when she couldn't. So many times I think of everything she did within the adversities of her unsettled life. But, she kicks back all the bad times and looks forward to seeing her children, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren. She doesn't get to see all of them often, but is proud and loves each one.

I guess the one thing that sticks in my mind is Mom was, and still is, all for the underdog. Material possessions weren't on her list of importance, and I've known her to give her last dollar to the church. If she knew someone was down and out, she was the first to gather what she could for the family. Her huge heart is full of compassion for others.

As I look at photos of Mom scattered around my house, I'm filled with love, good memories and plenty of smiles. But...I get this sinking feeling in my gut, that things could have been so much better for her. Do I have regrets? You bet I do. Still, I know I've done so much that made her happy and that alone helps relieve some of the regrets. We all have regrets, but I'm trying each day to wipe out everything I can to avoid living with regrets.

As I write this, the sky is overcast, dark and the thunder rolls overhead. I don't want my heart to feel this way when I can brighten Mom's day.

Speaking of bright, lightning is popping all around and the power has gone off three times. Time to shut down and maybe I'll call Mom just to say hello. After the lightning stops of course!

Here's an excerpt of my upcoming novel, Not My Own
The sunlight’s warmth lay a spider-web across the gray marble floor, yet a chill cut to Megan's bones. Death hung in the air. She smelled it. Felt it. Her senses alive with its familiarity. Each click of her heels inched her closer to a hissing respirator in room 407.
Accommodating the Vail attorney’s request, providing closure to a chain of unhappy incidents in her past, was not what she’d had in mind. Still she’d come.
Megan pressed three fingers against her temples and moved into the room. Facing the man in the slanted bed, would be the hardest thing she'd done since her husband and son's death.
Uncertain of his feelings, or if he was even aware she was there, Megan moved into the room and stopped beside her father's bed. She was unprepared for the toll the terminal illness had taken on his body.
She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing her tears. With a smile pasted on her face, she braved seeing the man who no longer resembled her father.
Her breath caught at the blue eyes, that had once tormented her, staring back glazed in impending death. Anger and resentment passed like a storm in the night over their seven years of separation.
He’d been a virile, yet vain man. The salt and peppered hair that he’d taken such pride in, had turned to alabaster. Thin, yellowed skin folded into crevices of his skeletal form and stilled bony fingers, did little to satisfy her need for revenge. Why  did it matter that he’d not know she’d become successful in spite of him?
Megan recalled her mother’s words. ‘Time waits for no man. Savor every moment.’ There would be no more moments for her and her father. No more time to ease the pain of separation and the precious lifetime they’d spent apart.
A lump rose in her throat, choking off her breath. A kaleidoscope of beautiful memories rushed through the bad ones. They’d both cheated themselves of time. Had being stubborn been worth what she knew now to be the last days, maybe hours of her father’s life?

Carol DeVaney

You can find my books at Amazon, Barnes&Noble and other epub outlets.
A Smoky Mountain Christmas
Perfect Match 
A Matter of Taste  (a short story)


  1. You've got some great genes going for you, Carol. Your mom sounds a lot like you. *hugs*
    Thanks for the peek at your next release. Great excerpt.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Lol, J.D. Yes, I hope the genes run true. My mom stayed busy with kids most of her life, as did her own mother. Thanks for the nice comment on the excerpt!

  2. Replies
    1. Hi, Gerri. Thanks for visiting! I appreciate your comment on the excerpt. :) Megan has some surprises waiting for her. Please don't be a stranger.

  3. Enjoyed the excerpt, Carol. Great how our own experiences can climb into the writing.

  4. Enjoyed the excerpt, Carol. Great how our own experiences can climb into the writing.

    1. Thanks, Tara! We climb the ladder one rung at a time!