Shoulda' Coulda' Woulda'

Sometimes I just stare at my puppy in amazement. She has no cares in the world except if she needs to go out and do her business or if it's feeding time, which is quite often in her mind. She plays, lounges and occasionally barks relentlessly at some moth that she spotted across the yard. She relies on me for food, companionship, toys and cuddles when she gets sleepy. We put in a doggy door a few months back so she could have her freedom to go in and out of the house. We chicken wired the entire deck so she wouldn't slip out of the banisters God forbid. It's her 60 ft playpen. At times, she needs a little help coming inside for some reason, even though she is able to hop in and out of the doggy door with ease. Either she's tired, or she knows I'm working in my office (where the door is) and feels she's just too lazy to push through the rubber glass. I help her, regardless. Sometimes we all need help pushing through life's challenging doors. I wish I had the mindset she has though. She forgets yesterday's doggy trials and thinks about 'the now', which is something very difficult for me to do.

I keep thinking back to the day when I had to rush off somewhere with my dog while my dad was about to sit down and chat with me for a while. This was about a little over month ago. I said to myself, "Eh, I'll hang out with him tomorrow."  But tomorrow never came. He began to lose his mind due to his illness and was no longer able to communicate. He yelled out, "Ya gonna lose weight running around like that, kid!"  I yelled back, "I better," as I shut the door behind me. I should have stayed. I took for granted all the times he wanted to sit and talk, after years of him not really being there to sit and talk. It seemed so strange that all of the sudden, Dad wanted to hang out and chitchat with me instead of with his goombas. But I understood it more than I wanted to. He knew. I guess he wanted to get to know everyone all over again. He wanted to tell everyone he loved them, although he was too scared to do so in the past. The ego is such a restraint on the heart. What one really feels about someone else can be smothered by a huge ego. It's such a shame. And it's a shame that the person walks around thinking the person with the huge ego never cared at all for them, or at least, wanted to be in their company. But that was then. This is 'the now', and the past is the past. I welcomed this new friendship Dad wanted with me. Screw the past. Whatever. And now, the year of reconnecting with him is in the past, but appreciated and not regretted.

What I've learned from this experience is to never hold back your true feelings. Show the people you love that you really do love them. Show them. Actions speak louder than words. Be there. If you have a friend you love and care for -- don't wait to know what they need, just do it if it's within your means and ability. If they don't know how much you love them, tell them. If you never told your mom, sister, brother or friend you love them -- do it today. Don't let your ego get in the way of what you really need to communicate. I don't have to tell you that once they're gone it's too late because you already know that. Even if they're gone in terms of choosing to leave your life, let them know your feelings and then step out of the equation if need be. Then the ball is in their court. Life's too short for egos, resentment, bitterness and anger. Let it all go. If not for them, do it for yourself. Forgive them...forgive yourself more importantly. You can't live life holding a grudge and having an eternal chip on your shoulder. Place your 'shoulda' coulda' wouldas' in a bag and shoot it. Don't we all deserve that?

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