Fortunately, I have learned how to cope with regret over the years and now rarely dwell in regret for extended periods of time. On one hand, I have learned how to seek repentance for my past and current wrong actions, trespasses, failures, and sins. On the other hand, I have also learned to let go of past failures and disappointments that were consequences of right action by viewing these failures and disappointments as necessary. In other words, there was something in those situations that I had to face and learn from – often the hard way.
I don’t spend much time wallowing in regret because I am genuinely content with my place in the world and welcome the challenges and joys I face day to day. Nevertheless, there is one aspect of my life where I still occasionally feel pangs of regret – not having more children.
Though I have been blessed with a beautiful and happy little boy – who has enriched my life in ways I cannot even begin to describe – I sometimes wish my wife and I had had more children. I won’t go into the history of why we did not have more than one child. To be honest, I cannot even pinpoint the exact reasons myself and, as I mentioned above, I am truly blessed with the one child I do have.
Yet every now and then, usually during some cheerful moment I am sharing with my son, or when I catch a glimpse of a family with several children, or late at night when my consciousness lingers in that no man’s land between wakefulness and sleep, I feel a slight pang of regret – a cold finger that emerges from some netherworld to cruelly caress my spine.
I am usually able to melt the ice the touch leaves behind rather quickly, but sometimes it lingers, like late-spring frost, and then I must wait for the sun to rise above the horizon for the last frigid traces of this regret to dissolve completely.
Thankfully, it always does, and whenever it returns, it is a little fainter and less cold.