A close family friend passed away today, and it’s made me think. Don Rodolfo was my aunt’s father-in-law, and he was my pseudo-grandfather when I was growing up (much like his son was my pseudo-father for father-daughter occasions at school). I remember going to visit him and his wife, Dona Carmen, often when I was younger; I remember the brightly colored letter magnets on the fridge, I remember playing in his front yard, eating outside on the picnic table, I remember feeling lost every time we went to their house–no matter how many times I’d been there. Although I wasn’t one of their “real” grandchildren, the distinction was never made. They always received me with open arms in their household, looked after me, and Don Rodolfo always had a joke or two up his sleeve for any occasion.

The sad and embarrassing thing is, I can’t remember the last time I saw him. Dona Carmen passed away a few years ago, and I know he’s had health complications since then. The thought of going to visit him always crossed my mind, but it was one of those “some day in the distant future” kind of thoughts, it was never a “let’s make this happen” kind of thought. How terrible is it for a person to realize they’ve failed at making important things happen. I realize that I fill my life (or stuff my life) with events and activities, and the whole time I know I’m not making time for more important things: my husband, my mom, my family, close friends, my home. I sometimes wonder if maybe it’s something psychological, like I have some weird issue with not keeping myself busy, or not planning ahead. I need to plan. I need to organize. But why don’t I focus on planning and organizing things that really matter?

As much as we all like to think we don’t have regrets (“I have no regrets, everything has been a lesson in life,” or “everything happens for a reason”), I admit that I regret not making the time for a simple visit.

Mis disculpas Don Rodolfo; espero que descanse en paz.