They can eat away at your soul.
They can cause you to rethink and re-rethink every decision made.
They can make even the happiest time seem like sheer drudgery.
“I could be doing this,” but … regret.
“I could spend time with this person,” but … regret.
“I could have had this career,” but … regret.
But the regret that I’m speaking of is not the regret one faces because of poor choices. It’s the regret that one faces because of the hand life can deal. When it came to how we walked through Katie’s ordeal and ultimate passing, I have not one regret, save that of not asking her what was on her mind more often. Literally, outside of that, not one regret.
My regret is different.
I regret that I never got to see her graduate.
I regret that I will never see her get married.
I regret that I will never see her become a mother.
I regret that I will never hear her sweet voice again.
I regret that I will never feel her little hand in mine.
Katie died way before I was done spending time with her, getting into mischief together, hearing her unbeatable puns and sassy comebacks.
I treasure the fact that Kylie and I have moved beyond parenting to friendship. I simply love the adult woman she has become. It’s been great having her back in the house with us, and I’m so proud of the fact that at eighteen years old, she struck out on a journey of a lifetime, in a foreign country, and she did it with a fearlessness that most will never possess.
But I regret that I won’t see that in Katie.
There are so many things I didn’t get to finish with her.
There are so many things I didn’t get to witness her discovering.
There are so many things I didn’t get to teach her.
But even in the regret, I am reminded that in her journey, Katie’s was also quite fearless. Even in the regret, I am reminded that she ran her race with excellence. Even in the regret, I am reminded that God has remained faithful to me and my family. Even in the regret, I am reminded that I will see Katie again. Even in the regret, I am reminded that God has allowed Daphne and me to travel the country, telling our amazing girl’s story, preserving her legacy, and redeeming all she went through, so that all who hear of her will know that God is still good, and that He still works in lives, regardless of the circumstance.
I did my very best to be the daddy Kylie and Katie deserved. I just wish that I could still be that guy in Katie’s life.
And I regret that I can’t.