Regret can change your life
by, 02-05-2012 at 08:04 PM (496 Views)
When I was a trainee I had an elderly man as a patient. He was alone and lonely. He knew he was nearing the end of his life. He was a writer and a poet. One day he asked me if I would sit with him a little while and maybe read some of his work and talk.
I said no. I was too busy. I was young and had a girlfriend to think about and a lot of things to do. I never saw him again. He died a few days later. Alone. What makes me sick to this very day is the fact that I KNEW I should stay with him, even as I was saying no.
I could have made the time if I had wanted to. I had the chance to learn from a poet, to hear his work in his own voice and have him tell me in his own words how he felt and lived. I passed up the chance to bring a little joy into a dying man's last hours and I refused. I hope he forgave me before he died.
I vowed I would never leave another human being like that again, that I wold never pass up a chance like that again.
I guess you could say that that one mistake has made me a far better person. So, somehow, it all balances out. However, after more than 30 years I can still hear his voice; asking. I will regret that selfish, stupid choice until my dying day.