A long free-verse poem about what a grandfather would change.
|His eighteen-year-old grandson
asked the eighty-one-year-old grandpa
what he would change if he could live
his life over … what turned out to be
more important to him than he
had realized when he was a young man.
The elderly man pondered a while.
Finally he said, “I would appreciate
my various family members more,
not take them for granted simply because
I know they will always be there for me
throughout my life. They are such treasures
that are sorely missed when they are gone.
“I’d make the woman I loved and married
feel appreciated as much as I possibly could,
especially when things in our life got difficult.
I’d hug her for longer with each embrace,
kiss her more often, touch her with heartfelt
affection throughout our day, and I’d tell her
how much I love her every single day.
I’d realize the time might come when
I would stand beside her grave weeping
and yearn for just that one more chance
to show her how much she meant to me.
“I’d cherish the first decade of each
of my children’s life and realize how quickly
these precious, golden years will pass,
taking with them the opportunity for me
to be a major influence on the adults
my children will someday become.
Those years all too soon slip away,
becoming merely treasured memories.
“I’d be more tolerant, more forgiving
of others. I’d remember we all are
members of the same human race.
Time wasted with anger and grudges
is time poorly spent. I’d be more helpful
to others; this gift benefits both me and them.
“I’d spend more time at the beach,
hike more mountain paths,
ride horses along wilderness trails,
go white-water rafting on angry rivers,
go camping in the desert southwest.
In short, I’d avail myself throughout my life
of Nature’s grandeur in its many varied forms.
I’d travel at every opportunity presented.
The world is wide, gorgeous, amazing,
and well worth making the time
to experience it as much as you can.
“Finally, I’d try to live in such a way
so that if one day my grandson
asked me a question about what
changes I’d make if I were to re-do
my life, I could answer him with,
‘Nothing. My life was perfect.
I wouldn’t want to change a thing.’”
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