I became aware of a lovely poem titled Back Home by Margaret McCarty today. It’s about looking back and wishing you could start over by listening to your parent’s advice (and taking it) a little more than you did and appreciating their love and care more a second time around….if only you could go back. I can think of countless things my parents told me that I wish I would have listened to but even so, they raised me well and my life turned out pretty good with a 19-year marriage, the 3 beautiful daughters we’re raising, and my Catholic faith firmly intact.
I’m glad my parents are still here, both about to turn 70 soon, so I can let them know that all the things they taught me were heard and are appreciated now, much more in mid-life, than they were in my youth. It also gives me a bit of peace when my daughters seem to not really hear or take to heart the life lessons I’m trying to teach them. I have more faith that even though the evidence seems to the contrary, that the seed is indeed well planted and will serve them well in their journey.
Lastly, this poem brought to mind that although I have gained wisdom and grace, there is still more growing to do. There are still ways I can apply what I know even better in order to merit children who will be able to look back at their mother as fondly as the author of this poem was able to look back at hers.
If I had the power to turn back the clock,
to go to the house at the end of the block,
The house that was home when I was a kid,
I know I would love it more than I did.
If I could be back there at my fathers knee,
and hear once again all the things he told me,
I’d listen as I never listened before,
for he knew all too well just what life had in store.
And all the advice that dad used to give,
His voice I’ll remember as long as I live,
It didn’t seem very important then,
What I would give to live it all over again.
But what I would give for the chance I once had,
to do something more for my mother and dad,
I’d give them a little more joy and a little less pain,
a little more sunshine and a little less rain.
The years roll by and we cannot go back,
Whether we were born in a mansion or in a shack,
But we can start right now in the hour that’s here,
and do something more, for the ones we hold dear.
Since time in it’s flight is speeding so fast,
there’ll be no time spent regretting what’s past.
Let’s make tomorrow a happier day,
by doing our good unto others today.
~ Margaret W. McCarty © 2016. All rights res