9. Spell Cussing for the First Time


Profanity is just something I don’t use. Never have. When I was growing up, using a ’slang’ word such as ‘golly’ would get us in all kinds of trouble. So it has never been part of my life.

During the drive back from Houston in late March, 2003, it became obvious to me that Daddy was feeling worse. He was having a more difficult time walking. I remember feeling so very sad watching both my parents trying to help each other into a convenience store when we stopped to get gas. They suddenly looked very old and frail.

When we arrived at their house just south of Abilene, both Mother and I had to help Daddy get in the house. He was so sick. I had never seen him look so bad. He looked pale, bloated, weak, and in pain. After getting Daddy in a chair, I unloaded luggage and then did something I have regetted. I regetted it when I did it. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but I did it anyway. I left. I was exhausted and wanted my own bed. So I drove another 1 1/2 hours (after having already driven over 9 hours) and went home.

I regretted it because I knew they were going to have a horrible night. I regretted it because I knew Daddy needed to go to the hospital. Because she was so weak, Mother could barely walk. How could she help Daddy do anything? I never really asked how the night went. I didn’t want to know.

During the next few months I received advice from many people. Many of them said things like, “Don’t look back on anything with regret. Don’t have any regrets.” I don’t really think that is possible. During a time of crisis we are all human, and we all make mistakes. We all wish we could have “do overs” about certain things. I will share other regrets that I have from time to time in this blog.

Regrets are almost inevitable and unavoidable. However, there is nothing constructive to be gained by dwelling on them. We can not change them. No, we do not get ‘do overs’. So you take your regrets and file them with other memories because that is what they are. They are no more and no less.

When I left the house I called Darla to tell her how bad Daddy looked. She was not at home and so I talked to her husband, Joe. I told him that Daddy was very sick. I said, ” I can’t say this, but I can spell it. He looks like s.h.i.t.”

More about spell cussing on another day.

I drove home and slept in my own bed. I didn’t even call to check on them. The next morning the phone call came. Daddy was in the hospital. A family friend took him that morning.


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