I don't inherently believe in regrets. I think that regretting things is just a waste of time and a total downer. Sure, I wish I could make different choices, pay more attention to other's mistakes and learn from them but I don't worry myself to death about something that is already done, something I can't undo. I find regretting things such a time suck. But...there's always a but, isn't there?
When I was 12-years-old I went to visit my family in Missouri like I always did during the summer. I remember feeling like a small child even though I was working my way toward being a young adult but not feeling anywhere prepared for what that meant. I had little responsibility, as most 12-year-olds do. I had to keep my room clean, help around the house, babysit my little brother's on occasion and really that was about it. I'd say I was your typical preteen. I was vastly irresponsible when it came to many things because I was just young and well, 12.
That summer I was given a gift that I wish I could just give back at that moment and ask for it later. My mom had spent years amassing a large collection of charms for her charm bracelet. I remember it was a heavy piece of jewelry that had so many charms I don't even know that I looked at them all. I hadn't found my deep love for all things sparkly yet but I knew this was an important piece of my mom's history. My grandma (my dad's mother) had been keeping this bracelet for all those years waiting to give it to me. She was so proud to pass it along to me and told me stories about how my mom and dad (divorced when I was 6 weeks old) had spent summers at her house as teenagers and how my mom was like her daughter. This bracelet represented my mom and her young adult life. Each charm represented something important to her, stories I would give anything to hear now.
I'll never know those stories because I lost that bracelet. My memory is incredibly fuzzy about it all now, but I remember telling my grandma that I stuffed the bracelet into the sofa at her house. I don't know why I would have done something like that, but that was my story. She ripped that sofa apart and found nothing. I wish, more than anything, that I could go back and relive those days of that particular summer and make that bracelet appear. I wish I could have taken care of my mother's history properly.
My stomach becomes a little twisty ball of screaming nerves when I think of the charm bracelet. I could never replace it or make up for it, there too many stories that I could never replicate properly.
I wonder, sometimes, if there's someone out there who wears that bracelet. Maybe I dropped it on the plane on accident and someone found it? I wonder if that person appreciates all those stories they will never know. Perhaps they make up their own story for the previous owner of the charm bracelet. There could be a little girl who wears it on her too small wrist when she's playing dress up in her mom's closet. I hope that person, whoever they are, even though they will never know, loves that bracelet as much as my mom did. As much as I could have loved it.
I regret not holding on to that charm bracelet a little tighter. I regret not being able to get the stories behind those tiny charms. I regret letting my mom down. I wish I could call a do-over, I'd give almost anything.