Memories in the fuzzy haze

What would I write to a younger Nancy?foggy path

It seems all the rage now. Blog posts and essays that are winsome letters to “the me I was back then.” For some, I’m sure it is meaningful and reflective.

For me, however, it is just another way to beat myself up. A lovely way to regret.

And it reminds of the promise I made not to. Beat myself up, I mean.

April is the final month of the deep purple funk. It starts in February-ish when my body remembers before I do that spring is rough. For those of you newer to my world, my first husband, Bill, died in April, 1990. Five years later, my dad and grandmother both died in late March. Spring is rough. And my body never forgets.

But in the days right after Bill died, I made a promise to myself that I have kept to this day. I vowed that I would never, ever live the rest of my life regretting what I had gotten all wrong as a wife. I would not let ugly reminders of my bad behavior and selfishness ruin the memories of a beautiful life.

Bill and I didn’t go through young marriage like most people do. He was older than me, a marriage veteran with four children. So we didn’t have the same “newly-married” stumbles that many couples have.  I was the rookie and he was determined that this one would not go south. As I was growing up, he was holding us together.

Which meant I made a lot more mistakes than he did. That’s not a dramatic reveal. It’s just the truth. I was often selfish or moody and, at the time, felt justified and righteous. But after each tantrum, it was pretty clear: I was just being ridiculous.

Like I said, I was growing up. And he was strong enough to hold on.

During those difficult days after his funeral, I lived in a fuzzy haze. My train of thought was often derailed. And I used the auto-pilot built into motherhood to carry on.

But, I knew that, if I began to relive any of the failed moments in our marriage, I would eventually relive all of them. I would never get to the “bittersweet” of loss if I chose to wallow in the bitter. I would let myself be pushed around by regret and the self-imposed curse of failure. I would never regain balance.

That is not what Bill wants. He is not wasting a bit of his heavenly eternity hoping I am burdened with unresolved regret. He is too busy using big nails and flawless wood to build decks, gazebos, and screened-in porches (do they need screens in Heaven?) He is keeping busy until we join him.

Not for one single ding-dang minute does he or anyone else who has gone before want us to “pay” for our shortcomings.

Good golly, Miss Molly. We have enough to think about. We have new mountains to cross and maps to decipher. There is a maze every day to navigate through. I can’t afford to use my energy to rework an episode that is already (as they say in the movies) a wrap.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m a big fan of Christian therapy. It’s both a blessing and a relief to figure out where our wobbles came from and why we just can’t get through this puddle of sludge. Investigating the past to improve the future can be a vital part of our mental and emotional health. Big fan.

And perhaps writing a letter to a younger self is good therapy.

But it’s not good for me.

I choose to cherish the memories. Live from today with hope that the older me looks back with no regret. Click it to Tweet it.

And, for Bill, I choose to remember who I am and what I represent.


  1. Recently I have been pouting because Christ has not answered my prayer to be taken to my heavenly home to be not only with Him but my loved ones gone before. God finally got it through my thick scull that “He isn’t finished with me yet.” There is a “purpose” for the delay. Thank You, God for setting me straight. I, too, need to forget past mistakes and look forward to a “good finish.” Thank you, Nancy, for helping me with your thoughts. Mom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Becca… just wow. I am so honored when something I write affects people I admire.

      My resolve to “not regret” isn’t universal. But in this situation, I really have just let go of all the crummy stuff… It’s hard enough to survive grief without the added weight of regret.

      Thanks so much for reading and supporting me…xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear friend, your perspective has always given me food for thought. After 33 years of friendship, I have seen you forage the trenches and stand on peaks. In both places you manage the grace God has bestowed upon you in an amazing way. Your heart has always been your blessing and your curse. You and God have managed to land here, together. Thank you for sharing it with me and with others. You have never forgotten who you are and what you represent, believe me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear, sweet Laurie – There are so few people that have been on the road with me that long. And so few that see deep inside. Sometimes I wonder how I was blessed to be the one that had both you and Bill at the same time.

      From the very bottom of my heart: Thank you for the world we know – and knew – together. It is one of the very best and most precious parts of my life…xoxox


  3. Thank you for your honesty and “making it real.” I look forward to reading your blogs because they always hold some truth in them. Love you. Pat


  4. I like how you put into words what we’re all thinking, but can’t get it out. Thanks for encouraging us to self-examine ourselves. Still love you, Pat


  5. I’m only recently learning how much it hurts our minds and health to feel regret and to beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’re unable to go back and fix. It’s a difficult lesson and one I hope to improve on more and more. Here’s to holding on to memories each day and later looking back to today with no regret.


    1. I’m sorry for such a late response. But thank you for your words. God has granted me a kind of veil that hides some of the things I’d rather forget. They will never not have happened, but He keeps me shielded from them, as remembering them – like you said – does nothing good for anyone. We need to all keep forgiving ourselves and others – holding on is fruitless… Thanks again, my friend, xoxox


  6. Oh yes, Nancy. Spring, and April in particular, hit me in a similar hard way and you’re right. It’s the body that remembers. Thanks for linking up with us with this – I can’t say I have “no regrets” but I do agree that dwelling on them is not helpful, not helpful at all.


    1. Thanks, Mardra (and thanks for waiting for such a late reply!) And for those who have suffered loss, the heaviness of those times are bittersweet reminders of the memories. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks again, xoxox


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