On Regrets

The hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led.― Lisa Wingate

At the ACFW this past September, I attended a class about marketing. Or course branding was discussed which in turn led to themes in an author’s writing. One of the instructors of the class said simply that each writer, whether they realize it or not, has an underlying theme to their work which outlines their greatest fear. Hmmm…

It took me a while, I really had to think about it. After all, my books are romance novels. What could be the underlying theme in them all? Love conquerors all? Well, yeah, but that’s not my fear. I know the power of love. Most of us believe that to be true.

Second chances. Of course. In Saving Gideon, Avery and Gideon both get a second chance at love. Perfect, right?

Then my father passed away and the truth became apparent. My greatest fear is regret. Unfortunately the regrets I have with my dad  are hopes that somehow things could have been different. But he and I both knew, they were as good between us as they could be. They were not regrets of things undone, but the regret that comes when the vase is broken. It can be glued back together and it works okay, but the cracks are still there all the same.

So am I going to tell you to let the ones you love know how you feel about them? No, even though you should. This post isn’t about that. It’s a vent of sorts, an expression of the feelings I have, but that no longer have a place in my life. Regrets that have to become a part of the “past” column, the “nothing more I can do about this” side of  the paper.

Once upon a time, I had hopes that things could go back to how they were before. Now he’s gone, taking with him any chance for change.  So instead of regrets, I’m going to focus on the positive, the good times we shared, both before and after the regrets came. And be thankful that I had my father (with and without regrets) for the time that I did.

I love you, Daddy. And I always will.

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My New Friend

What a great weekend I’ve had! I’ve got a new friend. Her name is Sarah and she lives in Inola. She bakes, sews, and works outside her home. I met her at the flea market when we went ‘junking’ this past Saturday.

Sarah is Amish.

Why am I so excited? Because I’ve tried to talk to other Amish women and get to know them better, but they can be understandably guarded. The outside English world can be very judgmental. These women who go out of the community to make money for their families are brave and must protect their image and beliefs. But with Sarah, something clicked. We chatted about books and Amish authors, recipes and her bakery. I could have stood there and talked to her all day long.

We’ve already made plans to return next weekend to see if she’s there. I’m going to take her a copy of Saving Gideon and try to talk to her some more. All I can say right now is thank you, God, for that impulsive decision to ‘run down to the flea market’ and see what was going on. I had a great time with my family, found a couple of Christmas presents, and made a great new friend. Happy weekend!