Friday, March 7, 2014

~A STORY ~ If I could turn back time...~

Have you ever wondered what would be different in your life had you helped someone realize a dream.
Especially if it was your own child? 
I do.  Often.
Yesterday I was going through desk drawers in the guest room.  Some I haven't really looked in for a few years.  Say..five?  I came across a "tear page" from a magazine in our area that my son modeled for..and memories came flooding back.
And I, as always, began to wonder and  regret swept over me again.  I do that lately for whatever reason.
I try not to but perhaps it's just that time of life.  
As you know or may not know, I have seven grown children.  (I will always, always count my Sandy.)
There is Patrick, Michael, Sandy, Danny, Erin, Maryalice and Dawn.
Out eldest son, Patrick R.J, had a dream.
In high school he was cast in "Annie Get Your Gun" and when the cast was called on stage, my son got a standing ovation and he was bit by the acting bug a big way..and he began to dream.

After high school, he joined the Marine Corp..

Later he got married and attended The University of California at Santa Barbara.

He majored in the arts and minored in business.  He was in a production of "Of Mice and Men"..and the dream continued.

On stage at our local college he was in Rhinestone Cowboy and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored  Dream Coat, Damn Yankee's etc. and yes, he had the lead parts.
He fell more and more in love with his craft.  After he graduated from College he and his wife and baby returned to Riverside..for what was supposed to be a short time.  Another baby came..time went on and my son's dream began to slip away from him.
One day he nearly left for Hollywood, but...he didn't.  He stayed..and they worked and saved and worked.
His wife's dream was to have her own bakery.  
Together they worked hard for her to fulfill her dream

I think at one time I had thought he was satisfied with his life.  He loved his wife and babies..
..and then one day he came to me.
He asked me to please, please move with them to Los Angeles and help with the children so his wife could work and I would care for the children..(his father and I) and he could try to fulfill his dream.
I remember feeling a bit of panic.
You see, we were on the brink of retirement and Patrick and I dreamed of traveling in a motor home and seeing the country. I had raised seven children and I wanted to realize our own dreams.

I won't go into detail of that conversation because even after all these years I cannot remember it without crying.  It is one of my biggest regrets in life and I will forever see him as he looked at me that day.
I hesitated and in that moment of hesitation, he knew.  I said I would think about it...but my son..he knew.
He never asked again.

Do you ever have moments when you are just plain filled with regret?  Sorrow?
Look into my son's eyes.
I'm sorry son!
I'm sorry!
Sometimes I pray that God forgives me for letting my son down. 
As he has grown older he has gone through some bitterness and anger that began to show, I knew where it came from.  His family knew.  We all knew.
I think he is okay now.
I pray he is okay.

I am getting my Easter cartons out tomorrow.  I just want know...look at things.  Plan.
It's not even "legally" Spring yet..but it takes time to decorate and fiddle with things around the house.
I was you like wallpaper?  Old fashioned or not, I love the stuff!


  1. I'm sure your son realizes now that you and your husband had raised your own family and if they were in trouble you would have been there in a moment. I am surprised that the wife wouldn't give up her dream for him. Maybe some day he will be acting again.
    I have my crates ready to come in and decorate. I am not setting up my Bunnyville this year it's just to much and I have had a time with my COPD - I just get so darn tired.
    Looking forward to seeing your post on Easter.
    Have a great weekend Mona.

  2. Oh, my sweet Mona...with kids comes heartbreak, as you surely know. Your son was/is so handsome and I'm sure as talented, but once you start a does seem that one or the other spouses have to pursue their dream while the other holds down the fort. If there weren't children, they both could have gotten away with it. We all have to make our sacrifices, it's part of adult life. I have watched my own son give up his dream, college degree and extended studies to accept an office job so that he and his wife can start a very so much wanted family. It's just the way life can be these days. Your generation and mine just had those kids and worried later. This generation plans ahead (for the most part) and they make so many sacrifices.

    I think you did the right thing. My grown children are humble and I have to really hold back on making it easier for them in some monetary ways because I know it's better that they learn the way we did.

    I'm sorry if I said too much. Please know I mean the best, dear friend.


  3. i am sure your son knows it was a lot to ask. he sure is handsome!

  4. Regrets, I have plenty... We all do! God sees us thru those times and wipes our tears as we remember:). Sending you a HUG clear across the Country!

  5. what an amazing story, I'm sending a hug as weell, its me Laurie from I love a cloudy day, I have a new program for the visually impaired so I am back blogging! A new blog, I had to start fresh and finding all my friends is a big job, I'm so glad I found you,

  6. Oh yes... we all, as parents have regrets, BUT at the same time we also have to live out our own dreams or we end up angry parents. As he ages I am sure he understands your decision... at least he should. XOX

  7. Mona, Your son is a beauty. When children grow up and leave home, they should be able to live their lives, without our moving, giving up our own lives for their dreams. Your son was desperate to even ask that. Stop feeling badly about it, we all have regrets. You need to see the other side of things also. What if you had moved, given up your own dreams and your sons theater dreams did happen like he wanted....then what?Your son will always love you, always. Please forgive yourself, you are a good person. xoxo,Susie

  8. "Tough love" coming......

    Yes, he was gorgeous and probably talented. He had a dream. It was up to him, to seize that dream! Before he became encumbered with wife and family and duties.

    It was up to him! Back then.

    It was not up to you, to help it (maybe) happen, at that later time in your life. It was not.

    And if he made you feel guilt, that is his burden to carry. Not yours. His burden to carry. That, added to his not having the guts to pursue his dream, back then...

    Please stop being guilty. Please stop, now. It breaks my heart, when a Mom, allows guilt to darken her later life. When anyone ever allows guilt, to darken their life.

    Gentle hugs,

  9. What a handsome son you have. I hope some day he will be able to return to his love for acting. Please do not feel guilty about not being able to do what he asked so many years ago. Have a blessed day and weekend. Madeline

  10. Mona you are carrying to too much guilt here. It was good he did it on his own. And the bitterness and anger I think they all grow through that.

    There is only one thing to talk - talk to him - ask him - and tell him how you feel.


  11. What a handsome son! Where there is a will, there is a way, even when others are not able to help. I am sure that, with the passing years, he has come to know what is true.

  12. Dear Mona. You already made your sacrifice in the years working to raise your children. Now is time for you and your hubby to enjoy each other and do the things that make you happy and to rediscover each other again. Our children must to as we did and work it out for themselves to gain the understanding when they get older. Hugs to you and have a great day.

  13. We all have things in our lives we regret. At least I do. But regret and guilt are two different things. Please do not feel guilty for making the decision that you did. Easier said than done, I know.

    As for wallpaper -- I like some of it. But I like painted walls better.

  14. Oh,Mona. First off - I want to say what a handsome man your son is.
    I know you think you let him down and, of course, I know the pain of letting someone down. I think we all do. We have been let down and we let others down as we move through life. It is part of being imperfect. I know you were let down when you lost your husband-you were not expecting that-you were not planning it-it just happened and, thus, changed the course of life as you knew it.

    You cannot live in the regret of what you did not do-any more than you can live with the regret of things you DID do and shouldn't have done. We all take it upon ourselves to take the blame and pain of our children's lives when they don't turn out perfect. But, it is not our fault.

    Mona-the truth is-if his dream was big enough and he wanted it badly enough he would have done it even without your help. I think in your heart you know that, too. It sounds like he has made some peace with where he is at in his life.

    God bless you. You are a good soul and you have done a wonderful job in your life and with your family-and they know it.

    God bless you! xo Diana

  15. Mona, I could share stories with you that are just as heartbreaking. However, as adults, our children learn how to manage without is the circle of life as one day, we will be gone. You should not feel guilt, you should not be sorry...YOU did nothing wrong!...:)JP

  16. The first thing I want to say is please don't feel guilt about your son not being able to pursue his dream. I know as a mom myself that it is easier said than done and that we want the very best for our children. But, he chose to marry and have a family and let his wife pursue her dream. You had your own life to consider after raising 7 children and I think you made the right decision for you and your husband. Many people have had dreams that had to be put aside for one reason or another. That is life. Please don't beat yourself up over this. It was your son's choice to marry and if his dream of going to Hollywood were that important to him, he would have found a way to make it happen with or without your help. Surely as he has matured, he has seen that it wasn't your fault that he didn't get to pursue his dream. Please don't feel guilty, dear heart, for that is too big a burden to carry. You are not responsible for anyone's happiness, not even your son's. And lastly, your son is very handsome! Hugs, Cheryl

  17. Mona I think all of us would say we have regrets about something. If it had been meant for your handsome son to be in the movie industry it would have been with or without your help. Who knows what God has kept him from by keeping him from this ? His life might have taken a very different path that might not have been a good one. Some things are meant to be....others are not. All your children are beautiful just like their mom!

  18. Oh, dear...don't get me started on regrets.."I have a few"....
    When one hits me hard, I just pray about it, HE reminds me of other good times and I feel better. We can't dwell on those regrets or else we'll go nuts.
    And your son is ONE HANDSOME DUDE !!
    XO bj

  19. Dear Mona, what a handsome son, so fitting for the modeling or acting world. Having said that, I do hope you will let go of some of that regret you've been carrying around. I know it's hard; I certainly have regrets of my own. But sometimes, God actually saves us from ourselves. Oftentimes, the life we think we want, the career we want to pursue is really not in our best interest. Your answer could well have been God's intervention for what might have been down the road.

    We'll never know, but it isn't your fault that he didn't/couldn't follow his dreams. It really isn't.

    Here's wishing you a peaceful weekend.

  20. Handsome guy your son . . . so difficult it is to not always say yes to the requests our children might ask of us. I think we know though where the limits rest . . . as I am sure your son has also learned.

    I really like listening to your stories of life and living.

    Happy days to you playing with the Easter decorating!

  21. Oh, Dear Mona, I'm sure Patrick realizes you just couldn't drop everything and go away with he and his family. Your love for your children shines. He is so handsome and so talented and hopefully he can still get into some acting, maybe if even in acting groups in his town.
    No regrets, Mona, you've raised your children and life is what it is.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  22. Regrets? don't we all have them! Try to let it go are a good person and I'm sure you have done the best you could with all of your children.
    Yes, I do like wallpaper...esp the old timey floral patterns.
    H and I drove to Amarillo Tx today (100 Miles away) Had lunch, did a little shopping, just enjoyed the day! Have a wonderful week end going thru your spring decor and making your plans...can't wait to see what you do with it! Hugs, Penny

  23. Everyone has thought is if it were meant to be, he would have found a way to Hollywood with out you having to sacrifice your retirement.
    Have a great weekend...don't dwell on something that wasn't meant to be, Mona.

  24. Oh Mona....we all have things that happen to us that always remain with us. I know you wonder...but, the end result probably would still have been the same. Children bring such joy and we love them with our life. But, we cannot fix everything. Trust me, I have tried, it doesn't work and really, it doesn't help. Your son....gorgeous! And he has a wonderful mama.

  25. He is a very handsome man indeed! And a very loving person. Life decisions were made for the children. No regrets. The bakery came along 18 years later. One dream realized.

    evil wife

  26. Precious daughter in were perfect for him. LOL You are NOT an evil wife. LOL FAR from it.
    As many said..if one wants something bad enough.. We will never know..what might have been but it was what it was.
    I love you, Cheryl!

  27. Mkna, as always, thank you for sharing with all of us. I also do not think yiu shiuld feel any regrets over yiur decision, and yiur son shiuld not as well for his. We all need to do what is best for us as much as they may disappoint others, including family. And, as many others have already commented, that is not always easy. Everyone has hopes and dreams and that's what keeps them going, no matter what. Patrick is indeed a good looking man, much like his dad and you are a loving mother.

  28. I forgot to answer your question. Yes I still like wallpaper! They make you think that you are living in the dark ages if you (gasp) have or like wallpaper. Trust me, it will be back one day. You can change a room so much by wallpaper.

  29. Jean..everything seems to go around..again. The one thing I could never abide was Danish Modern furniture. :) Would you believe that our dining room table (it was here when I came..has a Never Mar..or Nevamar..however they wrote it, top? Yep..1950's maple. :) Mine is STILL in the garage.

  30. Me either but it seems that it has grown on you! LOL!

  31. I think life is always easier on the "look back" part. You can't blame yourself for your son's dream. However, I do understand the desire to make our kids happier. I have similar regrets with my older son. I wish I could have made his dream of being a doctor happen. But ultimately choices in life are not anyone else's responsibility but our own. Circumstances don't always allow us to do everything we would like. Your son is a handsome man and he sounds like a wonderful loving husband too. Sometimes we just need to look forward, and let the past be where it the past.

  32. Please do not feel bad about this-you did what was best at the time. I feel certain your son knows this too:).



  33. Oh Mona! I'm sorry it's been a while since I stopped by, but so glad I happened along here today. You have such a tender heart, and as a loving mother, you're bound to have a few regrets. The more children....the more regrets (most likely!) I have some of those, too, mostly about my oldest son, but we can't go back.... AND to answer your question, I do like wallpaper! Especially in professionally decorated homes/magazines! LOL

  34. Hi Mona,
    We all have regrets, my friend. You have a very handsome son and somehow or other, God always works things out for the best.
    I like wallpaper too but the only room in my home that is wallpapered is the bathroom. I have a border up in the family room too but that's it. I think wallpaper is rather charming. Enjoy your weekend.



Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts! Your comments are very important to me.