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Think of a time you let something slide, only for it to eat away at you later. Tell us how you’d fix it today.


I was surprised when thinking about this prompt that my “sins of omission” (if I dare call them that) had ONLY to do with family. Seems for me it’s true what people say about it being easier to approach and engage with strangers and friends. One such incident came immediately to mind.

child at libraryMy dad gave me the world. Literally. I can still remember the day he took me to get my first ever library card. I was probably six or so. A reader at an early age, it was like dad had handed me a ticket to anywhere in the world through books. I think it’s much easier to have a feel of that with the internet now, but at that time, books were my portal to “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, both by Jules Verne. We spent countless hours together at the library over the years, just reading side-by-side.

But then in the ’90’s the libraries changed. They were all converting to computerized search engines instead of card catalogs. And about that time my dad came to me and asked what “truncated” meant. He was very frustrated at not understanding the computer cataloging. He couldn’t find the books he was looking for without the help of a librarian, which proved somewhat embarrassing for him. He asked me if I would take him and show him how they worked. I told him, sure!

Months later he asked again. A year later he mentioned he hadn’t been to the library in a long time. I promised over and over again to take him. But I was busy with two jobs and a young family and they always came first. For my dad, his window to the world was growing smaller and smaller. More so than any of us realized. He passed away in 1997 without ever having learned how maneuver those damn computer systems. And my lack of attention to him is of deepest regret to me still to this day. He’d given me the world, yet I couldn’t find the time to give him an afternoon.


What would I do to fix it today? There’s nothing that I can do for dad, but from that experience I did learn about how much smaller our world can get as we age. And I learned to listen to the Elders. For the past four years I’ve been involved in a ministry through our church doing just that. I have four elderly women I visited regularly. Eunice (pictured here) is my oldest youngster. She is 102. I help them in any way I can, but mostly I just sit and listen. It’s taught me that one thing we all have in common is the need to be seen and heard. And I do that in honor of my parents.