If I Could Turn Back Time... A #BehindTheBlogger Writing Prompt

If I could turn back time, I'm not sure that I would really change anything. I know there are many times I've thought, "If only I had done this differently...", but the honest truth is that everything that's happened to me has shaped the person I am now, good and bad. 

I've been through a lot. More than I can write about in one blog post. I've been sexually assaulted a number of times, have had so many people I loved and trusted just leave my life with no explanation, fell into self mutilation, depression, and suicidal thoughts, and I had a severe drug and alcohol problem. That's really just to name a few. I know you're probably wondering why I wouldn't want to go back and change all that, but without it, I would have never learned all the hard lessons I did by the time I was 21. I probably learned more life lessons by my 21st birthday than most people learn in their entire life.

One hard lesson I had to learn was to appreciate the people you love and never miss an opportunity to let them know how much they mean to you and how much you love them. I really cannot stress this enough. This was unfortunately one of the hardest lessons I was forced to learn. 

Through all my turmoil, I become homeless by the time I was 19. Homeless as in, I had no permanent home. I moved from home to home and had "lived" in 5 different places in a 6 month period. My grandfather finally took me in until I could get back on my feet because I had lost my job, I don't drive, and had no other place to go. My grandpa and I always had a close relationship. I was the first born child, grandchild, and great grandchild in the family and I think this is one of the reasons we were so close. 

Me with my grandpa when I was 2. That's my Popeye face

I use to love spending time with my grandpa, however, living with him was a different story. He still let me get away with murder. As a matter of fact, this was during the time I was heavily popping anxiety meds and muscle relaxers and mixing them with dangerous amounts of alcohol. Because of this, I was ungrateful for the time I could have spent with him and instead, I chose to never be home or if I was, I locked myself in my room. Even when he would sadly walk away from my door after I turned his offer to have dinner together down, I still hadn't realized how important spending time with him was. 

I eventually moved out into my own place and our communication was almost non existent by that time. With the help of the man I am now married to, I eventually stopped cutting myself, got clean from the pills, and toned down my drinking by a huge amount. 

When I became pregnant with my daughter, my grandpa was ecstatic. He was so happy that he was becoming a great grandpa and couldn't wait to hold her. As a matter of fact, that's all he talked about. He told everyone that he couldn't believe he would live to see his first great grandchild come into the world. He actually never got that chance. Two weeks before my daughter was born, he had a massive heart attack and passed away. Not only was I devastated that he never got to meet her or hold her, but I held a lot of guilt and regret. Most of it was because I had so many opportunities to spend time with him and I didn't, but the biggest part was because during my pregnancy he would call almost every single day and wouldn't really have much to say. I guess you could say that I got annoyed by it, and I stopped answering my phone. 

A few days before he passed away, I was at my parent's house and he called to talk to me. All he said was "I just wanted to tell you that I love you" and he hung up. That was the very last time I heard his voice. 

My grandpa at the last family reunion before he passed away three months later

When we got the call to go to the hospital and see him one last time before the funeral home arrived to transport him, I was wracked with so much guilt for not giving him much of my time, that I couldn't breathe. I was told I wasn't allowed to get upset for fear that I would go into early labor, so I had to hold every emotion I was feeling both towards myself, but also towards the death of my grandpa, inside. 

The funeral was rough. I had way too many people telling me all about how happy my grandpa had been of me and how excited he was about the baby. It hit me so hard that I didn't sleep for days. When I finally did get some sleep it was only because I was so exhausted from crying that I couldn't stay awake any longer. 

My grandpa missed the birth of our daughter and my wedding to my husband. Both of those days should have been the happiest days of my life, but instead, all I could think about was how he should have been there. 

As if this situation happening once isn't bad enough, I had to face it two more times. Both with the death of my other grandpa and one of my best friends.

My other grandpa had Alzheimer's and I stopped going to visit him because it was too hard on me to see him not know who I was anymore, and my best friend, whom I had lost contact with because I had a new life, was ran over by a car at a party and killed.  The amount of guilt I feel for not telling them how much I loved them and cared about them weighs so heavily on me, even after all these years. I still cry about it because I know I will never have that chance ever again. I'm actually getting really emotional writing this right now. 

I suppose if I could turn back time, I would tell them I love them and that I'm sorry, however, through all this, I learned never, ever, to let the people you care about go a day without knowing how much they mean to you. I also learned to give those people all the time in the world. Now, when my family calls me or wants to do something with me, I drop everything I'm doing. Nothing is more important than giving up some of your time to those you love, because you never know when it may be the last time you see or talk to them. Life can be fast paced, but it also ends in the blink of an eye. 

Tell friends and family you love them. 
Hug them tight.
Make sure they know that they mean so much to you.
Above all, make time for them. 

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  1. First, I have to say it sounds like you've had a massively hard life, which I can relate to in many ways. And, second, I'm so terribly sorry for your loss of your grandfathers and your friend. I'm sure it was extremely tough losing your one grandfather that took you in and made sure you had somewhere to stay. Though I'm not religious one bit, I'm sure he's proud of you and everything that you've done with your life.

    I still live with my mother due to a crappy situation, however, I do still say goodnight to her and that I love her. Plus, it's something I've always said when I get off the phone with close family members and friends.

    Making time for those that you love and letting them know that you love them is definitely important.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I like to think that he is proud of everything I've accomplished and overcome. His memory is what keeps me going through hard times and some days, when I need a little extra comfort, I get his old security guard shirt out of my closet and hold it.

    2. wow! you have been through so much. This post literally made me cry. I definitely want to go call my grandpa now.

  2. Gosh this broke my heart. I am bawling right now. Thank you for being so raw and honest with this post. You've been through so much and I am so sorry that you learned the hard way. Like you said, at least you learned from it. I do hope that you've forgiven yourself for this because holding a grudge against yourself, is probably the worst thing you can ever do. I've been through a lot of the same experiences as you, so I understand what it's like to be broken and to struggle. I hope to read more about your life experiences some day. <3 Thank you again for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Joyce. I have slowly learned to forgive myself and it's been a hard 9 years. Some days I struggle with with it more than other days. Especially when something important happens and I start to wish my grandfather was here with me, but I know he'd be proud of everything I've overcome and the person I've become. His memory is what keeps me going when I'm having a difficult time.

  3. I think we've all had those moments of "I wish I would have been more involved". Your Grandpa looks and sounds like a great man! I'm so so sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you so much. He was the sweetest, most unselfish man I have ever known and I feel honored to have had him be apart of my life in such a big way. I have a memorial tattoo on my back with the names of both my grandfathers and my friend above a set of wings. I call it my guardian angel tattoo and I like to believe that my three guardian angels will always have my back and guide me through life.

    2. Firstly, I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose someone that has meant so much to you. It seems from reading this post you really have been through so much. Making sure to tell people that you love them is always something people regret in the end. I am sure both of them knew that you loved them and were with you through those moments such as your wedding and the birth of your child. I always have to remind myself we are truly never alone, no matter what you believe in, I have to think that those that mean so much to us are around us always and that we will see them all again. Much love and a hug from NC :)

  4. You and I have sort of the same regrets lingering in our hearts and it really sucks. I am sitting here wishing for the both of us that we could have just one more day, or even one more hour, with our loved ones. On a more positive note, I am so happy you came back from that dark path you were heading down. It's insane what life can do to a person, especially a young woman going through so much too soon. All you want to do is push people away but in the end, it's you who ends up regretting that choice. Learning to forgive ourselves for our choices is hard. All we can do is take one day at a time and try to make things right with those who are still here. Thank you for sharing! :)

  5. I know the feeling. Let god now how you feel he will forgive you and it will lessen a bit. I would suggest forgiving and then let it go.

  6. I commend you for sharing your deeply personal struggles. It's very brave. It's also a good lesson to let people know how you feel about them every day. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This reminds me so much of my time with my Grandfather. What a wonderfully written post. You cannot blame yourself for life getting in the way. It happens to the best of us. I did not go to see my Grandfather when it was near the end for him because I hated seeing him like that. I totally get it.


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