A Moment I’ll Never Get Back Made Me Stop Choosing to Miss What Matters Most in This Life

I don’t want this moment back because I miss it. I want it back because I missed it.


While Alaska’s mesmerizing twilight sky began its bid adieu, kaleidoscoped into an explosion of joy-soaked beauty, and finished off the day by fashioning itself into an arrow fit for Cupid’s quiver, one that would pierce your heart and spill every ounce of awe-inspired love you have to give, I was inside the lodge; working to show our hosts my gratitude and earn my keep by helping wash dishes and prep for dinner.
During my self-imposed kitchen shift of false importance, I was oblivious to the spectacular backdrop bestowed upon our son as he cast his line off the banks of the Kenai River. I was blind to the vision of him living his best life and crossing off the item at the tip-top of his bucket list at the lucky age of just 14. Because I was doing chores.
By choice, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing and I missed this magnificence I’m only able to know about because thankfully his sweet, photographically gifted girlfriend stood beside him and captured the grandeur for all to see.
And I wonder, how many more of these moments have I missed and don’t even know about? How many more on top of those of which I am aware? Had I a do-over for this snippet of time, now that I’m keenly aware of the price I paid in forgoing it I’d postpone any other perceived duty I felt obligated to. I’d bow out of it. I’d blow it off completely and ask for forgiveness later and/or make it up in spades. I’d skip eating on clean dishes or otherwise altogether to fill up instead on the soul-expanding warmth and wonder that enveloped that river bank, that boy. I’d do anything but miss witnessing this moment. Because I can’t get it back.
Every time I see this photo, I’m simultaneously overcome with gratitude for all it represents and twisted into a tight pretzel of regret. I was right there and yet I wasn’t there for it. And how many of these priceless moments are we given? Not enough. I know that because these are the kind we want back. These are the minutes we long for. Not moments spent trying to people please. Not doing what we think we must at the cost of what we can’t recover. Not trying to be a good person only to find we’ve come up short on the actual goods.
I use my hard feelings regarding this poor choice I made on where and how to show up that precious summer evening to remind myself I’m at my best, filled to the brim and able to give my utmost and experiencing life to the fullest possibility provided to me when I’m fully present for what’s truly important in the current moment. It’s missing this one-of-a-kind moment that permisses me now to choose the way to show up that will cost me the least remorse and pay the highest hindsight dividends.
Inevitably, I still can’t be present for every moment. There will be magical minutes I’ll sorely miss for not being able to attend them. We’ve a daughter busy making her own marvelous memories as well, so time is often split in two on my watch. I work outside the home, to help ensure we can eat and wear shoes. Life and all it requires of us happens and I’m only one person, I can’t be in more than one physical place at a time.
But what I can do is remember to never again not CHOOSE how I truly want to show up in important moments for my most important people. Especially moments encapsulating the potential quality of Alaska serenading with her sumptuous, siren-song skies and beckoning with her bounty of bucket list offerings. I can never choose in favor of a sorry sink full of sudsy dishes again.
For I don’t want this moment back because I miss it. I want it back because I missed it.


Photo credit: Miss Sonna Faulkner, @snf.photography

3 thoughts on “A Moment I’ll Never Get Back Made Me Stop Choosing to Miss What Matters Most in This Life

  1. I hear ya. But sometimes we Mums have to do what we have to do; and our children have to have their own precious experiences without us… it’s the sadness of living life as a parent. I always stop to watch a sunset if I can, but how magical that it got captured for eternity!


  2. Loved reading the article. You are a beautiful and caring person. You and your family are precious and we are so happy things are working out the way they should. I do also believe God’s blessings have been earned. Love you all.


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