What I Should Have Done: A Story of Loss and Regret

UsMenTalkBy UsMenTalkMarch 9, 20205 Minutes

Hi, my name is Jimmy and I’ve known your host Larry Bryan for about fifty years. So when Larry asked me to tell my story, I of course said yes. So listen up and don’t end up in my shoes.

I’ll never forget January 1985. I met my soon-to-be wife, Karen, for the first time at a local pub. The chemistry was instant and we talked for hours as if no one else was in the place. Two days later we went out on our first date and by October of that same year we were married. Karen gave me three beautiful sons and twenty-two wonderful years of marriage. By all accounts, we had what I thought was a typical marriage.

Fast forward to March 2007. Karen has a headache that persists for a week. We believe it’s an inner ear infection and she just needs some antibiotics, so off to the doctor we go to get a prescription. A couple of tests later, and Karen’s in the hospital having brain surgery. It’s a cancerous brain tumor the size of a golf ball that originated in her lungs. Six months later in October, the same month we were to celebrate our anniversary with an Alaskan cruise, I buried my wife Karen instead.

The weeks, months and years that followed were emotionally difficult and painful. Especially after everyone who supported me in my moment of need went back to their daily lives. I was sad and depressed, and filled with guilt and regret.

As I look back today, there are so many things I wish I had done.
• I wish I had told Karen how much I loved her more often, if not every day.
• I wish I had left her a trail of kindness and compassion to be remembered by, every day.
• I wish I had celebrated things with her more often and not put them off until later. I terribly regret not going to Italy with her and instead letting her go with her sister. I told her I would go next time, not knowing there wouldn’t be a next time.
• I wish I had shown her love by doing the little things, like telling her more often how much I appreciated her, and telling her what a great wife, mother, partner and human being she was.

Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. Learn from me, and take my advice.
• Never go to bed angry with each other.
• Don’t assume you won’t be next to walk in my shoes.
• You can get back most everything you lose in life, except the life of the person you love.

I hope I have inspired at least one of you to do what I didn’t. There’s no second chance for me, but there is for you. Do or say something nice today for those that you love. You’ll thank me later. And for those of you who have lost a loved one or are currently watching your loved one fight for their life, tell me what I can do to help.

Thank you Larry, and to all of you for letting me share my story. It helps me feel better when I get to tell everyone about the magnificence of my beloved Karen.

God bless you all,


Okay guys, whaddaya think?

Have you had a similar experience? Can you relate? Share your thoughts, your stories, your questions and advice so we can all learn from one another and make better decisions. Plus, you’ll get some huge karma points for doing so.

Have a great day and a great life.

Larry Bryan
A regular guy, another opinion.℠