There are some things I regret in this life. There have been days wasted, meaningless calories consumed, and opportunities missed. More specifically, there are some things I regret about my relationship with my mother. My desire for independence. My need to do everything, even at a young age, on my own. But days like today, my mind is filled with a few of these one thousand gifts, moments of no regret, only overflowing thankfulness.
I do not regret trekking across Paris to an obscure market to buy a jar of handmade salted caramel. I don’t regret packing it carefully with sheets of newspaper and sweatshirts to get it home. I don’t regret sitting with my mother with snow falling outside as we pooled it onto warm banana bread.
I don’t regret wasting the day a month before she died re-watching Anne of Green Gables with her. I don’t regret that I have never in fact watched these movies without her. I don’t regret those hours that could have been spent doing something more productive, both as a child and as an adult, watching a red-headed girl who I was desperate to end up like, next to a preacher’s wife who I actually would end up like.
I don’t regret the wasted ingredients and numerous groceries it took for me to learn to cook. It was bad at first – really, really bad. Disgusting. But she tried everything I made. I don’t regret humbling myself a few times to ask her to show me her recipe, or to ask her to step in and help.
I don’t regret the mornings I let her hug me a little longer than I wanted. I don’t regret listening intently to the stories she told me, about Jesus and about herself. And about the two of them together. I don’t regret the times when I admitted defeat and let her be the hero.
I don’t regret letting her in to the secret rooms of my heart a few times. I don’t regret letting her walk with me, on some level, through heartbreak. I don’t regret the words of wisdom she offered me without invitation, and I don’t regret accepting them, sometimes with her knowledge, sometimes not.
I don’t regret the mornings she woke me up too early to feed me poached eggs, the birthdays where she went a little too over the top, or the Christmases when she gave me clothes I would never wear. I don’t regret the way she still cried every time I led worship or spoke, even when I was 29 years old. I don’t regret the way she embarrassed me by being so proud.
Today I am thankful for the most beautiful things, which are often the most simple. The way she threw her head back and her laugh rang across a room. The way she lived loudly and loved extravagantly. The way she poured into us with abandon, the way she made mistakes, the way she scowled when we teased her. For these gifts and more, I am thankful beyond regret.