If Only

As the old woman sat on her porch in her rocking chair, she contemplated her life.
She didn’t do it often, because it brought her much sadness. But at the same time, happiness, so deep, it caused her heart to ache.
It was a warm afternoon for the season. The only sound the woman’s old ears could hear was the pine trees whispering to themselves as they swayed in the gentle, warm breeze.
Staring up at the vast, white, fluffy clouds with their backdrop of sky blue, she reminded herself how lucky she was to have such a fruitful life.
If only…
What had been done was done. The past was the past. Nothing could be changed. How poetic.
If only…
As a young mother, she wasn’t ready. And though she hadn’t been prepared, she did her best. Love and trust. They grew up together.
It reminded her of baby birds leaving the nest, never to come back home again.
She wondered if mama birds ever missed their babies. She supposed no one will ever know because the mama still sings her song deep in the forest.
If only…
The children would remember some of the happy times, rather than the negative. But experience comes with age.
Her mind took her back to the beaches in the summer, BBQs with friends, game nights, zoo visits, movie night, pizza, monster rallies, bedtime stories, singing along in the car, dancing in the living room. The old woman sighed.
A calm came over her as the warm sun hit her face. She smiled. Shifting in her chair, she reached for her glass of wine and took a sip. The sweet, tart flavor filled her mouth, and she slowly swallowed it.
No one will ever know it isn’t 5 o’clock because she’s alone.
No point hanging onto the negative.
Regrets? Of course, but one must move past it, or they will never be happy in life.
Forgiveness. Forgiving herself.
She sighed a heavy sigh again.
If only…
As the sun set slowly over the horizon, disappearing into the trees, a more cooling breeze brushed past her. She realized she’d been traveling.
Where did she go? Feeling the loss in her soul but the joy in her heart, she picked up her now empty wine glass.
She knew where she had gone.
Lifting her weary bones from her rocker, she shuffled into her cabin. Tomorrow would bring another day of memories and “if only’s…”

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