Day 19 is something I regret.

With one exception, I don’t regret.

That’s not to say I like remembering stupid things I’ve said or done, or pain I’ve caused another person, or terrible events I’ve survived. However, had any one of those hurtful or depressing or enraging things not happened, I would not be where I am right now. It’s all part of a path, the highs and lows of human experience, and – however much I may or may not enjoy an individual thing – I am who and what I am because of the sum total of what I’ve done and where I’ve been.

And I’m pretty cool with the present.

Of course, there remains that one, lone exception.

A few years ago, I met a brilliant young man. We became incredibly close friends; he was practically a housemate, and we were in each other’s heads more than anyone else. We were partners-in-crime and confidantes. I even did my best to help him when he adopted two children, first a girl and, later, a boy.

After being so close for a couple years, a chain of misunderstandings and hurtful words began a downward spiral that, even once recognized and acknowledged, we could not stop with all our apologies and efforts. Six months of a slow dissolution ended with him moving well out of my reach. Our parting was as amiable as it could be, recognizing that we could no longer work as we had before, wishing each other the best, doing what was necessary so the children could be happy.

I regret that ending. I regret that I could not be, and am not, a part of his life. I regret that I cannot watch those amazing children come into their own.

I miss them all dearly, and I suspect there will always be an emptiness in my life where they once were.