I am asking myself how time would be different if I could have some do-overs. In the first place I would tell her in words how much I loved her son, he was absolutely adorable and looked just like her and Tom both.  Now I’m a Mother-in-law, I know that is important.

I would ask how she could make perfect fried eggs every time even before Teflon. My chance of a perfect egg was, and is, about 50% if I put my mind to it, 10% if not. Did she ever sew? How did she handle Esther’s long hair, didn’t it ever get tangled? When, where, and how did she meet her Tom? What things made her decide to marry him? Were there broken hearts left behind?

I was wrapped in my little shell, and had no creativity when it came to making conversation with a precious lady whose world consisted of her home, husband, children, and God.

After a good foundation of facts, maybe she could have told me how it felt to lose a toddler, to say good-bye to her ten year old son as he was sent off to another country, to see her daughter marry a foreigner and move to another country, to see her husband follow after.

How did she deal with making her children feel secure when the bombs were falling all around? Did she ever cry? Did she ever have a friend who was “Jesus with skin on” for her? I would give her a chance to tell me what she loved most about her Tom, and did she always pop her buttons with pride for him?

And then those last years when the Alzheimer’s set in, I would pick her brain with scripture verses and words of hymns.  How long did she remember “He Abides, He Abides, Hallelujah, He abides with me?  I’m rejoicing night and day as I walk the narrow way, For the Comforter abides with me?” *

How withdrawn I was; how much I removed myself from her pain.. Oh, precious Jesus, how much I would love a do-over!


*Composer: Herbert Buffum

Sunday Writing Prompt – “Faith Restored”  Write about someone who influenced you.



About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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32 Responses to I’D LOVE A DO-OVER

  1. This is beautiful. Yes, I wish I could have a few do-overs, too.

  2. Melissa Zelniker-Presser says:

    Me too

  3. sobering and beautiful thoughts Oneta—much like my ‘last word’ thoughts I had on a rainy night’s drive home this evening…

  4. floridaborne says:

    You were fortunate to have a great mother in law. I have no doubt she loved that you appreciated her.

    • oneta hayes says:

      She was of a generation who did not expect much recognition except in their cooking and child rearing. However, she was a pleasant and welcoming hostess. Sweet memories.Thanks for the comment.

  5. I think we all were somewhat in our own little worlds when we were younger. Now that we’re older, the shoe’s on the other foot. (But then, when our children, children-in-law, or grandchildren want to know more about us, they can read our blogs, right? 😉 )

  6. Shreya says:

    She’ll be showering her blessings upon you from heaven. God bless you. How is your health, Oneta?

  7. Verya moving piece. I too am withdrawn and missed my chance to get to know some very wonderful, inspirational people but have since endeavoured to let others know how special they are to me before the chance slips away. Beautiful tribute, I am sure your love and admiration get across.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Seems like I want and expect a lot more attention than I realized was important to my elders. Sorry about being so dense in my understanding. Indeed, the shoe is not on the other foot. 😀

  8. Faye says:

    Very moving. A wonderful tribute. if only….. I too would like a do-over not with my Mum-in-Law she knew I loved her dearly but with ‘others’ on the way who influenced me in right paths. I was too busy doing stuff. Why does so much ‘doing’ take away from actually ‘being’ for folk on our life’s journey. Kids, teenagers, and young mums can all become ‘self focussed’ on the ‘;have to dos’ and less on living vital moments that can never come again.

    • oneta hayes says:

      You have used wise words. Self-focused does describe the lives of many of us. It is hard to even do good for others without having some selfishness involved. Thank you.

  9. atimetoshare.me says:

    I had the opportunity of sitting with my mother in law as she approached the end of her long life. She was suffering from heart failure and in a state of unconsciousness. I kept praying the 23rd psalm with her, knowing it was her favorite. I don’t recall of I said the words right and imagined she might correct me if I didn’t. I thought of all her years of life, the loss of her husband at a very young age and her perseverance. I thought about her strong relationship with God and even though it seemed she couldn’t hear me, I thanked her for her blessing me with her son. When she took her final breath I was to hold her hand and say goodbye. I’m so glad I had that opportunity.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Days of sacrifice without any plan for benefit to yourself – and yet you reap great rewards in the knowledge of having been there for her. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. Put it on your blog for the benefit of others who might be weary in “well doing” particularly in the area of care taking.

  10. I understand, I would love a do over with my Mom, I wasn’t all I could or should have been, to her.

  11. judyjourneys says:

    Oneta, I have been thinking recently of questions I wish I had asked my mother. In one way I knew her, and in another way I did not. I really think this type of wondering is part of our own aging process. In the early years, we were “consumed” with making our own lives work.

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