We all have them, big ones, small ones, ones we don’t even realize we have until something smacks us in the face.

I know that we can learn from our regrets, try to live our lives without regrets, but that is much easier said than done.

One of my biggest, most immensely overwhelming regret in my life was BA.

I loved BA with more love than I had ever felt for a man.

We shared everything with each other, every dirty secret, every shame, every triumph, every fleeting thought and idea… EVERYTHING.

We spent hours on the phone when he was on the road, he would read me his writing, I would read him mine.  He was published; I was working on a novel.  He was always encouraging, helping, gently pushing.

BA lived in the Columbus area and I in the Cincinnati area.

He wanted to find a job and move to Cincinnati.

What I did will make no sense to the rational reader, I’m sure.

I told him no.

“Didn’t you love him?” the reader might ask.



Because I loved him so much that I thought he deserved someone better than me.

I will never forget how hurt he was.  I was devastated.  I can’t even write this without crying.

We went for a while without talking, and then slipped back into a friendship.  We mostly discussed writing or books or photography…

He was dating again and I knew it, I thought it was best for him, even though it was like a knife in my heart.

Then he met A… he would tell me about her.  I could tell very soon that she had fallen in love with him, something I could totally understand.

He would say that she was my opposite, serious and hard working compared to my flighty, artsy vibe.  I thought that was good for him.  He could build a future with someone like her.

I never met A.

Until BA died.

BA was a runner and cyclist.  He was very fit.

But he had a heart attack one morning as he was driving to work.

He was able to call 911, by the time they reached him, he had to be resuscitated.   They were successful at resuscitating him, but BA never woke up.

I didn’t know, until I saw a bizarre post on his Facebook.  Someone was praying for him or something.  I got this horrible empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I called him; of course there was no answer.

The panic began to set in.  I messaged his brother on Facebook and he immediately got back with me and told me what had happened.

I completely fell apart at my desk in my office.  I knew.

I reached out to A.  She was so kind as her own world was falling apart.  She kept me up to date on his condition.  They held out some hope that he might wake up.

I began to hope too, even though everything that I knew told me that it was extremely unlikely.

I traveled to Columbus to see him; my thoughts became so irrational… Maybe he’d wake up for me, I just needed to talk to him, touch him… maybe if he heard my voice, felt my touch, he’d come back.

When I arrived at the hospital, A and I knew each other immediately, even though we had never met.  We held each other and broke down.

Once we were able to catch our breaths, she took my hand and led me back to the ICU area “He will want to see you.”

We stood in there together at his bedside as she stroked his face, straightened his bed as tears silently trailed down her face.

I sobbed, so loudly at one point that a nurse came in to check on him.

I wanted time alone with him, but thought that it would be too insensitive to ask.

After a while, one of his doctors came in and called the family out to have a meeting about his condition.

I was finally alone with him; I went to the other side of his bed so I could get closer to him, unencumbered by all of the lines, tubes and monitors.

I kissed his sweet face and as my own tears dripped onto his pale blue gown… I BEGGED, I PLEADED with him to come back.

COME BACK TO ME… I would make it all up to him; I’d keep him and never let him go.  I told him over and over how much I loved him until my voice began to fail me… then I bent closer to him and whispered it in his ear.

I begged him to come back for A, I tried to negotiate with a God that I don’t even believe exists (but he did).

As I cried and begged and promised, his eyelids fluttered with intensity… in my heart I will always believe that he heard me.

The family returned and I knew I had to leave before I completely lost it.  A and I embraced, she promised to keep me up to date on his condition, and I walked out of the hospital… I never saw my precious BA again.

A few days later the decision was made to terminate the life support and the next day he died.

It will be a year next week, and sometimes the pain feels as fresh and raw as it did the day I walked out of that hospital.

I kept in contact with A, checking on her every few days, she was devastated and I worried about her.

Now, a year later, she is one of my best friends.

I wonder how surprised BA would be.  He said that we were opposites, yet we were the same in our love for him.

Along with my regret, I feel guilt.  I wonder if he had moved here, would he have died?  Would I have recognized something in the fact that he didn’t feel well the day before the heart attack?  Could my nursing training, background have saved his life?

Some days I tell myself that I could have, that it’s my fault… then other days I know that it’s not.

Even as close as A and I have become, I don’t know what she knows about the relationship between BA and I and I’m sure that I could never ask.

So what have I learned you might ask?

At this point, I’m not even sure.

Do I think that I could ever think I was good enough for someone so wonderful?  Not yet.

Do I think I can ever love someone like that again?  I’m afraid to.

Do I think I was stupid for letting him go?  For me, yes… for him, no.  He created a happy life with A.

Do I miss BA? Does my heart ache?  Every single day…