I know as a parent, I've made too many mistakes to possibly count. And many of which I would be ashamed to list. I think all parents make mistakes: we care too much, we care too little about the wrong things, we jump in when we should have stood back and then stood back when maybe we should have jumped in. I'm sure that at one time or another, we've all been ashamed of our families or ashamed of where we've come from. I believe that is part of growing up.
I know-looking back-that when I was a very young, single mother, I focused on the wrong things. I was selfish. I desperately wanted to finish college so that my own parents would be proud of me. So that I would be a good role model to my son and daughter. There was a time when certain choices most likely would have taken me in an entirely different direction. Perhaps, had I made a different choice, I would have a beautiful home, a new car, nice clothes: the kind of life a child would be proud to show off to friends. Instead, I didn't choose the college-educated husband, the guy who was a scientist. I chose a person who I felt was truly good. A kindred spirit. A little rough around the edges, but a good, good person.
I guess you don't only lose people in death. You lose people by choice as well. Sometimes people decide that for whatever reason, you just don't fit into their lives any more. And it hurts just the same.