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Shoulda Coulda Wouldas Won't Bring Him Back

woman pondering regrets

By Theresa Anthony

“Regret is … an unavoidable result of any loss, for in loss we lose the tomorrow that we needed to make right our yesterday or today”

~Gerald Lawson Sittser

Recently I was interviewed as a guest on a podcast about my book, My 13th Station. One of the questions asked by the host was whether there was anything I would have done differently regarding my son’s tragic descent. My response was an immediate “Absolutely!”

Granted, parents are not provided a How-To manual in the event their child might develop mental health or substance abuse issues. We fly by the seat of our pants, putting out fires and hoping with all our hearts that the madness caused by addiction will just stop, to go away as quickly as it seemed to envelop our child. Ah, but the monster is a wily foe that is relentless in its pursuit of victory, humbling even the most devoted parents.

So, there I was, on the air, asked if I had any regrets. Yes, indeed, I readily admitted. I figured, in the moment, that being honest about my blunders is more productive for helping the listeners who might also be engaged in similar warfare than to paint a pristine picture that is patently false. I have regrets, but I know in my heart that I did my very best while in the thick of it. Seriously, only in hindsight can you spot the chinks in the armor.

Because I was in the midst of a spiritual battle and fighting an invisible enemy, I can see with the gift of retrospection where I could have been more effective against the adversary. You may be wondering who is this enemy, adversary, wily foe that she is referring to? Laugh if you will, but I am referring to the ultimate Enemy, the devil himself.

My book centers around ongoing paranormal activities that were occurring in our home and in nearby neighbors’ homes. As nutty as that may sound to some who have not yet read the story, I am pretty certain you will change your tune after giving it a once-over. Spiritual warfare is real, and it was disturbing, creepy, and destructive to those of us who lived through it. In the expanse of just 16 homes there were three suicides and two known suicide attempts. The chaos that resulted in our stretch of homes was attributed to a woman practicing the occult or witchcraft right next door to us. I kid you not.

The regrets I harbor pertaining to my son’s demise both involve my own insufficient action when sorely needed. One example of my shortcomings occurs when my son was about 15, at the outset of a particular gateway he was opening up and I just wasn’t proactive enough. The other example occurred a week before my son took his life a decade later. In both instances I fell down on the job.

Do I blame myself for his death? Heck no! I will never blame myself for that tragic outcome. Do I wonder if I had engaged more vehemently way back when he was in his early teens that he might not have become a target? Absolutely. Do I wonder if I had followed a priest’s instructions to the “T” might my boy have survived? You betcha. But speculate as I will, the truth is I did my very best, given my own limitations, and no amount of shoulda coulda wouldas will change the outcome. All I can do now is try to inform others through my story and hope they might be more proactive with their child.

The book is available on Amazon:

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