DEAR ABBY: I got into a terrible fight with my father and hadn't spoken to him for about three weeks. One night I had an opportunity to talk to him, but because we'd had a rocky relationship for a while, I foolishly chose to remain angry. It was the biggest mistake of my life, because that night he died in a terrible car accident.
I think about my father every day and miss him terribly. It's been 10 years since his death, and every day I have regretted putting my anger before my love for him. Life is short, and there is nothing worse than feeling that it's "too late." I have written a poem that describes how I feel:
I could have been kinder, it's easy to see.
I could have made time for just you and me.
You taught me a lesson I'll share if I may,
There are no second chances, so make use of today.
Go to your loved ones. Tell them you care.
Don't be put off; they won't always be there.
It may not be easy, it may not seem right,
But I guarantee you'll sleep better tonight.
I hope my poem will help someone to reach out to a loved one. You never know if you'll get the chance again. -- LORI IN ONAWA, IOWA
DEAR LORI: Your poem delivers a powerful message. Perhaps you'll find comfort in the thought that others may be spared your misfortune because you chose to share your experience.