If I Had Known

If I had known you’d leave so soon,

I’d have prepared myself for that day in June.

When you left this earth without a sound

On wings of angels – heavenbound.

I’d have taken you to lunch, ignored the price.

Hugged you more, and asked your advice.

I’d have listened more, and talked a lot less

I’d have given you more joy, and a lot less stress.


If I had known you’d grow so fast

I’d have tried a lot harder to make things last.

I’d have nagged a lot less and played a lot more

Overlooked the mess and each forgotten chore.

I’d have bundled up and gone sledding more

And swam with you and not watched from the shore.

I’d have fished, and wrestled, and enjoyed starry nights

Had many more pets and a lot less fights.


If I had known the years would pass so quickly

I wouldn’t have been quite so prickly.

I’d have questioned less and trusted completely

I would never snap but always answer sweetly.

I’d have savored each sunset, each walk taken together

I’d have overlooked rough roads and really bad weather.

If I had known the life that lay before me

I’d have taken more time to enjoy the journey.



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28 responses to “If I Had Known

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Each line is a thoughtful reminder.

    • Thanks, Georgette. I don’t know why, but the stanzas weren’t separated like I wanted – I went back and put in breaks. The first part was about my mother, who died more than 30 years ago but who somehow stays in my thoughts on an almost daily basis. The next part for my boys, and the last for my sweetheart.

  2. A very touching poem. Made me cry though.

  3. This is really beautiful. A good reminder to us all to live like this every day.

    • It goes so darned fast….I probably wouldn’t really have done anything differently, but I often wish that I had – not in a regretful way, but in a wistful, where did the years go kind of way.

  4. Thank you for sharing, this was beautiful and true.

  5. Beautiful poem about the one sure thing in life–change (in this case, loss). This is a poignant reminder to savor each moment because we have this moment and no other.

    So artfully done, my friend…

  6. I have a few “change poems” you’ve inspired me to pull out… Thanks!

  7. Beautiful! My second just flew the nest, and now that I’m unemployed, I’m taking every opportunity the enjoy what time I have left with the youngest before he leaves.

  8. This was lovely… you are so talented, both funny and sincere. This line really struck me: And swam with you and not watched from the shore.

  9. I’ve been thinking about my mom and my son in conjunction a lot as the latter’s birthday nears. Part of it was, I think, prompted by comments on this post. They say what goes around comes around, and I certainly deserve and accept it if Li’l D later becomes a terror. Still, I’d much rather just go back and do it right by my mom the first time around. At the very least I’d love to go back and say “I forgive you” instead of laughing and saying it wasn’t needed all the times she asked me for forgiveness. I can’t change that, but it’s something I bear in heart for future conversations.

    As for Li’l D, I’ve become a little more impatient with Li’l D since I started blogging. I didn’t really realize it was happening until my laptop’s keyboard broke last weekend and I lost my incentive to spend as much of my waking time curled up in bed and blogging. The last few days have been glorious reminders to get it all in balance. Yesterday Li’l D and I spent the evening piggyback dancing around the living room and bellyflopping onto my bed. His giggles were magic to me, and a great reminder that while other stuff in my life is important, it’s not nearly important to me as being his mom and being in these moments with him.

    Thanks for the lovely added chance to affirm this. ♥

  10. …and i like “I’d have taken you to lunch, ignored the price. continue…

  11. You have such a way with words, K8. This is beautiful. I hope you’ll share it with your husband and boys. Your Mom is in your heart, so she was literally part of the poem.

  12. OK–am teary now, and so agree with tears and laughter often. And –where does the time go???? Like they say, the days can seem slow, and the years fly by with such ease.
    Often I can’t believe my parents are now gone and my children have flown the coop–wow. Something I could not have envisioned five, ten, twenty, thirty years ago.

  13. I always strive to make sure I never miss an opportunity to let those in my life know I love them, but it’s definitely hard to accomplish. Still, I know every time I gave someone a random hug or sent them an “I love you” text will be something I treasure some day when I don’t have the chance.

    This was beautifully written – thank you!

  14. tsonoda148

    This was beautiful. I sensed that you were writing to parents and your kids? It was thought-provoking, poignant and lovely. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. This really hits home….I have some regrets about not making it out to see my sister the last Christmas before she died. She died suddenly, and if I had known………….

  16. Hey, hey, hey, I’m nominating you for Versatile Bloggers Award. It should bring some much-deserved traffic and attention to your great blog. Should you accept the nomination, you have a few things to do. Go to my blog and check out the “rules.”

  17. What a fabulous poem. It is beautiful without being sappy. Thanks for sharing the poem and the pic!

    • Thanks. That is a picture I took from the back step to my house!!! Looking out over the palm trees we have left after Hurricane Charley altered the landscape a few years back. If the clouds are just right I can get a good shot like that.

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