Photo by Larisa Reifschneider

Regrets – I think it is good to look back at our lives from time to time and try to learn. Today I look back at my life with Jeri my ex-wife. Good or bad and now pushing 60 years of age I now wear my emotions on my sleeve for all to see. So here we go – When folks say they have lived a life without regrets, I truly do not believe them. I think it is normal and part of the human condition to have a few regrets of the life we have lived. None of us are perfect and look back and wished we had not said or did something from our past. I know that I am not the only one that feels this way.

My biggest regret in life was my marriage to Jeri. Not that I had married her for it thrilled me at the thought of being her husband. My regret was because I at the time did not understand how to keep a marriage stable and loving. I had no role model to pattern my life or my marriage off of. Not an excuse, just the cards that fate had dealt me.

I have been in love a few times in my life, but it is my love for Jeri that I will always use as an example of how the feeling of love should be. In fact, it was I that let my marriage to Jeri falter. I failed in keeping a good woman happy. At the time I blamed her and blamed everything else, but in reality it was me. It is in my nature to be a lone wolf and no matter how much I try to conceal that it eventually comes out. I have come to accept it for what it is.

One thing I have no regrets about is that Jeri became the mother of my three children. Eric, Matt, and Larisa. My children are all successful in their own right and are caring and loving beings. Jeri is a wonderful mother and grandmother to our grandkids.

Over the years Jeri and I have remained friends and on speaking terms. This I also have no regrets. Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

First time I saw you were young and just seventeen,
Absolutely the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.

Remembering that day, just like it was yesterday,
Hoping to never lose those memories I hope to pray.

You answered the door, and I was mystified,
Little did I know within the year you would be my bride.

To be a good husband, I had no role model to show me the way,
My father was not one I ever wanted to portray,

What you saw in me I will never know,
But my honor was to become your loving beau.

In the beginning we gave into our hearts,
And my adoration for you flew off the charts.

Time stood still even if it was only within my mind,
At the time the stars and the moon were properly aligned.

At the end of December we walked the walk,
On that long ago Christmas Eve day at three o’clock.

Jeri you were so beautiful in your wedding dress of white,
All I ever wanted to be was your shining forever knight.

We vowed the vows on that so long ago winter day,
Hoping to be forever yours until we both turned gray.

Over the years there was the sound of little feet,
Of three wonderful and beautiful children we got to meet.

Our marriage was never perfect we both have to say,
The roller coaster of living life came into constant play.

We gave hearts, made the start, then life took a fateful turn,
Marriage needed more than love – sadly I had to learn.

To match the moments of joy, there were moments of hurt,
So many in fact there was no way we could ever avert.

In the beginning we had come together, then we fell apart,
And in time we broke each other heart.

Looking back- differently I should have handled it,
At the time the lone wolf in my just didn’t have the grit.

The urge to run became so overbearing,
Wrongfully the cowboy in me saw no repairing.

Now years later I have so many regrets,
Sometimes the memories and hurt are as bad as it gets.

As time has passed the wounds and memories have healed,
Pushing sixty I finally have learned to lower my shield.

We still see each other for children and now grandchildren we share,
Even though we will never be again—I will always love you I declare.

The fate that our marriage and our love took, I am no longer sad,
Just grateful for the almost 20 years we had.
Kurt James

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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Kurt’s family roots were from western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years, Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographers through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. The Denver Post, PM Magazine, and 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado featured his poetry. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour, and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 16 books all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand, Kurt James novels, short stories, reference books, and poetry, are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt has 3 books that he is currently writing. The 8th book in his Rocky Mountain Series - Raphael Eye for an Eye. His third ghost town reference book, Kansas Ghost Towns, Hauntings, Treasure Tales, and Other BS. And a western/horror novel - Devil’s Tower Spirit of Chiha Tanka. Kurt is a proud member of Western Writers of America.

14 thoughts on “Regrets

  • October 18, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Very heart warming and sad story my friend. Real life events always tell the greatest tales. I am sorry that it didn’t work out for you. Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. Nice work my friend.

    • October 18, 2018 at 1:09 PM

      Thanks Paul. If not for the roller coaster of what life brings – what would we as poets write about? You know looking back on my marriage it was part of the trail that makes me who I am. Jeri and I are actually in a good place now. We still see each other since we are forever entwined with our kids and grandkids. All is good.

  • October 18, 2018 at 8:54 PM

    You know Kurt, this emotive very visual life experience rings loud and true in my life as well. I can’t tell you the importance of family, regardless of divorce. If two adults can be rationale through the whole ordeal and not allow their own personal feelings towards each other at the time, the sadness, meanness, fighting, courts, anger and such affect their children, but instead continually instill int them how much they are loved by both parents is so important.

    Unfortunately that didn’t happen with me, divorced now going on 19 years, 4 children and I only have the love and care from one of them. When a parent turns a child for no other reason than divorcing her or him, there is no worst sin. I’ve lived through this and it cut and hurt and bled me to the core of my soul. I’m proud of the both of you, accepting that you couldn’t stay married to each other, however remaining friends and loving parents to your children is God’s gift to all of you. I wish I had been given that gift too.

    Your poem resonates of how much you deeply loved your wife and the regrets smack me with sadness that you couldn’t both have kept it together, but I never question a persons reasons for divorce, there are so many reasons and stories too personal to share. I, like you am a lone wolf, that too has been as a result of my upbringing and my lonely life as a boy, it followed me through my life and today I sadly live a fairly reclusive lifestyle. But I’ve accepted my destiny and I’ve learned to live with that my friend. Well penned, much enjoyed your personal feelings let loose here, it’s a hard subject and thing to do, but releasing it is also important to go on in life and it appears that you’ve been able to do that.

    • October 19, 2018 at 3:26 AM

      Vincent as always you have reached in and grabbed the essence of my poetry. I knew when I posted this piece that you of all people would understand what I was trying to convey. And I thank you for your heartfelt reply. I wrote it just for me and me alone as I always do to help to me understand the demons that haunt the lone wolf that resides within me. I have read your poetry and felt your emotions as well and I knew that there was a lone wolf in you as well. We just got to say, “Hell, it is what it is!” and move on. Otherwise we will wither and die. Thank you once again.

  • October 18, 2018 at 10:54 PM

    T’is sad when what began with so much love and hope slowly falls apart. Very heart-rending piece well penned and emotive. Great work, Kurt.

    • October 19, 2018 at 3:28 AM

      Thank you Phyllis for stopping by for a peek within my soul and the nice comment. Wearing ones emotions on their sleeve is a scary thing sometimes.

  • December 16, 2018 at 11:13 PM

    Kurt, this almost read like a lamentation of the bitter-sweet of the bygone times. My heart ached to see the poem and living in the memories that you wrote. Unseen words entered my heart as I identified with some of the things you said as I consider my marriage to my sweet Afryka and the troubles that I cause her. Hoping to learn from the lessons that you teach to make sure that I have the wherewithal to support our marriage.

    I want to say that I see the love you have for Jeri in your words, but you are such an emotive write you help me to see the love that I feel for my wife in the words that you write for Jeri. She is someone of great value from what you say of her and I love her instantly for that.

    Thanks for sharing such a personal and deeply sacred experience with the world. It takes bravery to do that; and you, my friend, are brave. You have opened yourself to potential attacks, but you have revealed your writer’s heart. I hope to do that in my future writings.

    • December 17, 2018 at 2:58 AM

      Thank you Roderick for your kind words. It would please me if one such as yourself saw or read something in my words to help them in their own marriage. Affairs of the heart are never easy and any help along the way no matter how small are always welcomed. May you and your wife walk the walk until death do you part.

  • December 17, 2018 at 9:50 PM

    Kurt, although I am still married to my wife (36 years now) I can totally relate to life’s many regrets. There have been times my own marriage was on the rocks but , thankfully, somehow we turned it around and it is now going strong.
    I have two sons who have experienced broken relationships and have children to other partners. This was touching and a fitting tribute to Jeri. You have probably said things here you had trouble saying to her in person. If that’s the case I hope she reads it. Wishing you all the best this Christmas and in the coming year.

    • December 18, 2018 at 3:02 AM

      John thank you for stopping by and I do realize my poem and the meaning above is not just my own regrets. Countless others have walked the same walk as I have in love and marriage. You must have a crystal ball my friend for you are correct in stating I wrote many things here that I never said to Jeri in person. That is my own cross to bear so to speak – it is the lone wolf and the cowboy in me that makes me that way – probably not the best thing. Maybe some day she will read my words. Maybe in a small way they will make a difference. Fate and destiny sometimes are never our friend.

  • December 19, 2018 at 11:27 PM

    Thank you for sharing these deep, touching thoughts. I, too, have an estranged marriage (still valid on paper). I see that person, however, as a friend, and do not regret the experience. Two lovely daughters were fruits of the relationship, and, I think, some wisdom about myself was gained as well.

    Have you thought about just doing something with Jen? A night out? A camping trip? Sightseeing? A visit to a history or art museum? Just because you are no longer married doesn’t mean you can’t share something together besides gatherings with the children. Of course, if she has remarried, this idea might not be an option. In that case, writing may be your best friend.

    Have you thought about writing a novel based on your experience with your relationship?


    • December 20, 2018 at 6:44 PM

      Thank you Marie for taking the time to comment on this piece. Living life and regrets walk hand in hand I think – we all have them I believe. In reality it is these regrets that make us human and the people we have grown to be. Maybe they make us stronger. Even though I have written novels, but this will not be one of them. It was hard enough to write this poem.

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