Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I was thirteen. I'd babysat for the Hoffman's regularly for the previous year or so, they'd come to see me as reliable. So, when they went on vacation for a week, they hired me to come by and check on the place, water the cows.

Well, they left, and it was a good half mile walk down the road, so I didn't go the first day.
The second, third and fourth days passed, I still didn't go down the road.
Didn't make it the fifth, six, seventh, eighth or ninth days either.

About a week after they came back, I hadn't heard anything, so with my head hung low, went over there to confess to my dereliction of duty.

I've never forgotten the thirty minutes that followed. The animals were fine, but only because one of the neighbors had stopped by to find the water tanks bone dry. Dr. Hoffman was disappointed in me. He'd relied on me, I let him down. He didn't yell, but he didn't need to. I was yelling at myself.

They didn't call my parents to complain as I thought they would.
They never called me again to babysit, either.

I've felt badly about my actions ever since. I let them down. I let myself down.

I would give a lot to change what I didn't do. If I could be given another chance, I'd show up every day to take care of things, to make sure the animals were all right. If I could be given another chance, I'd do right by my word; instead of words of broken trust, I'd remember smiles and laughter.

I learned a valuable lesson that day - it's the last time I said I'd take care of people or animals and didn't follow through.  Yet, yet. Yet I wish there was some way to atone; to set things right.

But there's not.
Some things can't be undone, can't be fixed, can't be made right.
Some mistakes, we just have to live with.

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