It will be on my tombstone.
If only I had ... done this, or that, or spoken up sooner, or, at all.
If only I had ... spent more time with my kids, worked less, run more, eaten better, slept more, oh, hell, that's not true.
I actually don't say that very often. But when I do, it has a powerful effect.
This year my uncle died. He was 99. And I really thought he'd live forever. He was still driving. He did yoga. He was on the treadmill every day. And, of course, he played piano. In concert. At least once a month. And he taught at Bates College.
And earlier in the year, his last, he said that one of his performances was his absolutely best. Ever. This was a man who had played at Carnegie Hall. Three times. He had debuted a piece by Igor Stravinsky. And several of Aaron Copland's. A man who reached his peak at 99.
So here it comes. If only I had ... asked him whether he had a bunch of pictures in his closet(s). If only I had asked him who was in them all.
Then I'd know who they were.
But I didn't.
So I don't.