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I do know now what I have

"If I only knew then what I know now."

Wise words.

These are words of regret. Regret is a painful thing to live with.

Earlier this evening I went out to dinner with my pop and one of his friends. We went to a local Chinese place. While eating we had conversation.

Pop's friend has two kids from his first wife which he calls "good kids", and three step-children from his second marriage who are all unappreciative of all his efforts. This man I speak of is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt due to medical expenses from his 2nd wife.

One of the kids who is in her early 20's could not afford a car. So he bought one for her. She drove it around and loved the fact it was her car - but it's not her car - it's the father's. He paid for it.

Every weekend this girl hangs out at the mall and spends money. Recently, her debt caught up to her. A notice came in the mail that the car loan has defaulted, adding to an already bad credit score for the father. He finally got fed up, and told the bank to take the car - he's had enough.

Of course, in her mind, it's her father's fault for taking the car away. Never mind the fact that she could have paid the bill. Never mind the fact that she could have stopped wasting money needlessly on trivial things when you have prior fiscal responsibilities. The blame will all be placed on him.

To that girl: You're an ungrateful brat. You have a father that cares about you, loves you and buys things for you when he doesn't have to. And now, you're going to get upset when you have no rhyme or reason to. You made your own bed. Lie in it.

Commandment #5: "Honor your father and your mother..." While I may not be a religious man - this is sage advice to take to heart. You honor the ones who care for you - whether the bloodlines are shared or not.

To that girl: Your father knows you will grow up to live a miserable existence if all you do is take your father (and mother) for granted.

I do not take my father for granted. I full well realize what I have and cherish the fact he is alive and well. You, on the other hand, have absolutely no conception of how lucky you are. Someday your luck will run out. Your beauty will fade. Your skin will wrinkle. You will grow old, and your father will pass on - and then you'll have no one but yourself to blame for the needless self-absorbed attitude you have.

Will it take your father's death for you to learn the value of a parent? Let's hope not.

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