Explain your biggest regret — as though to a small child.
“What is wrong, Little Lucy,” Grandpa said. “You look so mean and sad.”
“It is nothing,” Little Lucy said.
“You mean it is nothing or there is nothing I can do?” Grandpa said.
“There is nothing you can do,” Little Lucy said.
“Well, at least tell me about it,” Grandpa said. “If there is nothing I can do than it doesn’t hurt to tell me. And if you share just a little of your sadness with me that’s less for you.”
“It doesn’t work that way, Grandpa,” Little Lucy said. “Then you just have two sad people.”
“There’s no denying it,” Grandpa said. “Sometimes it just comes out that way.”
Grandpa waited for Little Lucy to reveal her sadness, but she was tight-lipped.
“I’ve been in the sadness business for a long time. I‘m kind of an expert,” Grandpa said. “There’s sad-for-moment, sad-until-somebody-makes-me-smile, sad-till-I-get-my-way, sad-till-I’m-tired-of-it, sad-that-only-something-new-can-take-away, and finally sad-till-the-day-I-die. Which one of them is your type of sadness. Remember, I’m the expert and it has to be one of them.”
“Sad-till-the-day-I-die,” Little Lucy said.
“Good!” Grandpa said. “’Cause that’s the easiest one to fix. So what is it that makes you-sad-till-the-day-you-die?”
“It’s mom and dad,” Little Lucy said.
“And the fact they are divorced?” Grandpa said.
“Yes,” Little Lucy said. “They are going to remarry somebody else. They will never be my parents again.”
“Sure they will,” Grandpa said. “Just under different circumstances.”
“I don’t want it that way,” Little Lucy said.
“But sometimes we have to accept there are things bigger than we are and we can’t change them,” Grandpa said.
“I don’t believe that,” Little Lucy said.
“So if you are sad, you can change things?” Grandpa said.
Little Lucy was quiet. Her eyes began to puddle.
“Little Lucy,” Grandpa said. “I feel like you do. I love your father and mother. It brings great pain to me not being with your mom and dad ever again together. But we can learn something from the eagle.”
“What do you mean?” Little Lucy said.
“An eagle will swoop down to the surface of the water to catch a fish.” Grandpa said. “Have you seen them do that?”
“Yes,” Little Lucy said.
“The eagle has strong claws and is able to lift the fish from the water and take it someplace to eat,” Grandpa said. “When an eagle latches hold of a fish he never lets go. What do you think an eagle would do if he latched hold of a fish that was too big for him to lift out of the water?”
“He would let go of it,” Little Lucy said.
“That’s what you might do,” Grandpa said. “But the eagle is too proud to let go and the fish takes him under the water. The eagle drowns to death.”
“That’s sad,” Little Lucy said.
“If you are smarter than the eagle than you must let go of what is bigger than you or what will happen?”
“I may drown,” Little Lucy said.
“Yes,” Grandpa said. “So let go of the big fish. Just let it go.”