I made a mistake and the words I’d written to a friend who made a mistake that proved to be financially and emotionally costly echoed in my own ear: “Take a deep breath. Stop dumping on yourself.  Realize that Every. Single. Person makes mistake.”

To mark the first anniversary of my husband’s death, I planned a time of visiting friends and learning a new art technique: eco-printing.  What was my mistake?  I didn’t purchase cancellation insurance.  It never dawned on me to do that for this trip because my friends and the art workshop venue were not only in Canada but in the same province.  And besides, I was healthy, so why would I cancel?

The day of the trip arrived.  I loaded the car and headed to the ferry terminal and for about an hour, wandered through outdoor boutiques and craft booths at the terminal.  But soon after being on the ferry, I started feeling dizzy and nauseated and disoriented. I knew I had to lie down.  The next thing I knew, I was in a wheelchair and being taken to the infirmary where the crew member asked me questions like “Did you eat breakfast?”    Yes.  “Are you diabetic?”  No.  “Are you going to continue the trip or go home?”  Go on the trip.

But as I rested and prayed, I knew the decision I had to make … I didn’t know if the dizziness would return while I was driving and was concerned that if I continued on my trip I might cause an accident, hurt someone or myself.  For health reasons, going home was the right decision; but financially, as the French would say, “pas de tout”  because there would be no refunds.  There was nothing I could do about it except learn from the mistake and I remembered the words I had said to my friend when she had made a mistake:  “Mistakes can’t be changed, but they can teach.”

This is one mistake I won’t make again.  It taught me well.  But I’ll make other mistakes in life and hope that I will always remember that “mistakes can’t be changed, but they can teach.” 

Text and Photo © June Maffin