I am always surprised when people say, “I have no regrets in life.” Come on. I have regrets! Every. Single. Day. Aren’t we all just stumbling through this life?

There is one regret that I am reminded of every June.

My husband and I were blessed in our early twenties to know an amazing and passionate man named Matt Gaumer. Matt had a contagious zest for life unlike anyone you would ever meet. He lived in the moment. He also loved loved teenagers and was so passionate about being with them. Sitting with them, talking with them, and hanging out. Matt lived in a house on the lake with my husband and another buddy. I always remember one night sitting by the bonfire discussing life as we usually did. Matt, sat with us for a while and then disappeared. When I went inside, I saw him sitting on the stairs. His head hung low and his hand holding a phone. He sat like that for over an hour. There was a teenager who needed to talk. Matt was there. He was present. Even though he wanted to be out by the fire with us, he gave this hurting kid his time. I was so struck by his selfless ways when it came to a hurting kid. He had this ability to live in the moment and to sense the needs around him at that particular time. It was quite a gift.


I, on the other hand, did just the opposite when a little moment presented itself. And one I will regret forever.

I was working and in my own to-do list. Wanting to check off the next thing and not to be bothered. Wanting to do what I wanted to do. Don’t interrupt me world, I have a plan and an agenda.

Matt called me at work one day and I didn’t take the call. He never called me at work and so it was strange.  (This was before I owned a cell phone.) My co-worker set the sheet of paper on the desk that said, “Matt called. Call back.” I was too busy. I couldn’t stop what I was doing to call him. I had my list. I had my agenda. I will do it tomorrow… I thought.

These moments in life will be missed if you aren’t paying attention. If you aren’t awake. If you are too busy looking forward or too caught up in reliving what already was. Or maybe you are too caught up in how you look or what you weigh? If so, you will miss the red sunset, the smell of the puppy, the pain in someone’s eyes. If you are so caught up in your own stuff.

It happens. It happens to me all the time. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I want to read or look at my phone. I don’t want to chit-chat at the hockey rink or sit on the sidelines of the soccer game next to her, what will we talk about? I want to sit, be alone.

Matt died that week in a car crash. 

And when I went back into work after news of his death, that piece of paper was still sitting on my desk.

I will always always regret not stopping what I was doing to call him.

Life is busy. You can’t always answer the phone. You can’t always respond to the email. But you can, open your eyes. Talk to the person sitting next to you, be open to the people who are in need around you. Look people in the eye and see them.

Stop the rushing and the doing in order to be. That one precious moment will pass like the wind. Yes, the phrase is true. Life is oh so short. I was, and I will never ever have that opportunity to talk to Matt again. I will regret that forever.

There are sunsets and sunrises to see. There are beautiful birds flying next to you and sounds that are so quiet you have to strain to hear them. But all of it is happening right now, right before your eyes. Won’t you open them? Won’t you let go of your agenda, your worries, and your doing. And be present. I am trying. I don’t always do well with this, but fifteen years later I am reminded yet again…DON’T MISS THIS!

Matt left a letter on his computer that was found after he passed. I love this line that he wrote:

 “When I was alive I wanted and loved and hoped. When I am dead the wants and loves and hopes of my life–I want and hope will live.”  – Matt Gaumer


Matt and My husband at our wedding.

You taught me so much Matt and we all miss you so much. I will remember yet again, to try and be OPEN and be PRESENT to what God is putting before me. So that I don’t miss out on these precious fleeting moments. Won’t you?



* This website was created in memory of Matt by his fraternity brothers.




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