A daughter’s pain

My heart….is crying out to you Lord.

I simply cannot understand how people (read: my mother) can make such snap decisions that they (again, read: my mother) have to know will cause others (read: me) immeasurable pain. Seriously? I’m just flabbergasted.

My mother just called and informed me she won’t be at my son’s surgery tomorrow because my grandfather, who she cares for, “doesn’t want to get up that early.”

Um, what?

It took everything in me not to demand that old man be put on the phone so I could cuss his selfish @%^ out. But really, I’m not mad at him – he’s been selfish a long time. How could I expect less?

Who I’m really upset is my mother for allowing his selfishness to dictate whether she can be at her 10-month-old grandson’s surgery (10 months old and he’s having SURGERY!!) and simultaneously support her daughter…and son-in-law.

Her daughter that constantly inconveniences her own family so that she can literally drop everything and run to be of any help whenever her mother calls. Her daughter who for the past, let’s see, 4 (?…or so) years has done her best to always say “yes” when asked “can you help with?” Her daughter who I swear sat in so many hospital waiting rooms because she wanted to be there for her mother who was watching her own mother slowly die.

I don’t say any of this to pat myself on the back. I did what I did, largely, because I wanted to, because I’m supposed to, because I know that of all the people in my world my mother has made immeasurable sacrifices for me so how could I not do the same for her? I did it because I love my mother and I wanted to do anything I could, not to lessen the pain, but so she would realize she wasn’t alone in the process of not working, not having a life, doing everything possible to give her parents “golden years” that will be happy and filled with joy and love and simple pleasures.

And now…when I need her to return the favor, to be my support structure, to hold my hand as a doctor operates on my baby, my son, my only child (the one who came from my womb) she is choosing to let someone else’s selfishness dictate that choice. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision for her to arrive at…but she did. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy phone call for her to make…but she did.

And with that choice, she’s managed, for the first time, to put herself on the same level as my father, whom I love, but sometimes must love from a distance, because the disappointments have been continual with that man.

My heart…is aching.

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