Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Might Be A Terrible Daughter



I talked to my mom on Monday. It had been a while since I spoke to her, I probably called her a week or two ago.

Being an only child who sometimes neglects to call her mom on a regular basis, I have often considered myself not the best kid in the world. But when PT called me Monday, well, I realized just how shitty I am.

PT had, apparently, called me on Saturday and left a message, but I hadn't listened to it or even noticed that it was her that called me because I'm sometimes crappy about picking up messages.

She revealed that last week was hard for her. I said, "Have you been sick?" And PT replied, "No, Adrienne, you know mom died on February 16."

Oh, shit. I forgot about the anniversary of my grandmother's death.

Of course she had a shit week! And I wasn't there for her. Even though at the beginning of this month I reminded myself to call mom around anniversary time. But, I didn't put it on my calendar, so I was wrapped up in my own bullshit and let it completely slip my mind.

She didn't give me any grief over it, but I know she wishes I'd called her. I could hear it in her voice. And you know what? I forget every year.

PT and her mom were very close. I know how hard her illness and death were (are) on mom, but I can't remember to do this one very basic thing for her once a year.

I don't know why this is. Really. Is it just my never-ending mental crap? My general dislike for talking on the phone (thanks to my 9 1/2 years as a receptionist/admin)?

Who the hell knows. I put a reminder on my calendar so I won't forget next year. Though, it doesn't change the fact that I feel I shouldn't have to do that.

My grandmother was a cool, calm lady who bought me my first purse, gave me a love of hats, never cursed and "smoked" cigarettes by lighting them and letting them burn out in the ash tray. Every time I think about her I wonder why I don't miss her more. Then I feel bad about it. Then I push those feelings way, way down because I really don't need anything else to feel bad about.

Maybe what I really am is a terrible granddaughter.

Dammit.

How do you deal with tough family things you'd rather stay away from but know you shouldn't?

4 comments:

mslagel said...

Sometimes you just have to face it, admit it to yourself that you've been putting something off then dive right in. It's hard. My grandpa calls me practically every day and sometimes I just don't want to answer. I owe him so much. He partially raised me growing up and he was the one who forced me to go to college and see my degree through when my mom was telling me I didn't have to go if I didn't want to. He's the first person I know to call at 3 a.m. when something is wrong and he has never failed to pull through when I'm a bit strapped for cash. so why don't I want to answer the phone sometimes? Well, sometimes I'm just not in the mood, or sometimes I'm into a good movie and don't want to pause it, or sometimes I'm still sleeping and too embarrassed to tell him I slept in. It's always things like that. Now I know this is a trivial example but it leaves me feeling awful when I have 3 voicemails and several texts from him to call. I take a deep breath, pick up my phone and call because I know it will be over with shortly and I won't have to talk to him for a little while. And as forgiving as he is, hearing his voice no matter what mood i'm in always makes me happy I called him.

Susan Cooper said...

It is not that you are a bad daughter, you got caught up in everything else. We have all been there. I always set reminders for myself if there is something important I don't want to forget to do. :-)

JeriWB said...

Well, my whole family just keeps a buttoned-lip about everything, so I have no solutions!

Rynessa said...

These things happen, and the comment by mslagel really hit home for me because I do the same thing. Our lives are now taking off- everyday we get busier and busier. Our parents, or grandparents or whoever on the other hand, their times is coming to an end, and they know it. My mother has been demanding so much attention of me and it freaks me out because we were never like that. We just need to remember that they won't be here forever and make the best of the time we do have. So citygirl, you forgot again but god permits, there will be more opportunities.

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