Friday, December 07, 2007

You’re Never Too Old

You’re never too old…
My mom called me yesterday to ask for a small bit of information for Christmas. She was short; she was crisp. She was mad. And I could tell from the word “Hello.” (Actually I knew she was mad awhile ago when my dad called me. I could hear her in the background, but she wouldn’t get on the phone to talk with me – a sure sign that something was wrong.)

I asked what she was thinking, knowing that whatever I was going to hear wasn’t going to be easy. She told me that she was mad at me because I’m too busy – too busy to call when someone has surgery, too busy to call to catch up with the family, too busy to ask about them and their concerns. Just too busy for them.

Here’s the hard thing: She was right, although I would rephrase it. I wouldn’t say too busy; I would say too forgetful. Too often I’m wrapped up in my own concerns, my own immediate family, my own scheduled life. I forget to care for or reach out to those who aren’t in front of me.
  • I think two weeks out from someone’s birthday that I need to send a card and then it’s a week after the event that remember that I never followed through. 
  • I hear of a prayer need and I pray for them, but I do a horrible job of following up. (Case in point: ever since my mom has had bladder problems and also the need to sell/rent house, it has been prayed for on a daily basis, but I haven’t called to ask how the prayers are being answered. And she can’t hear my prayers 1,000 miles away.)
  • Often when I awake at zero dark thirty with a mind zooming, I think that I need to call about this or that, talk to so-and-so, take care of xyz, but I can’t do it at that moment because most people will slap me if I call at that awful hour or the store I need will not be open for another 4 hours. By the time I’m getting ready for work, I’ve already forgotten what it was that I was going to do. (And please don’t tell me keep a list. I usually lose that too. Seriously, I don’t know how I keep my job which requires me to be a fantastic organizer!)
  • Heck, I usually can’t remember why I walked into a room half the time. I know I went in there for something…
But one thing I haven’t forgotten to do is to say “I’m sorry.”

Mom,

I’m sorry I’ve hurt your feelings. I’m sorry I’m so selfish and self-centered. I’m sorry you think I don’t care about you or the family by my lack of actions. I do care. I just don’t always show or tell you as much as I should. I’ll strive to be better about it starting now.

I do appreciate your telling me how you feel. I’d rather hear your disappointment than your silence any day. It’s good to know that I can still learn a lesson about what it means to be a family.

Love (no really!),

Shalee

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