Courage at Twilight: I Wasn’t There

I am wallowing in self-reproach.  Mom fell in the shower.  She does not remember falling.  She remembers only waking up on the floor, the water sprinkling down on her, the door flung open.  And I did not know.  And Dad did not know.  I asked her at breakfast about the scratch on the bridge of her nose, but she did not know where it came from.  As she sat in her Sunday dress, ready to go to church, Dad asked her how she felt.  “Not so good,” she said, seeming very tired.  I passed it off as a symptom of the sinus infection she is getting over.  She told me later about her slumping from her chair.  That morning I had awoken with a start when I thought I heard a bang.  I could hear water tinkling.  Remembering how the shower door clangs when it closes, I thought nothing more of it.  We went to church like normal, moving a little slower.  I cooked all afternoon to give Mom and Dad a nice Sunday dinner: tilapia poached in white wine with green onions, sauced with creamy mushroom-clam sauce.  For dessert I made crepes stuffed with vanilla-cream sauced apples.  It all tasted divine.  But all I could think about as I cooked and ate and washed dishes was not being there when Mom needed me.  I was there, in the same house, on the same floor, in the room next door, with Mom lying unconscious on the shower floor, being drizzled with warm water.  But I was not there for her.  I could have revived her, helped her up, given her care and attention.  But I was not there.  All this fancy French food and the effort it took and the palatable pleasure it brought meant nothing.  What would have meant something was following through on the waking start and investigating assertively and helping my mother when she needed me.  The bruise on her cheek bone is starting to show.

5 thoughts on “Courage at Twilight: I Wasn’t There

  1. spanishwoods

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself Roger. This reminds me of when I would feel exactly like this with my children. You have plenty of experience raising children and knowing how helpless we can feel when we were “standing right there” and yet they still fell, or somehow managed to hurt themselves. I know it’s not the same thing, apples to oranges and all that, but the sentiment of guilt and the feeling of inadequacy is the same. You are there for your parents Roger. This is a learning experience (as is everything in life I’m convinced). So the next time, you’ll get up and investigate. Please be kind to yourself, be forgiving with yourself. This is a long road you’ve taken and you’ll need love and patience, not just for your parents (as you so clearly have in ready supply) but for your own gentle soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

      I do not like making mistakes at all! I am pretty hard on myself. I don’t often have an “oh well” attitude. But I soften with time, like a cucumber in a pickle jar. Hopefully less acidic. And, I am SO glad you are feeling better.

      Liked by 1 person

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