Guilt Trip

I was sitting in my bathroom, getting ready to go work at a wedding. You know, the usual getting ready stuff, fixing my hair and putting on some makeup. Mason came to the bathroom door and told me that Grandma and Grandpa were here. I was kinda surprised. Mama doesn’t come by to visit very often. She has only been to my house maybe two or three times in the last few years. I’m supposed to go to her house to visit. That’s what daughters do. If they really love their mamas. Or so I’m led to believe.

Anyway, I put on my robe and went out to let them know that I would throw on some clothes and be right out. But they weren’t really here. They were actually in their car out in front of our apartment. So I walked to the door and told them to park and come on in – that I would be dressed in a minute. I went back to the bathroom, got dressed and came out to greet them. But, once again, they were not actually here. I went back outside and found them still parked where I had left them. Mama said that Vernon would wait in the car, but that she would come in for a minute. I don’t understand why she does some of the things she does, but that is more like the mama I know.

She wasn’t at my apartment for more than five minutes. Literally, not more than five minutes. But that was all it took. She is practiced. An expert. She immediately started laying on the guilt.

I see mama at least a couple of times a week, and call her every couple of days. I am trying to check on her more often now that she has retired. I know that she gets lonely since she has stopped working. And she is starting to seem really old. Even though she’s only seventy-five. But I didn’t see her on Friday because Taylor Belle had her birthday slumber party. And here it was Saturday afternoon, and I hadn’t been by to see her. A telephone call to me wasn’t enough. She wanted to give the full guilt trip. And she wanted to do it in person.

I told her that I would come by today to visit with her. Mama said that she really needed me to come by. And that she loved me so much. Ok.

The kids and I went to mama’s church this morning so that we could sit with her and she would be happy. She likes to think that we aren’t complete heathens. I guess I like to think that too. Then we went out to eat lunch with she and Vernon. I was feeling pretty good, thinking that I had done my daughterly duty and made mama happy. At least for the day. But as we were saying our goodbyes and getting ready to go home, mama mentioned that she still really needed me to come by her house to see her this afternoon. Well foot. Was all that effort worth nothing?

So I went over a little later and helped her balance her checkbook. She had made maybe four entries in it since we balanced it together last week. She was just looking for a reason to have me come by to see her. And that made me feel bad. She shouldn’t have to look for reasons to get her daughter to visit. Damn. There was that guilt again.

Mama has two sons, my two brothers, who both live within a couple of hours of here. I can’t remember the last time that either of my brothers were here to see her. It has been at least a few years. But she doesn’t do it to them. Probably because trying to make them feel guilty wouldn’t work. So she loves them as they are, and is happy when she hears from them. Not so much with me. The guilt works on me. And no matter how often I go by to see her, it never seems to be enough.

Now I know what you are probably thinking. My mama is getting older and I need to cherish the time we have together. In a blink of an eye, she will be gone and I will miss her. And you would be right. I love my mama. She is precious to me. And I will miss her when she is gone. Probably much more than I realize. But today, at this very moment in time, she is driving me absolutely crazy! And I feel guilty about that as well. She is just that good.