I have so many regrets and they all come crashing down in February when I’m reminded of how many things I took for granted before Grandma Sharon died. My last Christmas with her I don’t think I even realized it would be her last because the reality of her situation, of how drastically my family dynamic would change didn’t sink in until she was place on hospice a month later. When her bedroom in the back of my family home became a tomb.
I get so angry when I think of the things that I’ve forgotten: her smell and sound of her voice, her laugh and calm tone in her words. But I get even more furious when I think of how I acted. Yes, I was only 19 and weeks from entering treatment for the first time but in my mind, that’s no excuse. Instead of staying by her bedside with my mom who was losing the only immediate family left besides kin, an amazing husband, and a loving niece. I hid in my room and did what I’ve always done best. I ate, loaf after loaf of bread in toast form with no shame because honestly who was paying attention to me?
And the night she died I was asleep instead of with her. Even when she was gone I couldn’t grow up and do what needed to be done. I kissed her forehead goodbye more for my mother than me and ran to the kitchen. A turkey sandwich at 2am. I scampered off to my room just as the body bag walked through the front door.
I did her so wrong and treated her so poorly in her weakest moments. I ignored her and shut off from the world and now I can’t remember most of her last 2 weeks and I’ll never forgive myself for that. I sang at her memorial service but was too centered on myself and worried about what others thought of me instead of singing for her.
And in truth I’m crying tonight more than I did when she first died out of sorrow and guilt. A woman who loved me so unconditionally and I couldn’t even attempt to return the favor.
Some granddaughter I am.