Family is important. They are the first ones that love you, and the ones that stay beside you through life. They’re behind you when you need holding up, they’re in front of you when you need to be led. They are there at the beginning and at the end, though some faces might have changed through time. Family is important. At least they are supposed to be.
My mother isn’t in the best of health. Details are irrelevant, but it will suffice to say there is a lot she can no longer do. She has to rely on others. That should be me. I help her change the sheets on her bed, I help her move furniture, I help her do anything she asks. And therein lies the problem. She shouldn’t have to ask. I should visit her more often and see what needs to be done. I should do more than just call regularly. She doesn’t always like to admit when she needs help. She doesn’t always tell the truth when I ask her how she’s feeling. I should see for myself.
My father lives too far away. His house is almost an hour from me. We could meet in the middle. But we don’t. We could get together for lunch more often. But we don’t. We could make a point of visiting him more often. But we don’t.
Life gets in the way. I work. I have small children. I have a never-ending list of chores to be done at home, such as laundry, dishes, etc. I have to help with homework (and make sure it’s even done). Weekends are usually devoted to housecleaning and laundry that is let go during the week. It’s hard to visit. It’s hard to check on my parents.
I should do more, but I don’t. I feel guilty, but that doesn’t help. I make excuses to myself. I’m too busy right now. She could ask for help more. He could come visit us. But in the end, that’s all they are: Excuses. I can’t control them. I can control me. I can control my own decisions and my own priorities. I need to change what I can. I need to be a better daughter. I will try.