A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
Rationally, I know it’s not my fault.
I know that I cannot drive a car because I moved out young, before anyone could teach me. I know that I had repeatedly checked transportation options and found them lacking. I know that I had to work to pay my bills, that I had no ability to take a leave of absence without risking my home. I know that my family is prone to recoil, to keep its bad news private for as long as possible.
I knew he was dying, that it would be soon. And yet, when that day came, all I could think of was the Thanksgiving I’d missed. His last one. The one my workplace refused to cover me off for, even if my reasons went beyond, “It’s a holiday” to “this is probably going to be the last family gathering we ever have”.
The guilt remains. The wish that I’d walked out and quit. Because they’d hinted at letting me take the day, but in that sly way that meant consequences.
I know I went the next weekend. That I called. But it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. It will never be enough in my mind.
I resent that no one told me about the coma. I’m hurt that I had three days that I could have rushed to his side, had anyone told me. I regret that I wasn’t calling daily, that I was relying on updates from the most unreliable family member in my life.
I hope he knows how sorry I am, to this day.
Slipped Away – Avril Lavigne