I had just finished lunch and was washing the lunch dishes when I started thinking of my mom, who I had just visited before coming home. I started thinking how I should make it a point to spend more time with her. My thoughts turned to the way she talked and talked about trivial things, but I knew she just wanted to talk to me—even if it was silly little things that were of no major importance. And then I was overcome with guilt. It was so overwhelming I almost broke down in tears. What is happening to me? I thought. I finished the dishes and turned my thoughts to something else.
I started thinking of my son’s girlfriend, Ashley, who he has been dating for a little over a year. Ashley is a single, twenty-four-year-old mom with a four-year-old daughter, Lili. Lili doesn’t stay with Ashley too much because right now Ashley really doesn’t have a place to call home herself. She stays with us from time to time, and at other times with friends. Lili spends the majority of the time with her father, who lives with his parents. I think of Lili going from here to there, not knowing exactly where she will be day to day and I am again, overwhelmed with sadness. What in the world …? I stop what I’m doing and think, When did I develop such compassion? When did I start caring so much?
I have always been a selfish and uncaring person. If I didn’t speak to my mom for a week, so what? If my brother called just to talk and I didn’t feel like it, I wouldn’t pick up the phone. If I didn’t keep an appointment to meet up with a friend, they’d understand. And if they didn’t, oh well. I just did not care. But that has changed.
Maybe it’s maturity. Maybe it started after I had my son. But slowly I started realizing that yes, those things and people do matter. They are important to me and me to them. I am needed and loved by some. And I do need and love. I am sick of hurting feelings and thinking only of myself. I want to be the person that people turn to in need because they know I will be there with a friendly ear and encouraging words of promise. I want to change. I want to admire myself.