She baked herself a small cake.
She set it up with a singe candle.
She took out pictures of her family and placed them all around.
She lit her candle and sat down – alone.
She said her prayers and made her wishes.
She took a picture.
She blew out her candle.
She turned 76 today – alone.
Today is my grandma’s birthday and I almost forgot to call her. Every year on Feb 14 I remind myself that her birthday is coming up and I tell myself not to forget. And, every year I almost do. Today was no exception. However, when I called her at 8pm, she was so overly elated that I remembered to call, even if it was at the last minute. It was probably the highlight of her day.
I asked her what she did today and as she told me, I instantly regretted asking. I felt sad for her. I felt ashamed of myself. And, maybe I should.
I know she has no one else. But, is it my fault that my dad abandoned her? Or that she has a restraining order against my uncle because he’s a drug addict? What about my sister and my 3 cousins? Do they feel as bad as I do?
DH said that she’s made decisions in her life, and he’s right. But how much should we hold those decisions against her? I know I wouldn’t feel so bad if I was at home, but I’m not. I’m here – in my hometown – and I have no excuse for not going to visit her. Except that it wasn’t important enough to me to even remember that it was her birthday, never mind even making time to go and visit her.
I have my reasons for not having her in my life the way a grand-daughter should. But every Christmas, every Easter, every Holiday, every birthday, I feel like maybe I’m being selfish and mean. She’s not going to be around forever. Regardless, I still don’t make any better of an effort.