They told me that she was getting old and feeble. That I should cut her some slack in her old age and not be so harsh with her. But I didn’t think that I had it in me. I was rankling with the pain of rejection. And in my scheme of things, she had yet to make amends for a lot of injustices on her part. I just wasn’t able to find it in me to forgive her. Not just yet. For every instance that I was reminded how much I owed her, I dug into my ever-growing list of grievances against her; most of them legitimate.
I became cool and distant. I did what was expected of me. Being polite, expressing concern but if you knew me well, you knew it was a well-concealed façade. Smiling on the outside, seething from within. Until this became a definite part of me.
Distance helped ease my pain (as is usually the case). Some of my resentment melted away. Mostly because I wasn’t pondering over it as much. And I was sufficiently beyond caring now.
So when she called me last week, and I spoke to her after a gap of two months, I wasn’t as perturbed. What left me troubled is how weak and helpless she sounded. She was due to visit the doctor. But no one seemed to be free to accompany her. So she let it pass, as a mother is usually wont to do.
For a very brief moment, it reminded me of a time, two years ago, when I had offered to accompany her and she had spurned me in favor of her grandson. Ever so patient, the father had consoled me then, “It’s her loss. You cannot possibly make the same offer to someone twice.”
That evening, a part of me thought that perhaps I could!