Mom called a few weekends ago.  I ignored the call.  Last weekend, she called again and I decided, against all logic, to answer it…

“Are we going out to eat Saturday?  I mean, it is supposed to rain, but that’s it.  It should be fine,” She rambles, clear expectation underlining her tone.  She is referring to her birthday celebration that has been postponed because of the weather-blizzard-like conditions, white-outs, 20 or more below zero.  In a word-dangerous.

After a breath, I gingerly answer, “He is only home for two days.  He will be home Saturday.  I mean, I only get to see him like three days this month.  Let’s try next Saturday?”  I wait for her to be mad, but mainly, I wait for her to be sad, let-down.  I hurt her again.  Wanting to spend a few days with my husband before he leaves the country for work caused her pain.  As I slip my black, thick winter leggings on, I worry and feel guilty about having my own needs.

“I don’t know about next Saturday,” Her tone is whiny like a small child not getting her way.  I struggle to apply mascara, leaning into the smudged mirror.  She clears her throat and grumbles.  “Alright, I won’t bother you then.”

A tinge of guilt momentarily tugs at my heart strings, pulling each string briefly, just long enough to make me consider changing my mind to spare her pain.

“I have to go back into work now.  Alright, bye.”

I flatly respond, “Bye” and with a click my heart strings become still.

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