Who’s sorry now? ~ Connie Francis
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Sorry (adj): feeling or expressing regret, compunction, sympathy, for an action
When I was was 13 my brother had a terrible cycling accident and was taken to hospital. I remember the police arriving at home, I remember going to the hospital with my mum, and afterwards I remember her saying the first thing he said to her when she want in to see him was “Sorry, mum”
Fast forward. I’m 41 I’m going to the same hospital to see my mum and the first thing she says to me when I get to her bed and she knows I am there is “I’m sorry”
My brother had been sorry for damaging his bike, for upsetting mum, for causing worry. Now my mum is concerned about causing upset, fearing worry, taking up our time.
Yet, as I sit there, sometimes with friends or with siblings, sometimes alone, mum talks. She talks about her funeral, she talks about what hymns she might like and what she wants us to do, and she talks her own mother and when she died. And she says the most extraordinary thing, “It’s life, we just don’t have time, we’re all so busy…. I came home, I cooked you all tea. And I got a call from the care home to say that she’d died”
My mum was apologising to me, to all of us, for taking up our time, causing worry, yet also thinking to a time when she was sorry, when she gave all the time she could, to her elderly mother but also to her family.
No, mum, I’m sorry. We’re sorry. You no more chose to have an incurable degenerative disease than my brother chose to have a bicycle accident, or grandmother chose to get old.
I’m lucky, I know. My mum be in an awful place with her MS and that is never getting better. It’s not news. She was diagnosed 32 years and it’s been a slow insidious creep that has ended up here. But she is still here. I’m poignantly heartbeakingly aware of those who don’t have that, those whose parents have died, those whose children have died, friends gone too soon. And the awful inevitability of time.
So I’m sorry. For all those times I wasn’t around, for when I didn’t think, for when I could’ve been better. Yet at the same time I’m not sorry because like mum said it’s life. There is never enough time. All we can do is choose how we spend it and who we spend it with.