Right or Wrong; Good or Bad


Saturday I spent some time with my dad in the rehab facility where he is currently residing.  I was there in the morning, until they came in to "bath him."  I returned about five hours later and stayed until the nurse (finally) came to do his wound care.  (Apparently, they had started the process before I arrived, but needed a "special" nurse to attend to it, so he was left "partially done" for about an hour and a half.)  For most of the time that I was there, he was sleeping on and off.  So I wonder, did I stay long enough?  Should I have stayed while they changed his dressing and attended his wounds?  Does he know I was there?  Have I done enough?

I'm constantly questioning myself when it comes to parenting.  (By parenting, I mean caring for my son as well as for my parents.)  Have I done enough?  Should I have done more?  What IS enough?

I'm reminded of the lyrics from one of my favorite musicals (and the first musical I did in high school back in the last century), "If He Walked into My Life," from "Mame”: " Did he need a stronger hand? Did he need a lighter touch?  Was I soft or was I tough? Did I give enough?  Did I give too much? At the moment when he needed me, Did I ever turn away? Would I be there when he called, if he walked into my life today...And there must have been a million things that my heart forgot to say. Would I think of one or two, if he walked into my life today...Though I'll ask myself my whole life long, what went wrong along the way; Would I make the same mistakes if he walked into my life today?"

As a mother AND as a daughter, I am always feeling those questions.  I am ALWAYS wondering.  Was I right?  Was I wrong?  Did I do enough?  Did I?  Did I?

I tell myself that I AM a good daughter/mother simply because I DO ask myself those questions.  But then I second guess myself again...

How do we know that we've done the right thing?  How do we know that we've done enough?

The answer is that we don't.  For the most part, we just try.  And we question.  And we KEEP questioning and second guessing ourselves.

Am I spending enough time with my father?  Have I spent enough time with my son?  (Do I even mention the time, or lack thereof with my husband?)  What more can I do?  How do I keep my own sanity while taking care of others?  Am I taking care?

When I "give" time to myself, is that being selfish?  If I get a pedicure or sit and read a book with a glass of wine, is that indulgent and selfish, or it is necessary time for myself?

While my father dozed on Saturday morning, I checked my phone for email and social media.  He would open his eyes and look at me.  I was "caught" by his gaze.  He told me I was focused on my phone and not on him.  He was right.  But...

While my father slept on Saturday afternoon, I read my e-book on my Nook.  Should I have been more focused on him?  Perhaps holding his hand? 

On Sunday afternoon, I tried to be more "active."  I had brought him a donut for his birthday.  He took two bites and that was all he could handle.  I'm okay with that.  I think he knew that this was something special for this birthday.  (Although later he thought it was Easter.)  I did "fail" as I had two birthday cards in my purse that I forgot to read to him and leave.  And I did leave, once they came in to clean him up again.

Is simply being there enough?  I feel that it should be, but on the other hand, I feel that it is not.

When my son was younger and in elementary school, I missed one or two "field days" and to this day regret it.  Does he remember?  As a result when he was in high school and cast in every single play, I attended every single performance.  Was that too much?  

When it comes to parenting; be it for my child or for my parents, I will always doubt myself.  I will always question.  I will always wonder.  

Was I good?  Was I bad?  Was I enough?  Was I too much?

Isn't that the question that just about every person asks?  And doesn't that simply make us human?


  1. The fact that you’re asking the questions is evidence that you are doing the best you can. And if you don’t take care of yourself you will have nothing to give to those you love. Love them enough to care for yourself! 💕


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