I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. But there are days when I do. I feel guilty that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I need to and everything I want to. Including visiting Dad. I wish I could go see him every day. For a while, I tried. But life got in the way, and it has become every other day, every third day, sometimes just once or twice a week. I know in my head that he is being well-taken care of. The staff at his Assisted Living residence is wonderful. They all adore him (of course – everyone does!). When I do go by, even if it is just for a quick 15 minute visit, he always seems to glad to see me. I know that he doesn’t really have a sense of how much time has passed, but it breaks my heart when I haven’t been there for a few days and he says “I haven’t seen you in a while”. In my head, I know he says that even when I was just there the day before, but in my heart, my guilt over how little time I can spend with him sometimes makes me feel like I am not doing my job.
But then I remember that I am grateful for the time I do get to spend with him. I am grateful that he is here and not 1000 miles away on the East Coast. I am grateful that I know how important it is for me to get there as often as I do, and I realize that I am doing what I can and should not feel guilty for having other responsibilities as well. If he was located more than 20 minutes from my house or from my work, it would be so much harder to get to see him, even once or twice a week. So I give myself an emotional break. I shake off the guilt and let it be OK that I didn’t get there yesterday. And probably won’t get there tomorrow. But today, I plan to go have dinner with him and enjoy the time we have. I am glad I can make the time today.