Sometimes I think we are born feeling guilty. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t things to feel guilty about. Like everybody else, I have a long, long list. The one at the top for a long time though was missing my grandmother’s funeral. My first husband and I were on vacation in Mexico. I knew when I left that Grandma wasn’t doing very well. She had been in a nursing home several years and was near her 90th birthday. But there didn’t seem to be any imminent danger. While in Mexico, I succumbed to “Montezuma’s revenge”. Oh I wasn’t stupid enough to drink the water, but I didn’t think about the iced drink in a little cantina we stopped at for dinner. Ice comes from water. The hotel doctor did what he could but I was very ill. During one of my worst episodes, my mother called. She told me that Grandma had died. My brain was barely functioning, but I told her we’d come right home. She insisted that there wasn’t any reason for me to do that. There was nothing I could do and I should just stay and enjoy the rest of my vacation. Well I wasn’t enjoying my vacation but I did decide to stay – mostly because she insisted that I do. I might have made a different decision if I hadn’t been so sick. I felt weird that I was not at home with my family. That weirdness quickly changed to guilt. I worked myself into a major guilt trip for not being at the funeral. When I got home, no one seemed upset that I hadn’t been there. Everyone understood. I knew I’d missed an important milestone event in my family and I was truly sorry for that. But the guilt did not go away. I felt I’d let everybody down – especially my grandmother. It took years before I was able to understand that I hadn’t let her down. Grandma wasn’t there either.
Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”