One night, back in good 'ol San Antonio, my Mom and I were walking to the car from our apartment. I stepped off the curb headed towards the passenger side and heard this loud thump and a "oof" sort of noise. My mom had tripped over the cement block that was in front of the car. She fell on her knees and broke her fall with her hands. I tried to help her up but like most stubborn independent women, she refused it. We got into the car and blood was dripping down her legs and she skinned the palms of her hands trying to break her fall.
I instantly felt this overwhelming feeling of guilt. It wasn't my fault that she fell, but I still felt a sense of responsibility somehow. Like I should have reminded her about the cement block or something.
Anyway, like the trooper she was, she wiped the blood off her legs with a tissue, rubbed her hands together, took a deep breath, and put the key in the ignition. I don't remember much after that, just the flood of guilt that washed over me and seemed to stay for quite a while.
I bring this up because I had a sort of flashback last night. My boyfriend and I were walking from a Restaurant (yumm...Sweetwater Tavern) to the car. I walked to the passenger side of his car, stepped off the curb and the guilt washed over me again. I instantly flashed back to that moment when my mom fell, and I felt like crying. I looked back to see if she was OK, but my boyfriend was already at the drivers side door unlocking the car (or getting in--I forget, reality is fuzzy at this moment). I get into the car and I'm quiet. I tell my boyfriend what just happened and he is sympathetic, then he tells me how something similar happened to him.
Even now, I can't shake this guilty feeling. WTF????
This has happened to me before, and I can't pinpoint what triggers the memory. But usually when it comes, I call my mom and somehow work it into the conversation that I was thinking about that moment and tell her how I felt/am feeling. She then tries to console me which makes me feel even worse.
How tough my mom is, and is always the crutch I lean on. I know if it was me who had fallen, I would have broken into tears and sat on the pavement crying like the baby I am. I wonder when I will inherit her toughness?
Maybe one day...