Guilt Weighs Heavy

Since my last post, I had spent a lot of time thinking of something humorous to post.  Instead, I had a really, really bad weekend and am feeling quite down.
For a few years now, I am part of a group of 8 who take turns to fetch an extremely sweet elderly lady, Mrs. T, to church for Sunday services.  She does not live that far from the church (perhaps a 20 minute walk) but given her advanced age and the bad state of road pavements (or even the often lack of said pavements) we had arranged to transport her to and from church.

This Sunday, it was my turn to fetch her but for some reasons I was not able to go to church at all.    So that Sunday morning, I got a call from her early in the morning and only then did I realise that I had forgotten to inform her that I could not go.  She was gracious and told me not to worry and that she would call someone else to fetch her and I left it at that.
At noon, I got a call from a church friend to tell me that Mrs. T had had a fall while walking to church and was taken to hospital.  I rushed over to see her and learned that after calling me, she tried to call 3 others and somehow that day she was not able to reach two of them and the third also said she was not able to come that day.  Mrs. T then decided that she could walk to church.  Well, she made it almost to the last 100 m or so but then she tripped and fell  and as the doctors later confirmed, broke her arm in two places and also fractured part of her shoulder socket.

Needless to say, I was horrified and felt incredibly sad and guilty that my action or lack of action had led Mrs. T to such a painful calamity.  Mrs. T , on the other hand, was extremely cheerful and positive.  She focused on how God provided two women, both strangers, who came to her aid and sent her home.  She talked about how quickly someone from church called and learned about her accident and arranged for two brothers to come and send her to hospital.  Doctors expect that she will need up to 6 months to heal.  Despite it all, it was she who lifted all our spirits by her positiveness. Praise God.

But this squirrel still feels awful about the whole thing.  If only, I had taken the trouble to arrange alternative transport instead of letting Mrs. T try to call others by her self.  Stupid squirrel! Bad squirrel!

22 thoughts on “Guilt Weighs Heavy”

  1. Assume responsibility! Whip your naked flesh until you are purged of your forgetfulness.

    I don’t suppose you could ever see the hand of the spirit in this, that the calamity of another is given to show others there is good in evil and right in wrong and if I am wrong then ask that old lady. She may need tme to recoup but I am willing to bet that she will be fine and have even more friends than the 8 who take her back and forth.

    A suggestion from a cynic? Never try to determine the evil or good in a situation until the situation is a step away from fading in memory, just do what you can when you can and realize nothing more is asked of you.

  2. Stop beating yourself up. After she called you she should have just stayed home. No one should have to risk life and limb for the sake of going to church. Did she feel guilty if she didn’t go to church? Who knows. It was not your action or inaction that caused her calamity. Besides if she is a Christian she would not want you beating yourself up over this. You are forgiven!
    Guilt is overrated.

  3. Guilt is not a way to feel but a short lived learning tool. One question—Why are there only eight people willing to transport? I have fallen while walking more than once and don’t walk very often.

  4. I would feel the same in your shoes. We all have like regrets. But life goes on and I’ll bet you will never miss your turn to pick her up again and you will feel good about it.

  5. You can’t blame yourself for happened to your friend. We all make decisions from time to time that can make ourselves 2nd guess ourselves, but the reality is that life does indeed go on no matter what decision we make.

  6. Mark,
    Thanks. I knew I could count on you to hand me the whip! Actually, I can see that good comes out of bad but that is by the grace of God. I am still responsible for contributing to the bad and should acknowledge that. Allow me to beat myself a little so that one of the good things that come out of it is a greater sense of responsibility on my part. But thanks, your advice is sound.

  7. Mobius,
    Actually, she was a real sweetheart and told me not to feel bad about it. Of course, that made me feel great in a way and even worse in another way. I will wallow in the guilt for a little while – that’s just me. I used to be a lot worse – I practically used to obsessively embrace guilt and hold on tight to it until I experienced God’s love and forgiveness personally.

  8. Joyce,
    In a way, I feel like I have also let down the 8 of us who have undertaken to watch out for her; maybe more so. There are more people that could transport her about but basically we all volunteered to do so and have been doing so for about 5 years. We also used to fetch her invalid son and it takes a bit of strength and training to get him in and out of the car (he suffers from muscular dystrophy and has very little muscle strength). The 8 of us were sufficient. Others found it difficult to carry her son as they were not used to it.

    I hope that you will not have any bad falls. Do take care especially with the winter ice.

  9. Riot Kitty,
    There was a time when I would obsess with something I had done wrong even as much as 15 years ago. My mind was full of “if only I had done this” or “if only I had said that”. That was just destructive. I think it is important to accept guilt, seek forgiveness and move on. But it is an illness to dwell on it. So I will accept responsibility (cause I could have spent just 5 minutes to call someone else to fetch her), but I will not wallow in the guilt……..well, not for too long. 🙂

  10. Mr. Charleston,
    You are right. It is a bitter lesson but hopefully one I will not forget and a mistake I will not repeat. But then again, I seem to be such a slow learner sometimes.

  11. G.B.,
    Thanks for your kind words but I can’t get away from the fact that if I had spent 5 minutes to call someone else to fix up transport for her, I could have saved her about 6 months of pain. But it is true, as you say, that we will always make wrong decisions. I just try to learn from it so that I do not repeat the wrong decisions.

  12. Sorry to read this, and I’m sure you feel terrible. These things happen and maybe it was meant to be that Mrs T had this accident. You may feel responsible (understandably so) and should learn from this. As they say, we should learn from our mistake. May she get better fast.

  13. FYI Fell down my steps going to the bus in front of my house Tuesday morning. NOT HURT! See it happens and I thought of you when I picked myself up. I was the joke of the morning on the Senior bus. Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is sort of sad that we have a day when it should be every day.

  14. Yes, you are feeling awful right now BUT …. I once received a message forever illuminating such as this…. so I can, with confidence, say That things do work out…. and for the better!

    That ‘message’ is so so long that I will post it to my blog for you instead of here ….. and I welcome all your friends to check it out.

  15. We go up to Iron Mountain, Michigan about 20 miles from my house for shopping and if there is a doctors’ appointment we go there. It comes every Tuesday morning and gives me door to door service. Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Hi LGS,
    Sorry its been so long since I have stopped by to say “Hello”.! Its hard not to feel guilty in such a situation, but as you know, so much in life is out of our hands. Save the whip for those times you truly deserve it! 🙂 I suspect Mrs. T was determined to go to church as much for the commuity spirit then just prayer. She chose to take on the challenge of walking to the church and although she did not succeed in making it there by herself, she still had an “adventure” and met new people that she would not have met otherwise. You were just an apperatus in the ‘Butterfly effect’ surrounding Mrs T. that day.
    Take Care,

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