Almost 30 years ago I was a single parent. My son was 14, my daughter was 19, and the oldest daughter was 23 living on her own a few blocks away. I had completed the registered nurse course of study and had just received notice of passing the board exams. I was overwhelmed with being a single parent and student for so many years and to make matters worse, I was broke. My boyfriend invited me to stay with him and his parents 480 miles away during that summer. He said I could probably get a nursing job immediately. I thought my 19 year old daughter could oversee her brother and the apartment and I requested my 23 year old daughter to keep a close watch on her siblings. The children's father also lived nearby but had little contact with them. I asked my sister to stay at my apartment while I was gone and left her with money, credit card, and insurance information. After a week or so she called me to say that the children were not listening to her, disrespecting her, and did not even like her being there and so she was leaving.
Despite her leaving, I did not return home until the end of that summer. When I returned my son hardly talked to me and didn't seem at all happy to see me and my daughter left for college. Daughter and I have never had a close relationship, in fact, she now lives with her family 12 hours away by car.
My son and I still have a very difficult relationship, though he lives a few blocks from me and I see him several times during the week. Even though he has never brought it up, I think he has not forgiven me for that summer. I know there is nothing I can do now after so many years, but now that I am so much older, I realize that I did not do the right thing and have regretted it very much through the years. I would appreciate your thoughts and advice. Thank you.