I have been taking care of my ill grandmother since 2011. I always found myself becoming angry at my family because they weren’t there for her as often as me. At times, I would get jealous when I heard family members were traveling and doing what they wanted, when they wanted. It caused me to have some type of resentment towards them, and view them as selfish beings.
Now that I look at it, it wasn’t even worth getting mad over. I used to ask the same questions over and over again; “Why can’t they don’t do this?” and “Why can’t they don’t do that?” My mother would always say, “Well, you weren’t obligated to take on this responsibility Tiearra!” And I would respond, “If not me, then who?”
I had to do some deep meditation and I’ve come to the realization of things; I’m not in this by myself. My other grandmother has been right there next to me, helping me take care of my ill grandmother. She used to say, “Just let me help you! You can’t do all of this by yourself!” and I would say, “It’s not your responsibility! It’s mines!” I would say to myself “What does it look like having my grandmother take care of my other grandmother? I’m the granddaughter! That’s my job!” But I thought about it and said to myself, “Let her help.” Immediately after I granted her the permission to help, she took over her position a little bit too much. Every 5 minutes, “Did you feed your grandmother?” “Did you wash your grandmother’s clothes?” It’s like Gosh! You would’ve thought she had one eyeball and one leg!
At times, I was so stressed. One night I was at the red light, and I just broke down emotionally. My grandmother and my uncle, who happens to have asperger’s, were getting kicked out of their apartment the next day, and I had to find them a place to stay immediately. I did not want to see them on the streets.
I said to myself,” I can’t do this! This is overwhelming.” I started to cry uncontrollably. This homeless man walked up to my window at the red light begging for change. I just looked at him and shook my head. Everything he was saying seemed like a foreign language to me. I had tears flowing down my face, and was just looking at him with this blank stare. I wasn’t in the mood to be bothered. The light turned green, and I pulled off. I drove about 2 blocks, then something told me to pull over. I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed the old man limping down the street towards my car. He finally came to the passenger window. I rolled the window halfway down, and put my face in my hand. I didn’t want him to ask me what was wrong. He didn’t even bother to ask (LOL). He saw me with my face in my hand, but began to beg anyway. All I heard were words; I wasn’t even looking at him.
[Homeless Man] Ms. Can you help me out please? I’m trying to get something to eat. I haven’t eaten in four days. All I need is like $1 so I can buy some packs of noodles until I get my disability check. I live around the corner. I’ll pay you back! Ms. Please! I have a cell phone see!
(I slowly lifted my head out of my hand and noticed a cell phone in his hand)
[Homeless Man] I have minutes…
(He started talking a little more, but immediately stopped talking right in the middle of his sentence, He looked at me dead in the eye for a few seconds and said…….)
You are soooo Pretty…
(I kindly said thank you and gave him a half of smile after that. My tears dried up and everything. I started wiping my face, eagerly anticipating his next words. He continued to talk about his cell phone)
[Homeless Man] You can call my phone right now Ms! It works.
(I pulled out my phone and called the number he told me to dial. His cell phone started ringing)
[Homeless Man] See! I told you my phone works. I wouldn’t lie to you Ms. I’m just trying to get something to eat. I get my disability check on Monday. When I get my check on Monday, I’ll give you $20. My name is Bernard. Store my number in your phone. I know it’s hard out here for everyone. I know you’re going to need gas and everything. Please Ms!
(The only money I had at the time was some money I made from selling my grandmother’s car. I needed to find them a room to rent until I found them a permanent place. I went into the envelope of money and gave him $20).
[Homeless Man] Thank you Ms! I really appreciate it. It’s a store around the corner so I’m going to get a sandwich and couple packs of noodles. That should last until I get my check. You can call me on Monday ok?
[Me] Don’t Worry about it.
[Homeless Man] Thank You so much!
(I pulled off feeling much better. I said, “Damn! This situation isn’t that bad!”
I Don’t know the true reason why that homeless man came to my window, but It provided a sense of comfort and it made me realize that there’s a lot of people out here going through worse situations.
I believed I was strong enough to resolve this issue, even though it made me feel uncomfortable. I had to actually convince my family to take my family in. My grandmother took my grandmother in; And my mom was pissed, but she allowed my uncle to sleep on the couch until I found them a permanent place to stay.
How do you know you’re the leader of the Family?
- You feel like an outsider. You’re unique and different from your other family members
- You Lead with Love-To truly love, you must sacrifice and serve. You have to sacrifice and serve for your family, in order to be the leader of your family. It demonstrates the love you have for them.
- Your family members always call you when there’s an emergency. They always need you for something.
- You always see yourself giving advice to your family. Most of the time, they don’t want to hear it, but you say it anyway.
- You take the initiative to do things for your family without them even asking.
On Another Note: Do you know to this day my grandmother is still asking about her car? It doesn’t matter how many times I told her I sold the car, she insists on believing it was stolen and she will receive justice one day. She calls the cops at least once a month.
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