November 18th, 2008 | By Sonnie Johnson
When you are trying to learn about yourself, you often look to the people around you. More often than not, this brings you to the members of your family. I’m not going to get into specifics but I got a few stories for you. These are people I know and the stories are real.
There is grandmother who loves her family. She has spent her entire life working to make sure her family had more than she had. Her and her husband had 5 kids. They raised their family in a house with no running water. Understand this. No running water. No bathroom, they had to pee and poop in a bucket. No shower, they had to bathe in a basins. If you wanted drinking water, you had to go outside and pump it from a well.
The woman lost her husband and realized she had to bear the weight of her family. At the age of 64, she went back to work to take care of her grown children and their children. Then her children move out and leave their children with the grandmother.
The grandmother does what she’s always done, step up and take care of her family. Years pass and her home of 50 years is deteriorating due to lack of upkeeping. The now grown grandchildren have done nothing with their lives and still live in the house. They sell drugs, have parties, and demand the attention of the local police.
In one raid of the house, a pollice officer decided he was going to report the bad structure of the house over all. The county came and told the grandmother her house was to be condemned because it was unliveable. They were all instructed to move out within 90 days.
The grandmother moved in with her oldest daughter and all the grand kids found other places to live. One of the grandmother’s co-workers felt so bad about the situation, she wrote a letter to a foundation in the community explaining the sacrifices of the grandmother. This foundation decided to re-build the house for the her.
The grandmother was so excited. On move in day, she threw a big party and eveyone came to see her new house. It was beautiful. All new appliances, fresh paint, clean floors, and two bathrooms.
How long do you think this house stayed like that?
There was a single mother of three raising her kids in a 3 bedroom house. Her older brother hadn’t really done anything with his life and was currrently occupying one of the bedrooms.
Let me introduce you a little to the brother. He was a Honor’s graduate that joined the army after High School. He purposely got kicked out because he wanted to keep an eye on his girlfriend at the time. When he got home, he and his girlfriend broke up.
He found another girlfriend that wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She got him enrolled in college and found them a place to live where he wouldn’t be near bad influences. He was a great artist and even got scholarships to pay for college.
When he got the check, he cashed it and bought a pack to sell. Eventually he dropped out of school because he was making a little money selling crack. Things didn’t turn out that well for him, so he found himself living back with his sister.
Their father never played a role in their lives. Both blame him but the sister has compassion. She understood that he had been sick for a long time and he really coundn’t have done much for them. So, when the father’s house burned down, the sister invited him to live with her.
Here comes the problem. The brother isn’t having it. He argues with the sister about the father’s presence. He says that anyone that doesn’t take care of their children, shouldn’t be taken care of.
Did I forget to mention, the brother had a kid by both women and doesn’t take care of either?
There is a woman that needs to belong. She was spoiled by her mother her entire life because her mother made so many bad decisions when it came to men. When she would pick a bad man, her child would get a treat. When she got a black eye, her daughter got a mustang. When she got a broken rib, her daughter got a trip for her and her friends to Florida. When she got robbed, her daughter got 50% of the proceeds from selling her house.
The mother decided to move away but the women didn’t want to go with her. She was excited about starting a new life for herself. She took the money and bought a house. Soon she came to realize she missed having a family around.
So, the first guy that payed her any attention, she grabbed hold of and refused to let him go. Even after he tried to sell her mustang. Even after he took her T.V., D.V.D. player, and emptied her checking account. She decided she would change him by having his child.
I don’t even have to tell you, this didn’t work. The woman soon found herself surrounded by his family and they all had their hand out. You can afford this house, you got money you can lend me. You drive a bad ass car, you can let me use it. You have an extra bedroom, why can’t I stay?
The women was so scarred of being alone, she let all these things come to pass. Soon, her car was crashed, she was now late on all her bills, and she had to get restraining orders to keep people from coming to her house whenever they wanted.
But she refused to let go of the man that brought all these problems into her life. Instead, she figures the first kid didn’t make him change but I’m sure the second one will.
Do you think anything changed for her?
Stop looking at the people around you. O.K. maybe I didn’t put that right. Stop looking at the people around you, if you are trying to figure out who you are.
See, I want to have the hard work ethic of the Grandmother. I want to have the compassion of the single mother. I want to have the family aura of the woman. But they all come at such a high cost. At least if taken at face value.
I’m not the nicest person. I try but I find it hard sometimes. I’ve had conversations with the subjects of all three stories and they are all so nice. They believe no matter what is happening now, one day it will all make sense.
It makes no sense to me. I don’t understand why you thought a new house would make your grandchildren show respect. I don’t understand why grandchildren would destroy something that meant so much to their grandmother. I don’t understand why you would take care of a grown man, when there is nothing physically wrong with him. I don’t understand why you take care of three kids, work a full time job, and still have to cut grass when there is a grown ass man living in your house. I don’t understand why you do great by yourself but are constantly looking for someone to compliment you on it. I don’t understand why you accept the compliment when it comes with an out reached hand.
So I’m done looking around. It’s time to let them go, even though they are family. Like I said before, I know how to take the lessons and leave the rest. None of these stories have a happy ending. The grandmother said she was done. She moved out of her new home. The single mother is now sharing a bedroom with her oldest daughter. The woman finally stood up and now has to deal with being hated for doing so.
They say that blood is thicker than water. Maybe that’s why we battle our own with more energy and gusto than we would ever expend on strangers. I can find a better place to expand my energy.