My mom began having heart problems in the late 70’s but then in 1995 my mom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and she lived til 1997. I spent every night with her in the hospital which was numerous during that time and then when we brought her home I spent every night at my aunt’s house. I went to work the following morning. I got married in June of 1997 and my wife along with my family took care of my mom until she moved on to another home in September 1997.
In August 1998 I was blessed with a baby boy and he had asthma and was in and out of the hospital for a couple of years. When he got older around the 7th grade we had his tonsils removed and the breathing treatments ended.
In September 1999 we suffered a major flood and lost everything except what we took to the shelter on that evening. My wife had the vehicle packed all except what I packed in my vehicle and took with us. My dad had gotten remarried in 1998 so it was nothing but grace that he was not still living with us because he would not have gone to the shelter with us and his life and our lives were sparred.
My dad got divorced and moved back in the home house and since that time he has been flooded out twice more and within less than year’s time. I had to go through the flood 3 times because he had to come stay with my family and I had to handle all of the business.
Over a couple of year’s time span I had to take care of my dad taking medical leaves and staying with him when he had to go through 2 hip operations. I had to take another medical leave when he was in a car accident.
My wife has not worked since we got married in 1997. My daughter graduated from NC Central University and now my son is in his last year (3rd) year at Pitt Community College.
I have struggled all of my life being there taking care of family and others just like my mother did.
During holidays and from time to time I look at how folk go on vacations and enjoy life while I sit around and do nothing. However over the years we have done some things together such as going to a couple of getaways.
One thing about it my family has not asked for much and has been patient with me because I have always been actively engaged in community and political activism. I have spent my entire life trying to make other folk happy and putting my life somewhat on hold.
I owe my family much and just maybe soon and very soon I will make up for some of the time I shoulda coulda have spent with them.