Journey of Faith

Living with your Great Aunt

I’ve always gotten along with folks older than me. I was actually looking forward to getting to spend some quality time with my great aunt. She was now the only great aunt that I had left on my mom’s side of the family. My other great aunt, my grandma’s sister passed away right before I came home. I was extremely lucky to have known all of my grandmother’s siblings and their spouses, except one that passed away at 18 months after catching the flu. I knew my great grandparents, my grandmother’s parents. I got to enjoy them for quite a while. My great grandmother passed away when I was 7, and my great grandfather passed away right before my 16th birthday. My mom loved this side of her family A LOT! She spent a lot of time with her grandparents growing up. I grew up hearing the stories and having the pleasure of knowing them all. I was no stranger therefore walking into my great aunt’s home. I was also getting a double whammy because my second cousin lives next door. So, I was getting to spend time with her as well. Even though she is my second cousin, I actually felt closer to her and her brother as a cousin because they are closer to my age than my mom and her siblings ages. It took a while however to adjust from not conforming to the routine I’d been accustomed to over 3 years. I was so used to spending time in my room, on my bed that it felt natural to just want to do that. I wasn’t trying to be anti-social. It was part of my adjustment. I also spent a large chunk of time trying to set up my health insurance benefits through the state as well as getting internet hooked up. My aunt, nor cousin saw no need in having the internet. I however needed it because I was trying to apply for jobs on a regular basis. I was also hoping to find a job and therefore would need the internet should that occur. Unfortunately, even though I relentlessly sent out resumes, I was constantly denied or ignored. A lot of people didn’t quite understand this, and why it was taking so long. There was an assumption that I could just walk into McDonald’s, Sheets or place like it and they’d hire me on the spot. This idea was not beneath me to do so, but with the problems that I have being unable to stand for long periods of time, it created a challenge. Also, most of those places hire ex-felons so potentially it could have been an easy way to become employed if I’d been capable of performing the duties required. At one point, after being discouraged for so long and tired of hearing, “did you get a job yet”, I decided to apply to both Wendy’s and Sheets. Both came back that they weren’t able to hire me “at this time”. So, is saying they hire people with a record on their websites just to look good? I made no mention to my disabilities as I figured I could discuss that if given an interview. My aunt tried to make suggestions, such as just walking into a place and asking about a job. I explained to her that a lot of places frown upon that now. They even post on their ads to not contact them directly. Also, the types of jobs that I qualified for definitely didn’t want people just showing up. like to believe that people kept asking me if I found a job because they cared and not because they thought I was just sitting around eating bon bons. I didn’t share this with many, but I really started to slip in a depression. I needed to fight satan and his schemes because he was NOT going to win after all this time. I didn’t come this far to let depression overcome me. I had even reached out to my Dr. about potentially going back on my anxiety meds. I talked to my parole officer about it to make sure it would be ok if I did so. In the end, I didn’t. I’m glad that I didn’t. I ended up spending time walking my aunt/cousins dog Koda. He seemed to enjoy my company too, as he was getting walks back and forth to the mailbox that normally my aunt wasn’t able to provide. My aunt and I had a lot of great laughs. We shared a lot of stories with eat other, and I got to know her better than I did before. I had my own room and cleaned it often to keep my area as nice as possible. I was thankful for what she was providing to me. On occasion, I would mop the floors for her, cook a meal, or help her with meals and dishes. While I offered to do more, she explained to me that I was there to find a job and not to work, lol. I told her that I was willing to “help” since she was allowing me to stay there. I was providing rent, purchasing food towards meals and again helping where I could. It was just my conscience that made me feel that the right thing to do was at least offer to help since I was an added person to her home. I really felt bad that I wasn’t finding a job sooner because my husband was the one paying my rent, grocery money and any other money I needed to spend. He was the only person bringing in any money and having to pay the bills/expenses on our home that I wasn’t able to return to. I did luckily qualify for Medicaid, which I think ticked off some people. People get touchy when someone needs to use the benefits available to us as citizens. There’s a difference between someone who temporarily needs to use the benefits vs someone who makes no effort whatsoever and remains on them because it’s easy. I was a forced to use these benefits. I wasn’t the one who predicted where I obtained insurance, the state was the one who did. I was either going on Medicaid or to the marketplace. Our combined income pushed me into Medicaid. I didn’t even qualify for the marketplace at the time. When used properly, it’s good to have this benefit. It’s not so good when people take advantage of it. So don’t be so quick to judge because you never know when you might need to participate in these programs. Perfect example, my father worked his entire life. He was self-employed and any insurance he ever had was provided by my mother from her job outside the home. Later, when my dad became ill and was on social security disability pay, we found out that he had lung cancer. He was going to have to go into a nursing home. That was his choice, as he didn’t want my sisters and I to have to care for him. I was the one in charge of his decisions. I was called to the officer at the nursing home, where the financial advisor told me that Medicare only pays for 100 days in a nursing home. He explained to me that I was going to have to go down to the welfare office and put my dad on welfare to pay for the rest of stay after the 100 days. Medicare would also not pay for the nursing home and hospice. There I was, having to go down to the welfare building to sign my father up for Medicaid. A man that worked his fingers to the bone, still ended up relying on the system before he died. I’m telling you all this because at the time I didn’t know either. People like to talk, judge and point fingers. I did as well until I became better informed. Now I know.