The Story Of Vera And Her Family, Chapter 25

30 09 2008

Actually I started my job working for Mrs. T about 10 days before the wedding.  Our street was full of widows and many of them were friends with each other.  One of the widows called  me and told me that Mrs. T was recently diagnosed with macular degeneration and was no longer able to drive.  She asked me if I would be interested in doing some driving and other chores for Mrs. T.  I wasn’t sure that taking care of an elderly person was something I wanted to do but I went down and talked with Mrs. T.  Her Boston Terrier would not stop jumping up on me.  Mrs. T told me that if I wanted the job–I had to be able to handle her dog.  That dog was brutal to me that day.  Oh, not in a way that would really harm me but I obtained a few scratches from Bonnie.  Perhaps I should have said no to this little job but I just didn’t have the heart to abandon an 84 year old woman who had trouble seeing. 

Mrs. T had a good retirement from working for the state. Plus, she had a daughter that was very well to do.  This was Mrs. T’s only child.  Deidra was very protective of her mother .  She called her mother every day and visited a month at a time each season of the year.  When I began my job–it was almost time for Deidra to come for a visit.  I worked for Mrs. T about 3 weeks before Deidra arrived for a visit.  It was long enough to gain a sense of trust between us.  I had to be at Mrs. T’s home at 7:30 a.m.  My first duty was to clean up all of Bonnie’s mess on the back porch.  Each evening, Mrs. T placed newspaper on the floor of her little back porch.  I was to clean up all of the mess and mop the floor.  Then I took Bonnie for a walk.  When I got back, Mrs. T liked to go shopping or just get something to eat at a fast food place.

When Deidra came for her visit–I had that time off.  She interviewd me and actually Deidra became my boss.  She decided that she didn’t want her mother to worry about paying for help.  Deidra and I struck up a good friendship.  I trusted her and she trusted me.  After years of taking care of my children–caretaking was just a part of who I was as a person.  I fell right in with my duties.  Deidra also wanted me to write out all of Mrs. T’s bills.  Then Mrs. T signed the checks.   So I was a check writer, chauffeur, dog handler and all around girl Friday.  I worked about 25 hours a week.  Plus, I still substituted for the paper routes.  Looking back–I just can’t imagine how I handled all of my duties.

Right as school started in August –you, Vera, had another accident.  We had a coffee table in the living room with a glass top.  You placed your weight on it and fell through.  The glass tore one of your legs up in a bad way.  I started screaming as I saw all the blood flowing.  I desparately looked for old towels to wrap your leg up in.  We got you to the emergency room as fast as possible.  You had to have 11 stiches and they placed your leg in an immobilizer.  You had to wear that for 10 days.  When it was taken off and the stiches were taken out–your leg was very stiff.  It took another week for you to be able to walk without being gripped with extreme pain.  I’ve never had another glass top coffee table.  They are just to dangerous.

Inbetween taking care of Mrs. T and substituting for paper routes–life continued to be very full.  It was Maria’s senior year.  She was on the year book staff and spent a great deal of time on that project.  One of her jobs was to have video footage of all important events.  Maria also continued to be active with her speech and debate team.  You, Vera, were extremly busy with the Beta Club and National Honor Society.  You continued to win all kinds of awards working with the academic team and science Olympia.  There was never a dull moment in our home.

And I keep forgetting to mention how much all of us loved and enjoyed our dogs, Sugar and Lucy.  Your Dad and I tried to walk them each day before we ate supper.  We had a well known path of walking the dogs and to this day I still get people telling me that they see us walking our dogs.  We also still had our very first cat, Tinker.  She was very peculiar with her eating habits.  She only wanted a certain brand of tuna and sauce made especially for cats.  She loved the outdoors and would only come in to be fed.  We tried to make her an inside cat but it was no use.  I knew that she would die before her time because there were just too many people on our street that didn’t like cats.  We had already lost Tinker’s daughter to poison.  We also had Max who was equally loved the outdoors.  He, too,  had he own peculiar ways.  He would climb up in the front yard maple tree that was close to the porch.  He would then appear to fly to the roof and sit at the window of Maria’s room until she let him in.  Our lives were full and rich.  There was never any time in our lives to be bored.

Spring came with a new adventure.  My brother, David’s daughter, who lived in Louisville called and told me all of her troubles as a single mom.  Jean seemed to be well doted over by her mother, aunts and her maternal grandmother.  Jean’s mom was mentally ill but if she stayed on her medication–she functioned well.  The problem was that Jean’s mom didn’t like to stay on her medication.  For some reason, Jean, was always the target of her mom’s mental problems.  I told Jean that she could come live with us.  So in April of l996 Jean and her 14 month old daughter, April–came to live with us.  Jean took the Greyhound bus.  Later, her grandmother, mother and aunts brought the bulk of her things to our home.  We enjoyed a Sunday afternoon visiting with them.  Looking back, I would have to say that I must have been addicted to crisis.   I hate to admit that about myself for my life was full enough.  Why did I have to keep stirring the pot?




5 responses

2 10 2008

My dear friend, Nicole3,
I don’t believe that you were or are addicted to crisis, but rather, you have a caring heart as big as the outdoors.
Caring for someone who was loosing her eyesight and for your children and then, your neice and child is all expressions of a heart of great compassion.
Yes, you filled your days with those who needed your support and I am sure that you were very tired, but without you in these people’s lives, they would have been so much poorer….your “back stage” influence helped so many to reach their potential. What a living, walking blessing your were and still are….
Your friend,

16 10 2008

Hi Nichole – We have a mutual blogging buddy in Shadowlands and through her I have heard of your difficulties. I am praying for you and your family and I am especially asking for strength for you and renewed health for your husband. Stay strong and know that God is with you constantly and many hold you in prayer. Hugs, Linda

17 10 2008

Thanks for your warmness and kindness. We just got home this afternoon from Vanderbilt.


18 10 2008

Shadowlands and Nichole,

I send all my best wishes to both of you. I have been passing by every few days and wondering how you both were.

Big hugs from London.

18 10 2008

Thanks so much, Dewdrop. Blessings to you.


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