This I Believe

Christopher - Bigelow, Arkansas
Entered on October 23, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Blood is Thicker Than Water

I believe that blood is thicker than water. This is a lesson my mom taught me through the 3 years that she stopped working to care for my elderly Grandmother.

My Grandma Moore came to live with us in the winter of 1999. She was 92 years old. She was small in stature, but big in heart. My Grandmother was very independent. She raised 10 children, and loved one man, who died of pneumonia some 12 years before I was born.

I was very close to my Grandma. The one time I made my Grandmother the most proud of me is when she watched me get saved. She had tears of joy. She gave me her family’s bible. I didn’t go to preschool; I stayed with her. I would sit in her lap and compete for attention. My opposition, who always lost, was a large jealous black and white house cat. When I was old enough to go to school, I would go to her house after wards. She would always have my favorite macaroni and cheese ready. Then she would change it from her shows to cartoons for me. I would tell her about my day as I ate, until my parents got off work at around 5:00.

My mom didn’t want my Grandmother to go to a nursing home, but wasn’t able to live on her own any more. So she came to live with us, bringing her most prized possessions; her clothes, her favorite dolls, and crochet works. All of these made the trip down to our spare bedroom. There wasn’t much different at first. But life got a little bit harder. We were still trying to spend the same amount of money without my mom working. My mom could no longer come to my sports games. I would look up at the stands to my dad sitting alone in his old blue coat and khaki cap. I wanted her there to watch me and I know she wanted to be there. We did get to go on summer vacation. Which wasn’t more than going to Lake Ouachita for a couple of days but it was always fun. Another thing we no longer did was driving around. On lazy Sunday’s, we used to just get in the Tahoe and drive around in the Ozark Mountains. My mom made the most sacrifices of all though. My Grandmother would always feel like she was imposing. So about once a week my mom would assure her she wasn’t and we wouldn’t have it any other way. My mother couldn’t leave the house unless she was going to the grocery store. She even had a monitor to listen to my Grandmother sleep. She would get up several times in the night to make sure she was ok. Then she would wake up in the mornings when my dad and I were getting ready for school. My mom would check my Grandmother’s blood sugar, give her 12 or more pills and give her breakfast. My mom wasn’t totally happy being so bound to the house. I never heard her complain thought. I also missed a few practices and hanging out with friends, when my mom and dad both had things to do in town.

It was difficult for everyone watching my Grandmother age so quickly. The Grandmother I knew was creative with inventions and crocheting. She had to stop because she couldn’t see well enough anymore. She used to be self reliant but now it hurt her too much to walk. She couldn’t fix her own meals and work in the garden. Her memory was failing she could tell you what happened 20 years ago, but she would tell that story twice. Her short term memory wasn’t anything like it used to be. She used to be active, but now she just read her giant print bible with her magnifying glass. I still loved time I spent with her though. She would tell me stories about seeing the first car, getting electricity, and living through the depression.

My mom taught me that blood is thicker than water by doing what ever it takes, to take care of our family member. Your family will love you when you are down and take care of you when you are sick. They will help you even though it might not be easy. So I try hard to keep up with my family and know what’s going on in their lives so I can be there for them, too. There were a few hardships we went through, but it was all worth it. Helping a close family member like we did is some thing most people are not able to do. There is a certain pride and good feeling that comes from that.