(....student essay Fall 2015)
We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that. - Ellen DeGeneres
Growing up, I remember several adults who helped out my mom while we were struggling. I’ll never forget Ms. Ginger and all the times she let me, my mom and my sisters stay at her house or all the Christmas presents she bought us because my mom couldn’t afford any that year. I’ll always remember how Ms. Ginger took care of our cats when we went to the women’s shelter to hide from John. Looking back on the God sent people in my life, I’ve realized that I can be the Ms. Ginger to a child and the child’s family who needs help. Tony, Tauny, Kalesia and GG are very special people and I’m so grateful that I met them and get the chance to change their lives, even in the smallest way.
When I saw GG pick up Tony, Tauny and Kalesia it was obvious that she’s not their mother, because she’s an older lady. Eventually, I learned that GG is the great grandmother of the twins and Kalesia! I think it’s so honorable to look after children that aren’t your own, especially when it’s time to enjoy retirement. The kids have been through so much and I can tell that GG really loves them and tries her hardest to care for them. Tony, Tauny and Kalesia’s father is in jail for attempted murder and their mother is simply not around. It’s hard for me to imagine not wanting to be in your child’s life, especially when the kids that they’ve abandoned are so special. I knew after a few conversations with GG that she needed some help and GG definitely deserves a break from her chaotic home life. GG and I planned that every other Saturday I would take the kids for several hours. I’m really excited to get to know her and her family even more than I do now. I’m excited to share all of the adventures that I’ve had with the twins and Kalesia!
The first Saturday that I watched Tony, Tauny and Kalesia was a very memorable day. Tony had been asking at the daycare if we could eat pizza and popcorn, so I ordered 2 pizzas and made sure that there was plenty of popcorn for everyone. We made a big “nest” on the floor with lots of blankets and pillows and we watched “Inside Out.” Tauny enjoyed playing with my dog, Stella. Stella was really good with the kids, which is something that I was a little worried about. Stella actually laid down on the “nest” with us and she enjoyed cuddling with the twins. The next Saturday that I saw the twins and Kalesia, I took them to Lake Ella and Chick Fil A. The kids had the best time feeding the ducks the bread that I got and they really enjoyed Chick Fil A. Tony told me that he loves me and he hopes that I’ll bring him bread to feed the ducks more often. Kalesia said that they don’t get to go to Tallahassee often she’s really excited for the next time that I take them. I’m planning this Saturday to give them the Christmas presents that I got for them and to also have a Home Alone marathon to help celebrate Christmas with them.
I’ve had the best time showing this family that there are people who care in the world. GG says that she’s been so blessed by the cookies and the snacks that I’ve brought her. I’m so excited to learn more about this family and help them in the future. It’s a really special feeling to be able to help someone, especially when I’ve been in a similar situation myself. I’ve discovered through this experience that helping others is truly what I’m called to do. Also, I can see that I’ve grown emotionally and spiritually. I wanted to help GG and her great grandchildren because I remember how much my mom struggled when I was younger. I remember how much hurt I felt after what happened with John and I knew that I never wanted anyone to feel the way that I used to. I told myself that I would be the one person in someone’s life who could help them heal from whatever they’ve been through. I wanted to be someone that the twins and Kalesia can go to when they need someone to talk to or when they need a hug. I feel so fulfilled from the help that I’ve given GG and her family. I’m looking forward to spending more time with the kids and giving them the love that they deserve.