My mother died in November 2010 and to be honest, it took me a minute to even recall the year. The year that she died is not so relevant to me, not even the date. Honestly, its the time that I spent with her before she died that is most important. The last year she was alive was filled with many happy moments and memories, and many moments of misunderstanding and sadness. When she got sick, she told me to protect myself. She told me to look out for my siblings. I’m sure she had this same talk with my sister, who is 2 years younger, but this conversation I had with my mom in private replays in my head often.
My mom had made sure her family would be well taken care of after her passing, but she knew that her children would not get the full benefits. She reminded me to look out for myself and to try to look out for my little brother who was 6 at the time. When she died, the money was given to my dad who then gave us some. The money I took was spent towards school. Then there was the house. My dad was gracious enough to put the house under my name and my sisters name. I was 22 years old when I became an official homeowner. Only months after my mother died, we moved on and forward. The deal was to pay our own utilities and my dad would take care of the property taxes.
Dealing with the death was hard. Only two weeks after, I went back to work, and made sure the utilities were paid. Two months after, I started at a new college and made my own payments from the money my dad had given me. I tried to be as productive as I could, but I look back and I don’t know how I went to school full time and juggled two jobs after my mom died. It got hard when I tried to balance. I couldn’t give 100 percent to one without failing the other. I wasn’t making tons of money to be paying the electricity, tv and internet of a four bedroom house, 3 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, and 3 car garage. I thought I could but I was humbled when I had to ask my dad for help, which I hated doing.
Then we added another person in the household. It was supposed to be temporary but temporary turned into indefinitely, and when no extra help came, things started to get ugly. I was crying every night. I was not happy and I found comfort in the “give no fucks” attitude. I just started living life recklessly and carelessly. I didn’t care about other peoples feelings because I felt that nobody cared about mine. I would post things on social media to try and ruin a reputation. I look back and regret some of the things I said, but at the time it felt like the only way to bring up the obvious lack of support. Everyone deals with grief differently.
Now, we all have different versions of this story, which causes for some controversy, but my reality today is that I choose renting my apartment versus living rent free with my dad, little brother, my sister, her husband, and their child. The house we bought was meant to be for us – my sister, my brother, and myself. It was bought with the dirty insurance money that I feel like doesn’t even belong to us. I gave up my luxuries so I could be happy within myself. A part of me has resentment towards some people, but I would rather live the life I live now. I look back and see how much things have changed. I really am in a better place. I am almost finished with school, the school that I started after my mom died, I am still working and even got a second job in my career field and I just bought my own car.
Sharing all of this was hard, walking through everything step by step. I was once told that I have accomplished nothing by someone who should have been supporting me. I think I am proving those people wrong now. I am so happy today and I am doing great. I know my mom is watching over me and is proud of the adult I’ve become.