Three weeks ago, my brother, his wife and five kids knocked on my door. Still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, his plant closing, unemployment, and so much more, he decided to pack up his family and move back home. I can’t imagine how difficult that decision was for him but he had an obligation to provide the best care for his family.
When they arrived, I immediately called family. Instead of support, I heard, “How rude. They should have called first”, “ I hope you are not trying to be a Savior”, “ How the Heck does he expect to get help here”, “ You should have sent them to a shelter”, and a lot more. I got the same response from friends that I’ve considered family also. Hmmmm…. I thought, is this what institution of the family has become? I got angry and I thought would these same people do the same to me if I need help.
Let me say this… I am not a Martyr. I do what I do because I want to. I recognize that in order to survive you must have the support of your family. Throughout history, particularly for African Americans, families have always taken care of each other. So, why should I change? I recognize that I am a caregiver and a nurturer. Even with all of the negative comments, I am still the one everyone calls. I am the one that remembers every birthday, anniversary, death, birth, graduation, special achievement, wedding, or thinking of you. Then it hit me…. “Trust in the LORD with ALL your HEART and Lean not on your own understanding”. Proverbs 3:5 I do what’s in my heart and I never question my actions or the actions of those that are in need.
My brother’s obligation is to provide the best care for his family. His decision brought him back to Baltimore where he thought he could get support. Am I obligated to help? No. Yet, I know that with my trust in the CREATOR, All is Well. If my obligation makes me seem gullible, naive or taken advantage of, I would say, “that’s okay”. I have to do what is in my heart and spirit. So knock on my door. Anytime.