As a kid and as a young adult my mother used to say to me, "Your father is so miserable, he will die a lonely bitter old man. No one will care, no one will show up at his funeral." Some may think what I am saying is a joke and others that I know will be pissed I have even spoken the words for others to read.
We basically did not grow up in a traditional environment. Thanksgiving and Christmas were two of the main holidays for our family each year. Even after the divorce of my parents, we kids were treated each year to huge dinners with friends and family. Even with all that she did wrong, my mother was a goodhearted woman. She was selfless to the point of thinking about orphaned children, homeless people, a sick and dying estranged husband, and kids that didn't deserve the love she at times was able to share with us. Basically she died alone. Yes, we were there at her bedside when she drew her last breath, but days before that you couldn't find the 4 Massey kids or any of our children laughing and lovingly doing anything with each other.
We found the time to come together as a family when my father became sick. We even had a couple of dinners together, but the tension was always there. I am and always have been the Black Sheep of my family. I was the rebel. The one that caused all the problems. I was and am the last one to know anything about the day to day happenings in any of my family's lives. I even had to read on Facebook that one of my younger sisters and died 2wks after her funeral.
What is really funny about all of this is that I have traditionally been the one that my parents called on when they needed something done, or needed help. My father and I at times went 10 plus years not talking to each other, yet my siblings said dad and I shared the closest relationship of all of us. My mother and I had drop down drag out fights when I was growing up, and there were years that would pass without us even acknowledging each other's existence and we at times lived only 2 miles apart.
I am thoroughly convinced that the more you care, the more you give, the more you provide and the more you try, the more you lose in the end. Does that make me want to stop helping others? No.
You know 10 months ago my wife's sister whom I didn't allow in my house for the first 17 years of my marriage had a stroke due to a drug overdose. My wife who is the love of my life, loves her sister beyond word's ability to describe. When Cathy needed someone to take care of her, Janit didn't have to ask me if she could stay with us because it is just in my nature to care for people in need. Even when her two children placed her in a nursing home and said just let her stay there and die, I couldn't do it. I told my wife we can't treat family like this and we took her into our home.
Though it is was difficult on our marriage, and although it caused problems in our home at times, Cathy had a warm bed to sleep in each night, hot food every day, and hot water for showers and clean clothes for 9 months before she found a new place to live.
Before every serious severe storm and at other times during the year I have offered my house to anyone that may need food to eat, a warm shower or a dry warm bed. I find it hard to believe how far the people of this nation have moved away from day to day, hand to mouth caring for our neighbors, our friends, and more especially our family members. How in good conscience can anyone not offer to help others in times of need believing it is best to let people fend for themselves or consider it a character building experience? I can assure it is not. Nothing makes you feel better in your soul than to reach out and help a person in need, just because you can. Nothing.