Three years ago she asked, “Will you love them like they’re your own?” And I answered, “Of course!” Did I understand the consequences of my agreement at the time? Probably not! I believe I just wanted then what I want now, and that is to be part of the proverbial “village” that is needed to raise the kids?
Three years of not being able to hug a parent, or play ball, or talk to them, or shop, or eat dinners, or believe that the security they provide is actually going to last? These kids came to me broken. They’re all riddled with the absence of constant attention. Their grades plummeted. Their behaviors were horrible. It wasn’t because their mom and dad didn’t love them. In fact, what really matter is that the base of a good kid is in each one due to the fact that their parent’s adored them! They’re all just sucking the life out of everything they can, because they each believe that people come into our lives, and then they leave.
In the process of becoming the authority, the responsible adult, the security blanket, poor Aunt Rebecca became the disciplinarian. Yes, and in doing that, I lost my fun Aunt Rebecca title and became, “mean Aunt Rebecca!” I have to tell you that the beginning was not as much fun as I thought it was going to be. In the end, though, this journey is proving to be an incredibly honorable experience. I’m not only learning about them, but the second turn of raising a set of kids is forcing me to learn more of myself.
There’s so much to do. There’s so much to say. There’s so many things that I want to teach them. Much to prepare them for. I’m up to the challenge. I am. Sometimes, I fade into the despair of what it must be like to lose both your parents at once. Sometimes I weep because they didn’t know how absolutely incredibly loved their parents were.
Here’s what I do know. I try every single day to be a better person. To be kind and put the frustrations of my inadequacies behind me. I don’t show weakness to the children. I show them consistency. I know I am not supposed to be their friend, I am the person who puts them before myself, or anyone or anything. That’s my job. I don’t take it lightly. It is my belief that I am profoundly and irrevocably committed to their overall happiness and well being.
I’m no longer complain. I try to do things a little different and let go of my own expectations. I’m not going to try and reason or understand because it does me no good. I’m not going to spend this year lost in the muck of pain and anger of what has been lost, or what will come when the ultimate loss is paid. All I can do is push through to the good, the joy of what I see in the community around me. Take stock in the kindness of others and not ask what the angle is. To revel in the fact that I have the skills necessary to do this job and thank the good Lord he saw fit to prepare me for this journey.
I pray every day that I do a job that deserves praise. I love them. Unconditionally. I may never know why God chose me, but what I do know, is that I thank God every day that he did. Amen.