(Zentangle ®-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

Despite the many flaws that they have inside, I love my family so very much; Right after the sudden death of my stepfather in December of 2011, my uncle, aunt, and cousins welcomed me with open arms as well as warm hearts. In the few early years that I have been living with my family, I would go with my aunt and uncle on adventure trips, in places such as Rehoboth Beach and even New York City in December of 2012 to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. And yes, I even went on some journeys with them to Dover Days right here in Dover, Delaware…

But as those early years went by, my own family began to change: My first cousin had suddenly impregnated a young woman, in which he suddenly became a single father, and my 2nd cousin had since moved away from us and has now been living on his own. And what is even more, my uncle, aunt, and I do not ever go on trips anymore, and that is because they have now suddenly become grandparents, and they now have a grandson to help their son take care of, and now HE is the one who is going on trips with them.

And do you want to know something else? I really and truly want to talk to my family and to tell them what is exactly wrong with them, as well as asking them why they are acting this way; But do you want to know what their answer is? All they would ever say is: “Nothing”! They act as if they do not want to talk about anything that’s wrong in their lives, and to me that just simply breaks my heart.

Christians are supposed to lend a caring hand, because that is what we have been told to do in the Holy Bible-to help our fellow man. I have somehow been having this tremendous wanting to help my uncle and aunt, just in the same way that I had wanted and have been helping my stepfather whenever there is any time of trouble; I wanted to simply just ask them both that if they are in trouble and that they would very much like to talk to someone about it, they should please come to me. I want to help them, but I might be too scared of doing so, because of their loud voices and their continuous use of profanity. But regardless, my own heart wants to say to me that I should not be afraid of them, and that I should do something to help my uncle and aunt open up their shut-up hearts as well as their own problems to me.

I love my family with all of my heart and soul, and still do; But in truth, I do not know how much longer I would put up with their toxic behaviors. As of this moment in time, I am still working at my job, as food service cleaner for the company Sodexo at the Patterson Dining Facility at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, DE, and I am hoping to have enough money to have a place of my own in the very next year or so. But in the midst of that thought, I began to feel emotional about this, because if and when I finally have a place to live, then I would not ever be able to be around to help my family ever again. On the other side of my brain, I dream of one day leaving this family and to finally live a quiet, spiritual life once again, and this time I would hope to do so in a one-bedroom apartment.

But to tell you the honest truth, I am in a struggle between these two sides of my brain while I wonder which side of my own brain would very much want me to do first and foremost of all. Well, somehow, someway, before I myself plan on moving away, I have got to help my family open up their hearts to me, no matter how long it would very well take…♥️

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