Real stories from the elders fascinate me. I would intently listen to my granny when she recalled the things she used to do in her younger days. She used to share the days when life seemed primitive. I would imagine how fun her days were when they used the creeks and rivers for bathing and laundry. She once had a good long-term memory. It was like I was absorbing the interesting details of a history book.
As days went by, her stories had become shorter. Her memory erased most them. My grandmother has been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for 5 years. She could no longer remember things. She had forgotten her own birthday, her exact age, and a lot of times, she has no idea that we are already living in Anniston. The most painful part is that sometimes, she forgets who I am. It saddens me to know that I am just now a stranger for her. But that didn’t stop me from holding her and asking her to tell me a story about the old days. All she can remember is that she was a teacher.
I think what remained in her memory storage were only the fond memories in an orphanage home. She worked as a teacher and she spent almost half of her life teaching orphans. Those were children who were abandoned, had lost their parents and were relinquished due to poverty.
I became a teacher because of my grandmother’s stories. More than my wish to emulate her, I also wanted to experience the joys of teaching. I worked in a private school and I had spent my weekends volunteering in an orphanage to teach and counsel children. I was happy to have the chance to become a foster parent to two children, keeping them warm and safe in our small home. Until one day I realized I had a calling to take care more children who needed help.
With love and determination, I was able to start a small orphanage which initially catered 5 children. I worked along with friends to build a non-profit. To run a place like this was not easy. Each year, a number of children were left under our care. I saw the possibility of acquiring a larger place for the increasing group. It was good that more people became aware of our cause. Generous individuals and few big companies had helped me in funding for a new place.
Finally, I decided to look for a commercial property for sale in Anniston that was big enough for me to turn into an orphanage/school for the children that are sent to our care. I was glad to have met Joey Crews, the real estate agent who helped us acquire a new and better place for the children. Working with Crews was a great experience because a task that would have taken long to accomplish was achieved just in time for the children to start school. Indeed, no time had gone to waste with his service and every paper work was clean and well taken care of. I was glad there’s always a right person you can count on when life throws you with some tough decisions.
Having a new place for the kids is a dream come true. I have wanted to provide them a place where they can laugh and play, learn in a classroom and sleep comfortably. I have been doing this because I consider these children as my own family. That was one thing my grandmother had taught me – that sometimes, children cannot speak for themselves and they need kindhearted people to speak for them and guide them. I am happy that my grandmother will continue to live through the teachings she passed to me.