Mary was one of the first persons who reached out to share her story. I was blown away by her strength and humility. I am in awe of her, and grateful to share this with you.
“Hello, my name is Mary. I have been married 41 years and my husband and I have no children. I believe God had this door open for me to be a mom figure all my life and a caregiver of many.
I am the oldest of 13 siblings. My dad died at 53 years old, leaving my mom with 11 children at home.
Since I was the oldest, I always helped with the kids and my mom. My mom died at age 83 from Lung cancer in 2008. I became the caregiver for my siblings.
I have three siblings that are mentally handicapped. My brother Ricky has been fighting Lymphatic Leukemia for 10 years. He is no longer in remission and in chemotherapy again. The doctors told us that chemotherapy is a last hope for him.
Then a few weeks ago my brother, Maurice, was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal Lung cancer. The cancer has spread to his liver, jaw bone, and other areas of his body. He has COPD and is on oxygen. He won’t be with us much longer. He has a 16-year-old boy, whose mother left him when he was just three months old.
That same day we found out about Maurice, my niece called to say she had Ovarian cancer. I raised her since she was five years old. Needless to say, I am devastated and feeling deep sadness.
I raised these people, my siblings and other family members, since I was young. I was always the backbone for the family. These are my children.
It is so very hard to watch them all in turmoil. Breaks my heart. I am coping the best I can, I pray and pray, and cry a lot. I do have a therapist I see monthly, thank goodness for her.
But now I’m at a point that I don’t even know what to pray for anymore.
We are a close-knit family, we are a strong people. When one bleeds, we all bleed. We cry and trust God knows best. We pray over our brothers and niece.
I can’t be there for all of them because I’m a full-time caregiver for my in-laws. My father-in-law is bed ridden and my mother in-law has dementia and type 1 diabetes. I have lived with them for over a year and a half now.
We do not have control; our lives are in the Lord’s hands. I have been a caring and compassionate person my whole life. When I pass this Earth, I hope that I will be remembered.
Well I guess that’s enough for now.
Peace and love to all.
God is our strength.”
-Mary Fleetwood Lackey