Monday, February 8, 2016

What Ever Happened to Mrs. G?

I am writing this in 2016 to let you know why I stopped after a very long time, helping Mrs. G with the final stages of her rebuild.

As Mrs. G.'s  stress induced symptoms of Alzheimer's (undiagnosed) increased, she began accusing me, the only person who ever helped her without trying to hustle her, of stealing papers she needed and could not find. I was the person who originally gathered the paper work that was needed to get her rebuild monies, made sure it was completed so that she received her monies, as well as bringing in volunteers many times, to clean away debris, as well to finish rooms in her house after contractors stole her funds and left her house unfinished.

The accusation would have been tolerated as where many times she went into extreme agitation, as I had been dealing with similar related scenarios since I had been helping Mrs. G.

I stopped helping her because in memory loss induced state she became confused as to where the papers were and called Momma D a local representative of the community, who came with a couple of young men to film me, the accused, "a white person who came to rip off the elderly and poor of New Orleans post Katrina flooding".

No matter what I said, Momma D would not hear that during the many months I had spent helping Mrs. G, in her stressed induced (undiagnosed) Alzheimer's state, which often left her confused and very agitated, that she would often forget where her papers and other belongings were. As the young men with Momma D were filming the entire episode, I am sure there is a copy available of a very angry me, shocked and defensive at being so accused, saying in a more heated version what I am saying now.  I found it all extremely ironic as I never saw either Momma D nor any of these young men were ever on site helping Mrs. G, either to do the paperwork or helping in the rebuild. This was the first time I ever saw any of them and how I was treated was off the charts in rudeness and righteous smugness.

I get how frightening it was for Mrs. G, a 75 year old woman to be living in the neighborhood she was, practically alone on her street, trying to organize her rebuild herself. Yet the utter coldness and the way I was treated by Momma D and her 'film crew' and the months of helping someone with memory loss and extreme agitation, made it impossible for me to help Mrs. G any longer. I was depleted. In the end after Mrs. G.'s FEMA trailer burned down, killing her dog whom she loved fiercely, she did move in and I visited Mrs. G a few more times. 

Mrs. G was in her home with her family photos all around her, yet the struggles of the rebuilding experience alone at her age, took something out of her. The sparkle and shine I saw in her eyes when I first met her was gone. I will never forget how my heart would feel as Mrs. G would sign Gospel songs to me, the two of us sitting in her FEMA trailer, making plans to get her in home again, those moments of spiritual intimacy are forever marked in my heart.

I loved Mrs. G dearly and am grateful to have been a part of her life. Out of all the elderly I helped, Mrs. G was given most of my time and energy because of the love my heart felt for her.

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