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Reliable People

Day 6: Reliable Help

Psalm 121:3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber.

"Dependable" by Travis Greene

Happy Sixth Day of Thanks Everyone!

I thank God for reliable people, who stay true to their word, who are honest in doing the jobs they are paid to do and who are consistent.

If there is one thing that frustrates me more than anything is when people are not reliable. It is safe to say that I am frustrated just about all the time. I can never quite understand why people are not on their post, doing what they are supposed to do.

As a single parent of a child with special needs, I can't begin to stress how hard it is to find reliable help. Even the organizations that are PAID to give reliable help and respite to families with special needs loved ones are usually lackluster in providing the required services. If you don't think that's true, I have been waiting for my daughter's respite agency, InclusiveLinks to provide her a respite worker for almost two months. I've contacted the coordinator several times and now I think I'm on ignore mode because I don't even get a text response anymore. (Don't worry! I'll have the last laugh in this scenario. I always do.)

There are always so many moving pieces to ensure that Lilah is provided and cared for. If one of the pieces to the puzzle are missing, it causes a ripple effect, dismantling the entire system in place. For example, Lilah must have a nurse with her on her school bus and in the school building throughout the day, due to her epilepsy. If the agency doesn't have a nurse for Lilah, she can't attend school for the day. Last year, I had to homeschool Lilah myself from September through January because the agency couldn't find a nurse to be with her in school. And, yes, I called and emailed ALL the head administration (chancellors, task forces,etc) of the NYDOE, disability advocacy groups, the mayor's office, 311, council and congressional offices to aid me in this situation. And nothing!!!!! This year, Lilah has had some week stents without going to school due to the same nursing issue.

A few weeks ago, we finally found a permanent nurse for Lilah. I thought we'd be good. Boy, was I wrong!!!!! The new "permanent" nurse arrives hours late for work, causing Lilah to miss her bus on a daily basis, because, according to her, she thinks someone from Uber is "uploading mind messages" to her or "Biden won't release the taxis to come get her in the morning." I recently discovered that she is paranoid schizophrenic (classic symptoms/behaviors) and I'm trying to make her company aware that she is not compensated, if she is on medicine, to prevent a liability issue. The coordinator from the nursing agency is ignoring me (Another unreliable person!) because that would require her trying to search for another nurse when they don't have nurses available on staff. I'm praying that God intervenes to get there s nurse the help she needs and so that I won't have to go back to homeschooling.

Counting on reliability doesn't stop there though. I need reliability in all of my every day affairs, but find institutional reliability to be non existent as well. Several months ago a woman in Florida named Melissa S. Myers wiped out my Chase checking accounts. Since then, I've gone through hell trying to update many of my autopay bills and close this account. I've been to the bank twice doing everything to close the account. I was guaranteed each time that the account was closed. Lo and behold, after several hours wasted, it is still open. To get to a department that can settle my issue is like contacting the FBI or secret service. (Unreliable people!!!!!!!!! Unreliable institutions!!!!) Tomorrow will be my third attempt to close it. I'm praying that a reliable person will be at the other end of this transaction so that I can get my money (and sanity back)

I pray I haven't frustrated you as I shared all of the current unreliable people and institutions in my life. But, I figured if I started with the unreliable, you'd understand just how appreciative I am of the reliable people that make my life so much easier.

One of my sure shot reliable persons is the best uncle on the planet, Mr. Calvin W. Barber. I guarantee you that mine is better than yours. In these parts, we call him Thumper and I have no idea what I'd do without him. (I don't even want to think about that being an option.)

Most people think he's a fire cracker but he has the heart of a big teddy bear and when he has you, he is ride or die for life. He cares for the elderly and makes his rounds weekly to see all the ones in his life to ensure they are okay. One day he saw an elderly woman, who he'd greeted for years, in his neighborhood unkempt for the first time. He made sure he took her home. He visited her church the following Sunday to talk to the pastor and elders to ensure they would take care of her and contact her family members, who lived either out of state or the country to come get her, since she was alone. She got added to his list of elders to weekly check on.

He protects family and loved ones at all cost.

Thumper has basically been like a dad to me since I can remember. He has been to every major or important moment in my life- graduations, hospital visits, sermons- and has always made sure he (and his network) supports and pours into my life. As the elder of our family, he does his rounds to check on all of the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and ensures he has an account of where we are and what we're doing.

He is that person who has to-do lists, writes down the dates and times on calendars and in notebooks of when bills have to be paid or things have to be done. He is regimented with his medication schedule. He knows birthdays.

He sees his tailor on a regular basis to get his clothes tailored or designed and always looks sharp. His reliability doesn't stop there. If he says, he is going to pick you up at 11:42 am, you can guarantee, he'll probably be there at least 10 minutes before that time waiting for you.

As I write this reflection, I laugh because I can also rely on him to call me in the early morning hours when he needs something to get done. I've gotten many early morning calls to book flights, order some gift for a grandchild, or sign up for a class on the internet. I can't forget to mention that I turn into his personal chef, if I send him home with a plate of food that he likes. He literally goes to the supermarket to get all the ingredients I need to make that dish again or he calls to see when and if I've made it. (SMH! Gotta love my Thumper!)

A few years ago, my uncle had a stroke and I begged God every day to give him life and a full and speedy recovery. (I told you, I'm not ready to even think about what life would be like without him in it.) Who in the world would I be able to count on to be the best uncle in the world and check on me to ensure that I'm okay. I told him he has to stay alive to at least walk me down the aisle at my wedding. (I figured that will guarantee that he has to stay around for a long time. Lol)

Thumper has always been my rock- constant, steady, consistent, and reliable. I could use more people like him in my life.

Today as I give thank for reliable people, in particular Lilah and my favorite uncle of all times, I ask that you consider donating to the organization, PIVOT Ministries ( who provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to drug and alcohol addicted men so that they can return to their families as reliable, healed and whole men again. Check out this video

Love ya,

Have a Great Day of Thanks!

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