what pride felt like until earlier today, but I can honestly say right now I feel so proud I could burst. I used to hear people say they felt proud of their children, friends or family members, and while I thought I knew what it meant, I never really understood the feeling. Then my number 1 went and got the exam result she needed to go to uni and I suddenly learned what it really means, and I could not be prouder if I tried. It's an odd feeling because I'm just her crazy aunt so I've not really got a reason to feel like I do, but I've been there since day 1 and know what she's been through to get where she is today and that's what makes me proud of her.
Things people don't know (or aren't aware of) because she's not the kind of girl to whine about how hard her life is (except in endless ranting emails and messages to me) are many. Just to get to the stage where she was able to sit in an exam room has been a battle for her. To me nobody deserves to be where she is right now more than she does.
The week her Mum died, she didn't just lose her Mum... she lost her sister and brother (they went to live with their Dad).. She lost the family dog (who went with the younger kids).. she lost her tortoise (he died the Saturday after her Mum died on the Monday) and then just 2 days later she lost her home (her step-dad is the spawn of the devil and deserves to suffer a long, painful life) when she was evicted; this was her family home and she was cast out onto the streets. This would have been enough to break many people, but she took it in her stride.
Then the only family she had left (her uncle and his he/she wife thing) walked away from her and left her to deal with everything. Not only did she have to deal with the fallout from her Mum's husband things family, from the friends of her Mums that weren't really friends, she also had to deal with it on her own. Yes I was there and her Mums best friends were there, but at the end of the day we couldn't take away what she was dealing with; we could only be there for her when she needed to rant, shout, or cry (something she doesn't do a lot as she has a black stone heart :) )
She ALONE, had to organise her Mums funeral; she ALONE had to PAY for her Mum's funeral (us lot did chip in what we could afford). Her own family NEVER gave her a penny towards any of it. Her own family saw her homeless and NEVER offered to put a roof over her head. Her own family shit on her from a great height. Not only did she have to pay for her Mum's funeral, she was also left with the remaining money to be paid from her Nan's funeral who had died just a year before. Everyone else continued on with their lives and NEVER once bothered to ask her if she was ok. Not only was she dealing with all of the stress and strain of multiple deaths, losses and bills that she couldn't afford, she was also very poorly herself and was dealing with her own life threatening illness.
6 months after her Mum died she herself went into hospital for what should have been a routine operation - something went wrong and she came as close to death as anyone can come without crossing over to the other side. Did her family bother to go and visit her? NO. Did her family bother to send her a get well card? NO. Did her family even bother to text to see how she was? NO. You can bet your arse though if she had died they would have crawled out of the woodwork (AFTER everyone else would have paid for her funeral) to declare how much they loved and missed her. Thankfully it didn't come to that, but the very people that had caused her so much stress when she needed their help, couldn't even be bothered to make sure she was ok when she almost died.
She came out of hospital a very poorly young lady, but she was determined she wasn't going to let her illness hold her back and she wasn't going to let having no money stop her from following her dreams. For 2 years (that's TWO) years she has worked 18 hour days, 7 days a week, while trying to fit in her studies as she wanted to become a nurse so badly. IF someone in her family had bothered to help her with money she could have taken a day off now and then; she could have spent some time with her brother and sister, but if work was offered she often had to let the kids down (sadly they didn't have their own money so she could take them out and spend time with them at their expense), and go to work - not something she wanted to do, and sadly this is often thrown back in her face in a nasty way because people have NEVER bothered to take the time to find out what she is having to deal with - everyone else is too selfish to even consider she may have a good reason to let people down, and that having to do so may break her heart very often. NOBODY else was going to pay off what was left of the funeral bills. Nobody else was going to help her find the money to live. Her and her fiance often just eat toast and butter for days on end, because they can afford nothing else, and STILL people treat her like she's the worst sister, person, friend or cousin in the world. It makes me so ANGRY I can't put into words, just how much - especially when grown men are giving her abuse. Grown men that should be helping her and trying to make sure she is ok, and yet there they are hiding behind their computers or their phones, giving her abuse about what a bad person she is. She's had to deal with all of this, and yet she was always determined she was going to become a nurse if it killed her (it almost has).
She will now go to uni, but she will still have to work night shifts 4 or 5 days a week just to find enough money to cover her bills and her tuition fees - she's struggled for 2 years and has another 3 to go but she WILL do it because it's what she has worked so hard for; a nurse is who she wants to be. I only hope one day those that have accused her of being a let down, or of not being a better person, NEVER have to go through half of what she's had to go through and deal with. Anyone that dares to tell me she's not a truly amazing person is not someone worthy of my time. She's dealt with all of this.. and today she got the grades she needs to go to uni. That's why I'm proud of her; that's how I know what true pride feels like. I'm so happy for her after all she's been through I could actually cry. Nobody deserves this more than she does.