Learning To Cope: Meet Gertie
Gertie stood outside the back door of the restaurant. She held her hands together and closed her eyes in prayer.
Lord give me strength.
I do not know how much more I can endure.
As tears filled her eyes, she could hear the echoes of all that was wrong in her life.
Gertie recalled her past. She was only 16 years of age when her stepmother had tried to kick her out.
Her dad never had a backbone. Nothing was the same ever since her mom passed when she was only eight years of age.
Thankfully, Gertie’s father never allowed her stepmother to follow through with it out but he did ask her to get a job if she wanted to live with them.
That’s when Gertie applied to the local diner near her home in San Angelo, Texas. She only worked part-time but quickly moved up to full-time when she graduated from high school.
Gertie had so many dreams about attending a great college. After all her grades were over the top and her counselors encouraged her to take her SAT’s. They also had scholarships available. She was so excited about her prominent future.
Sadly, as Gertie planned her new life, her father suffered a stroke. Gertie began feeling guilty.
I can’t just leave my dad. Can I?
Unfortunately, she did not get a chance to make that choice. Once her father fell ill, her stepmother got up one day and never came back.
He was devastated.
“I am so alone again!” he cried.
“I am here, Dad.”
Gertie held his hand.
“Thank you, Gertie. Thank you.”
Gertie thought, eventually, she could get back to her own life. After all, her dad was doing so much better; however, as time went on and years passed, he began needing more care.
This is when Gertie began working many long hours and became the manager of the local diner in San Angelo.
This was not the plan Gertie envisioned for her own life; however, she loved her dad no matter all the pain he had placed upon her. She knew family had to come first.
Dad needs me.
Time passed by quickly. Meanwhile, in her own personal life, Gertie had met someone. At first, Alec seemed kind and generous but over time he grew to be overly possessive and jealous. Shortly after that, his abusive behavior got out of hand.
All of this torment began taking a toll on Gertie. It was not enough that she was caring for her ailing father, but now the person she thought would love her was only hurting her.
One day Gertie decided enough was enough and ended it. Then she applied at other local diners.
She had saved enough money to have a nurse come in to help with her dad and he also began receiving some of his medical benefits from his own job.
Still, in the present moment, she wondered if things would ever change.
“Dear God I am not sure what to do anymore?”