Why I began this journey in the first place.
This past weekend I came to Buffalo, NY to visit my family. With news that my great aunt's health had rapidly declined, I felt it important to come home. It also happened to be our friends' baby's first birthday and my boyfriend was able to attend the party. It's extremely hard to see someone who helped raise you go through dementia. It never bothered me much when she couldn't remember me from time to time or that she didn't know what day of the week it was, because her positive attitude always played it off, so much so that at times you didn't realize that she really was sick.
But what pains me now is to see her toeing the line of full dementia, where she remembers only a select few and she lives in a state of confusion and daze. She doesn't have the comfort of knowing that her family was with her yesterday or this afternoon because she can't remember. Everything to her is unfamiliar and she's in pain.
Today at breakfast the question was brought up,
Do we commit her to long term care at the nursing home or do we send her back home to live with her sisters, as she always has?
And the answer was this.
We know that having a full time nurse to live with her would give her the best standard of living, especially when is in a lot of pain and so confused. But she can't afford it and neither can we.
My aunt lives off of $700 a month. She is almost 90 years old. And she's been living like this for quite some time.
How many people do you know who don't plan for their retirement, who don't wonder about the second half of their life? Do you assume that your job will take care of it? Do you assume that you'll figure it out when you get there? I really hope not, because I would hate for you to be in the place that my aunt and my family are right now: not being able to do what's right because you can't afford it.
In 4o years, I refuse to have this be the case for my parents or anyone else that I love.
And this is why I am an entrepreneur: so that I can leverage my time to lead to greater wealth to be able to provide a better standard of living for my family and the world, a standard that cannot be reached by a job alone in most cases. I do this so that I don't fear the loss of a job because I know how to make money.
I gladly and gratefully toil now so that I won't have to later, realizing that we all will fumble at some point. I'd rather do it when I'm younger and healthier.
Despite the moral debate in all of this and how I think it is ungodly to not offer someone aide because they cannot afford it, I also realize that as of right now that is a reality, albeit an unpleasant one. So I'm doing everything I know how to ensure a better future for my family and the world I impact.
I'm realizing the importance more and more each day to treat every moment as a gift and not a problem to overcome. To tell people that you love them and to act as if everyday were to be your last, because the behavior of people changes when you see a deadline in the near future, in everything we do. And to make it your mission to realize the work you were meant to do in this world. Because it is both your gift and your path and it will require strength for you to walk it.
I love my aunt and this weekend has been hard, but it also stands as a reminder for why I began this journey in the first place.
Thank you for taking the time to read.