Essay about Poverty: Family and Grandmother

Submitted By ToriToreyTorrie
Words: 755
Pages: 4

English 1A
27 0ct. 2013
A Life in Poverty What is poverty to someone who is so privileged? Nowadays people do not really know what poverty is; they don’t really know what is feels like. Poverty is not having necessities, or healthcare. Poverty is not having luxuries or pleasures. Poverty is being in a single parent status, with very little education. In Jo Goodwin Parkers short story “What is Poverty”, she paints a vivid picture of a woman and her children who live a life in poverty. During the 1960’s, my grandmother and her family were victims on poverty. Living in the southern states during the 1960’s was hard for a single mother with children; nine children to be exact. Out of my grandmother’s nine children, my mother was the youngest. They lived in a two bedroom wooden shack in Houston Texas. The shack was also occupied by ants and roaches. They also had rats, possums, and other vermin on occasion since they lived by the woods. The shack sat on brick slabs making it accessible for any creatures to make their home under the house with ease. One room belonged to five boys, and the other, four girls. My grandmother slept in a little space that was suppose to be used as a den. Ten people shared one bathroom. This bathroom only had a toilet and a tub, there was no sink. The kitchen was very small. Since my grandmother only had an eighth grade education, work opportunities were hard to come by. She was able to get a job cleaning the houses of the more fortunate; “rich white people” she called them. These houses were located clear across town in a much nicer area. Every morning she would wake up when the sun did not shine. She had to be up and out the house at three in the morning. If she missed her bus then she would not arrive at the time she was scheduled too. Every night around ten she returned home, tired, exhausted, and worn out. This was an everyday thing for my grandmother. There were no sick days, nor were they any days off. Back in the day they use to call children who were home alone constantly without adult supervision latchkey kids. That is exactly what my grandmothers kids were, latchkey kids. My mother was the youngest, and with age grew to be the most helpful in the house. With a mother gone all day trying to make ends meet, and no father figure insight, my mother and her siblings learned to raise themselves. Growing up without a mother was hard for them, especially the girls. A lot of feminine and personal things were learned the hard way. Not having their mother around also instilled a empty feeling in them. Fortunately they did receive government assistance, but it only provided limited amount of food stamps and a small amount of money. Food