“The moment I wanted to be a CNA was when my father got cancer. He had to have a pace maker because his heart was only pumping at 20%. At the time I was 19 years old, pregnant, and struggling with a nine-month-old. My father was my everything and it killed me to see him unable to do the things he use to do. He was still strong; a husband to his wife. It killed him to ask for money for his cancer medication.
He was once able to provide for me and he needed it so I provided for him without question. But his health started to decline so I was there to help feed, clean, and love him. It broke my heart to see this once strong man now small and frail. He couldn’t read nor write because back in his time it was normal for a young black man to go out in the world without schooling to work to provide for his family. He was put on hospice and the day after he could no longer speak nor move.
He was bed ridden. The hardest part was seeing him in that state and not being able to help. The nurses and aides cared for my father like he was their father. I seen and felt that love they were given him and it put me at ease knowing they were now caring for him.
When he passed they cried as if he was their parent. I couldn’t help to think how strong they were to do their job. I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to do the same: To be there not only for the patient but their family as well. It took some time but when I became a CNA it was the most rewarding feeling. I’ve been a CNA for 4 years now and it fills me with such joy to be a caretaker. It reminds me of my father and I know he’d be proud of me. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”