Meet Wendy. She’s 23 and a young carer. She cares for not one, not two but three people at home.
We spoke about Liam Gallagher and how his music resonates for her, excitement for a new album and how Why Me? Why Not. the title of his new album makes so much sense to her, helps make sense of things, so many things.
Before the caring was the biological father and he brought a violent and verbally cruel household. Then a stepfather who drunk until six years ago but the drinking has left an indelible mark on his life as a result of brain damage and needs constant supervision. Mum has a rare form of diabetes and a ganglion growing in her brain. Younger brother Edward is autistic and within this has learning difficulties.
And Wendy cares for them all. Shopping, cooking or making sure there’s easy food to make, takes her brother out to the movies and makes sure he’s got oven gloves on if he’s taking chips out of the oven. Reminds dad of the things he forgets. She’s the glue that holds the household together, even making sure bills are paid on time. Oh, she also has work at the weekends at a soft play centre.
There isn’t much time. Not for Wendy to be Wendy, to be a 23yo dating or going out, going to see a band, a rock n roll show of someone she loves. She has a degree in photography but no time to follow on.
And she’s simply a lovely young woman. Talking with her you’d hear her kindness and compassion, hear how much she gives to her family and how that’s simply how it is. And this is so often how it is for carers, that’s just how it is and shoulders shrugging at the dice life has rolled for them and accepting it without complaint. Why Me? Why Not.
And she’s has some damn fine nails!
And when everything is for everyone else making decisions for ourselves can be tricky. Working out which show Wendy wanted illustrated this beautifully as hands wrung and frowns accompanied the words saying London but it’s so expensive.
We’re so glad that Wendy chose the show she wanted where she wanted. It’s a long way from home so we’re giving her the night before the show as well, time to see some sights and walk around; to be a 23 year old exploring a big city before their show. Their first rock n roll show.
Why me, Wendy might ask.
Because you matter, Wendy.
For the last year the Foo Fam, a Facebook group with members from all four corners of the globe, has been supporting Given To Live.