The gray walls covered with mold got rotten from dampness... Sometimes it seems like that dampness is caused by tears. Because everyone here cries - of pain, hopelessness, helplessness...
Sometimes the walls here tremble of the frantic scream of 81-year-old Guliko Gotsadze, who has been suffering from unbearable back and joints pains for many years. She has a spine hernia. She can neither stand up, nor sit down, nor live on her own... She endures until the last moment, but when the pain becomes unbearable and does not go for long, the old woman gives up, and the whole neighborhood can hear the cry of her soul... Poor woman!
“My mother's screams wake me up at night,” - the 46-year-old Makvala, the only woman in this family who can move independently, but still a very sick person, begins a conversation bursting into tears. - “Makvala, where are you, where are you?! I'm dying, why don't you come?" And I already know that my 81-year-old mother Guliko started having pains that she could not bear. The pain turned her into a different person - worn out, tormented – just like us. My mother's cry is like a stab in my heart. And pills not always help."
46-year-old Makvala cries in a different way... No one hears her, but her tears - hot as a fiery lava - burn her cheeks. She doesn't know what to do, and for how long will she manage to stand that. She works as a cleaner from morning to evening, earning a meager salary to buy diapers and painkillers for her mother. She no longer believes in anything - she only knows that she must hold on as long as she can.
To be poor and sick in Georgia means to be doomed to eternal torment and suffering. It means losing your face, losing dignity, losing faith in the future...
- Makvala, I know that you don't have time for talking, but if you share your problems with us, our readers will manage to help you.
Makvala: I can only hope for your help, to be honest. And I want to wish good health to all kind people. Because there is no life without health. Look what is going on here... Today morning, just before your arrived, I brought my son home from the hospital. (Sighs.) He spent five days there. He had to be operated on because of suppuration. Let me skate it over - it’s quite a delicate topic. Now I almost have no one to help me. I used to count on Levan’s support, leaving my mother with him. But lately my son started to get sick quite often. In February last year, before the first quarantine started, he felt unwell. He was diagnosed bilateral pneumonia.
- Maybe it was a coronavirus?
Makvala:Now - the test did not show “corona”. Besides that, my son suffers from headaches, accompanied by nosebleeds. I no longer know how to cope with everything. I ask God not to let my son get sick, so that he can help me with my mother - I won't last that long otherwise. Levan is 21 years old, after graduating from school he wasn’t able to find a job. It would be good if at least today I’ll be able to stay at home. But I will cook dinner for them, I will feed my mother, and I will have to go to work at the bus station. If mom sees me leaving, she will object. She doesn't really like it when anyone of us leaves the house.
- At some point, your mother Guliko turned into a helpless child. Do you remember how it happened?
Makvala: My mom complained of dizziness, she did not look well. The doctor suspected internal bleeding and insisted to take her to hospital. I was with her at the Sachkhere hospital the whole month. Hard memories. On some days, my mother did not recognize me, drove me away, became aggressive from the pain... She was diagnosed a spinal hernia. I know that sometimes surgery can help relieve the condition. But this is not our case. My mom is too weak; besides that, she is 81 years old. I'm afraid she won't survive a surgery.
- For how long can a pain attack last? How you deal with it?
Makvala: An hour, two, all night... It is always an exhausting pain that disturbs my mom's equanimity, it emotionally devastates her. They prescribed her pain killers, but they do not work instantly. Sedatives do not work for long either. We have not slept for four years. I say “we” because when my mother feels bad, I’m on my feet. How can I sleep when she screams and cries?! Sometimes she screams evilly and desperately, sometimes weakly and helplessly. I calm her down, give her a pill, ask her to sleep. I go back to my bed. But soon again I hear through the doze: "Makvala, don't leave me alone", "Makvala, I'm scared, come to me", "It hurts a lot." And I go to calm her down. Mom sobs convulsively, and I cry with her.
When these feelings were new to her, my mother behaved more actively and aggressively. Not only at night, but also during the day. Everything irritated her, made her nervous. She begged me not even to walk from room to room. Unfortunately, she does not hear well, she can ask one question several times. To answer, I need to come close and speak loudly. But then mom thinks that I’m yelling at her. She feels offended, can hit me. (Makvala wipes away her tears.) This is because of her illness.
- What was your mother like before?
Makvala: She used to be kind, cheerful... (Smiles sadly.) She did her best for my brother and me. We were under her wing, we felt the warmth. She has never seen a beautiful life. She worked as a cleaner at school. She dreamed of a cozy, comfortable house. Unfortunately, this dream never came true.
It is embarrassing to receive guests in such environment. And in general, I feel awkward to let people in. Those horrible walls with remnants of wallpaper, rotten wooden floors, cracked frames... The cleaning doesn't help - the rooms look just as shabby. We have not renovated our home for more than 16 years - where to get funds for that? But the house requires investment, you need to renovate it - otherwise, everything will fall into decay - how it happened here.
One of the walls of the house is adjacent to the rock. To be more exact, the rock itself is one of the walls. It's in mom's room, let's go.
- Good afternoon, Mrs. Guliko! How are you?
Makvala: Don't try, my mom cannot hear well.
Guliko:Makvala, what happened? Who did come? Are you leaving?
Makvala: Everything is okay, mom. Have a rest.
We only heat my mother's room, and we sit here too until we go to bed. It’s freezing in the other three rooms. I hope the sight of our home did not sour your mood.
No, of course not.
Makvala:It’s my father’s house. My father has not been with us since 2005. This also crippled my mother seriously. My dad died suddenly, leaving us in shock. He did not complain about his health, was on his feet, went to work at a construction site. But one day he felt bad. He died before the ambulance came. One of the reasons of his death was a sore bladder. At that time Levan had a chickenpox. It was a long and hard to recovery after his grandfather’s death.
- How do you work after sleepless nights?
Makvala: Actually, on autopilot. When you get up several times during the night, you feel unwell during the day. My nervous system, of course, is good for nothing. I have only worries and fears on my mind: I keep thinking of nothing bad to happen. Even if the night is relatively peaceful, I can’t sleep. I have insomnia, eh... (Sighs.)
Nevertheless, at 10 o’clock in the morning I am already at work cleaning the premises. Sometimes I come home for a break to check if everything is okay here. But usually, I am at the bus station until the evening (until 18:30).
- How much do you earn?
Makvala: 240 GEL. Added up with my brother's income for his part-time job, it is 500 GEL total. Gia works at the mining camp, but not at the mine itself. The social allowance - 136 GEL. I don’t know how to deal with expenses. Mom needs at least two packs of diapers a month (100 GEL). She is bedridden and cannot use the toilet. We used a bedpan before but now we use diapers. Only I can wash my mother, carry out hygiene procedures. But I come back home in the evening. I wash her by the stove so that she does not catch a cold.
They prescribed a diet to my son now that costs 50 GEL per day. He needs to eat broths. I'm not even talking about medications for my son and mother. I asked in the pharmacy about a medication for Levan - it costs 16 GEL. I'll buy half of the package, and then we'll see.
During the pandemic, we only received food aid once, in November. Sugar, vegetable oil, tomato paste, chicken... And some hygiene products. That is how the state cares about us. The population of Chiatura lives below the poverty line, there is no work, it is a pity for the youth. Our relatives are poor people themselves, and I can’t bother them. I hold on to my workplace because I won’t find anything else. It is clear for me that nothing good and new will happen in my life.
- You are saying that now because of despair, you are tired. But believe me, there certainly will be bright moments too. If you knew that tens, hundreds of people would take your story to heart, wouldn't it be easier for you?
Makvala: I will never forget what the Chernovetskyi Fund has done for us. Levan found you when we were in an extremely difficult situation. You brought us food, packs of diapers and, most importantly, a gas stove! I believe you! Thanks to everyone who helped us then. And if I can make a wish again, I would ask for a washing machine for our family. I wash laundry by hand in cold water, my fingers no longer bend. There are mountains of dirty linen and clothes because of two sick people in the family.
We will be grateful for diapers and foodstuffs too. That will help us indeed. I, myself know that gloominess is a sin. But how to cope with the nerves? God never leaves us - he always gives me signs.
- Could you tell me about that?
Makvala: Before Levan found himself in hospital, I had a dream. A saw a muddy, dirty river. There was an unknown woman standing at one bank, and me at the other one. The woman called my son, she waved her hand. My son did not obey me, entered the water, and walked to the other side... When I woke up, I saw that my son was sick so we urgently had to take him to the hospital.
When my daughter Madonna turned 21, she had a stroke. Her blood pressure rose to a critical point, and then the left side of her body - chin, arm, leg - got paralyzed. She was transported by ambulance from Chiatura to Zestafoni. We spent ten days together in the hospital, and I prayed for her all the time asking to save her. I cried a lot. I asked God: “Lord, she’s so young, she hasn’t seen anything in her life. Save her! Don't let her stay disabled!" And the Lord heard me. My daughter recovered and got married.
- You had to go through so many things!
Makvala: Poverty brings a lot of problems.
Guliko: Makvala, help me...
Makvala: Excuse me - I need to take care of my mom.
It’s so sad when the old man’s pension is not enough for diapers, when a 46-year-old woman says that her life is over... Unfortunately, these cases are typical for Georgia: old age, full of hardships, poverty, and depression. Grandmother Guliko and her daughter Makvala need help right now, not someday. So, we appeal to you, our dear readers. We are sure that you will help faster and more efficiently than those who are duty-bound to deal with social problems.
You can visit the Gotsadze family in person. Their address is: Chiatura, 61 Gogebashvili Str.
Please repost our publication. Let your friends know about the grief of this family! It’s extremely important!
God gives us chances to care about people who are unable to take care of themselves. Do not pass by someone else's trouble! Those poor people are sent to us by heaven so that we could prove not by words, but in deeds that we trust in God!
Friends, there is one more request: if you know about the misfortune of a neighbor or friend do a godly deed, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Purpose: the Gotsadze family).
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We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support this family too, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need help of strangers!
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