Al and Me


Thanksgiving 2009 at Isabella and Cris

Yesterday was Thanksgiving at our house. Like most Americans, we celebrated with a turkey, ham, and other goodies. There was a seven layer salad, deviled eggs, home-made macaroni and cheese,  home-made dressing, green beans, corn, home-made yeast rolls, a relish tray, apple, cherry and pumpkin pie, and an old-time favorite chocolate dessert that all went with the meat.

We smoked the turkey for the first time, and I was in awe at how the outdoors smelled the whole day while the bird was cooking, and the taste, oh my gosh, it was divine!

I picked up my brother in the early afternoon. I walked in and he was sleeping. I called his name a few times and finally he woke up with a smile on his face when he saw me standing there. It was wonderful to see the smile. I just knew he was so happy to be coming home for the day.

He didn’t stand very well without help and he needed a little help getting in the car and out of the car. He went inside the house, and then immediately turned around and went outside. The fresh air had to feel awesome to him as he was inside a building most of the time.

He stayed outside, sitting on the picnic bench quite awhile, until he got chilled and wanted to come in. When he came in, he didn’t take his jacket off for a couple of hours, saying he was cold.

He didn’t produce the usual chatter he does when family is usually here. He watched cartoons and laughed along side of my three-year old grandchild. He took smaller portions of food, but did make sure he ate a piece of cherry pie and the chocolate dessert.

His tremors were pretty active, so after he left the kitchen, I went behind him and cleaned up the floor where he had been sitting. I got the kitchen all cleaned up, and then he asked to go back to his new home.

I asked why, aren’t you having a nice time here? He said that he wanted to come here, but he just was so tired. Sadly, I took him back, and found the nurse to let her know we were back and then told her I thought he had a good time but he was complaining of pain while he was with me and how tired Al was and wanted to come back early.

She said that the Parkinson’s is progressing in Al’s heart, so she finds Al asleep a lot more. She said she has to wake him up often, just to give him his medications.

She said the facility was considering pushing Al down to the socializing room in a wheelchair,, so that he would get more involved. I told her he had also told me, that his legs hurt so bad, that it was too long of a trip to the socializing room. She said that they would just start pushing him and the rest of the times he could use his walker.

I had sent him a goody gift bag with him and he made sure to tell the nurse to mark his things so no one would take them from him. He had rolls, cookies, sodas, and a new car, and more newspapers to read now.

When I left the facility, I got in my car, and before I turned the key over, I looked up to the skies and thanked God for this wonderful Thanksgiving day. Although, only one out of three children showed up for the dinner, Al, my baby brother, had made a sacrifice. He sacrificed his pain, in order to spend it with his big sister.

Thank you Lord, for giving me this day with him, and my little family that spent the entire day and evening with me. I feel truly blessed.

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36 thoughts on “Al and Me

  1. I am so glad to hear that you and Al had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am sorry to hear about the increase in Al’s pain and hope that they find medications and other therapies that can ease it.

  2. Thank you, and Al, for sharing a tender memory. In the middle of all the marketing and media, reminders of what is important- the sacrifices we make for each other, the most valuable gifts, can’t be bought.

    • this is so true. love, family, are of great importance. it breaks my heart to see so many families, divorce, fall apart, the children no longer feeling secure, but for Al and me, we will fight this PD together, and I will celebrate the smallest of moments

  3. Hello terry1954, I’m so glad the day turned out well for you and Al and your family. It doesn’t surprise me your brother wanted to go back to his new home earlier than you thought. It took me a while to adjust to my mom’s increasing desire to not leave her Memory Care Unit with me even when she could walk. Finally I realized the daily routines were a kind of comfort to her and she knew what to expect. She feared the unexpected, I think. At any rate, you are a good sister to your brother. He’s lucky to have you and on some level he knows how much you love him.

    • yes, it was wonderful to have him here. I think it threw me off guard, when he wanted to return earlier than I had expected to take him, but I wondered if he also felt the comfort of his room, as your own mother did in returning to her familiar routine. no matter what, i was happy to have this day with him and i am looking forward to Christmas to have him here again

  4. So happy that it turned out to be a great day for all of you – and that Al manage even if he wasn’t in top form. It’s really the small moments of happiness that we should be thankful for – and them we should be thankful for whenever they arrive. I want to start a thanksgiving hour everyday – and skip all the turkey business *smile. – Wonderful post and I bet you’re tired today.

    • I slept in really late for me this morning. I kept waking up at my early routine times, but forced myself into sleep once again. today, so far, it is the radio and me, and it is peaceful and I am loving it! I think an hour of Thanksgiving is a need that should be practiced daily!!!!

    • I think he is feeling comfortable in his new surroundings, finding his own routine and with plenty of help to help him through each day, I am sure from what he told me, he loves. It is a journey, and sometimes a hard one, to make one foot walk ahead of the other

  5. Terry, I’m so happy your Thanksgiving with your brother was nice. I felt your sadness at the same time as happiness… I know it well. This was a special memory just made in your mind, your heart. Love, Gloria

  6. I remember my Mom asking to go back home…”the nursing home”… She seemed to feel content there…a little sad for me but, glad she liked it enough to want to go back…
    Glad your day was happy…Mine was too…Last year I had my Granddaughter living with me…after 6 months …she went back home…and everythig is going so well…That made me happy!… Intervention
    can be a good thing…Lots to be thankful for…Thank you Lord!…Love , mkg

    • well, remember, he had wanted to go for some time, he thought or still thinks he can be made better, but with all of the extra help, I am sure he feels a bit brighter and safer against falls. he is so afraid of falls, as he had more and more before he moved to his new home

  7. I am blessed and thankful with you, Terry. So glad you got to see those smiles and Al got to be outside some and with his family that loves him. love and hugs! You did good!!!

  8. I’m so happy for you that your day went well and that Al was happy to be there with you. I’m glad the part of your family that came stayed for so long. And it’s good to hear you have had some down time today just for you. You need that.

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