Food For Thought


I am watching 60 Minutes on TV. It is fascinating as I watch how planets are formed. I had this plum-crazy idea.

What if the skies, the highest that any object or naked eye could see was really the heavens? Where God watches over his loved ones and his universe, at the same time. What if, the stars we see twinkle are really our loved ones who have left this earth and are watching over us?

Just food for thought, a crazy idea, but in my pea-sized brain, a fascinating idea. The show said there is sugar and alcohol in the skies.

God made the world in less than a week. What if he didn’t waste a thing? What if he used the same ingredients to make the heavens as he did for us to be able to live here on earth? Again, food for thought.

God is amazing. Our world is amazing. How babies are made is miraculous. We shall never have the capacity to understand how this world really works. How God could put things in place and form a living, breathing form for billions of people to thrive on for years and years.  Is it any wonder that all he ask of us is to follow him and love him?

dwarf-planetstwinkle starsstar--background-seamless-repeating1

Please Let my Pain Rest


For two nights in a row I have slept like crap. Dreams, yes dreams are what kept me waking up. The first night I had dreams that my kids were chasing me. My arms were being pulled apart as different kids had words being hurled at me and I didn’t know which way to go.

I got through that by only waking up one time. It was a fairy-tale ending so to speak. I remember everyone in my dream was smiling in the end. Those are the best dreams aren’t they?

Last night’s dream woke me up at least three times. When I went back to sleep I picked up where the dream had left off. It was a strange dream and yet familiar. I kept hearing bells. I had another dream last month where it had to do with Al and bells.

Last night bells kept going off. Tinker type bells, not big, piercing bells. I would wake up to see Al standing at the foot of my bed and he would say nothing but smile at me. When my eyes were fully awake I would see nothing.

I dreamed of many times Al and I had gone to flea markets in Florida and I could hear the conversations that we had once shared. I had visions of trips we took to this flea market in Kentucky. It was as if I was re-living the real scene all over. I remember Al rushing down the aisles to see if there was any coke items and if there wasn’t he would sit down and wait. This was always irritating to me and I remember trying to teach him that we were at the flea market not just for him, but for me also.

I saw dad’s drooling from his mouth and his lip quivering and I am pretty sure that my own thoughts of having Parkinson’s Disease now is what caused that part of my dream. The bells though; this is what kept waking me up. I don’t know how many times i heard them but each time Al would appear at the end of the bed.

I never got out of bed until late this morning, and then I was woken by a phone call from distant relatives. Have you had that happen to you also? Someone who has hurt you and hasn’t spoken to you for years now is calling?

It brings back all the pain and hurt. The conversations do not feel real. Suspicion on what is really wanted enters the back door. There was a lot of, way too much of drama that happened when my dad was ill.

I took care of my dad myself pretty much, as far as doctor appointments, and physical care was concerned.  My dad was my hero and he and I had talked very intent conversations towards the end.

I hurt for my dad when people he thought would come see him did not and ugly words were tossed around from those who didn’t help care for him. They were just ugly times. I somehow made it through it and was able to suppress the ugly and remember the gold of my dad.

Then there was my brother. People wanting things they thought he had. Few calls were made from the family that Al most wanted to hear from. If it were not for my caregivers and my best friend, Al and I would have suffered through Al’s illness alone.

Deep pain still exists from those years and I hate to sound selfish; but I don’t want to be reminded of it today. I am trying to heal. I sometimes think that my daughter makes a very valid point today. When our dad died, Al had his heart attack exactly one week after we buried dad. I never had a chance to mourn my idol, before I was thrust into the caregiver part of taking care of Al the next seven years. Now the mourning process is terrible. I didn’t expect it to go on this long. My daughter says I am most likely mourning not just losing Al, but dad also; causing this huge void in my life.

So when the phone call came in this morning it brought everything rushing back again. The sour words, the lack of concern, the threats. I am sure I played parts in causing pain, but I believe that most decisions I made were to protect my brother.

He had on the surface a wonderful life, but if you talked to Al, you were able to learn and see that many of his emotional problems stemmed from his estranged life with his dad. Pain runs deep and if it can’t be healed or is continued to draw on for years, the damages are not easily healed.

When I learned of Al’s true feelings I protected him at all cost, even if it meant hurting others or them not understanding. I did what I did. I have this huge hang up today with living in or with the past.

The whys and what ifs eat me up. Did I ever mention that  am perfect? No, because I know I am not. I am human and sometimes I have made decisions based on being hurt or as I said to protect Al.

All in all though, I got to know another side of Al that no one else did. I feel lucky. I feel happy that I was able to provide him with as much as I could. I was able to see more smiles from him than I saw in his entire youth.

If no one else understands why or how I feel this way my only answer is they should have quit standing on the outside judging and remembered they were once close and got themselves involved in Al and my life.

For those who are lucky enough to  have a close knit family still today, good for you. For those who have been hurt by family members and the resolving of issues still carries with you, you understand my feelings today.

Today is going to be one of those times where once again I am reminded of all the past. I am going to spend a tiny amount of time facing these who hurt me. Phone conversations are no different. Familiar voices now faded in my mind, come rushing back at the sound of the phone ringing.

I am going to miss my family here very much. No matter what reasons anyone thinks I am moving away, I have no doubt they really understand. I need to get away. No, I have to get away.  Tongue lashings, sad memories, death and trying to heal need to be placed on a shelf marked, task completed. I can’t go on with the rest of my days being reminded. I feel like I deserve a fresh start, even if it is at the age of 60. Discovering I now have Parkinson’s Disease makes me a little scared. I never want to be a burden to anyone but I may need help. This is a major decision I am getting out of my hone and away from these terrible winters.

I realize that some or all of this conversation between you and me may be confusing; but writing for me; it makes me sit just a little bit taller as I continue to try to re-build who I once was. Thank-you for caring for me these past two years you have come to know me my dear friends. Thank-you for seeing the good in me and not judging me.

Sometimes family is not only that of blood, it is those who walked beside me when the air was thick.

 

ME

Come Back


Fingers asleep

Heart is numb

Eyes bugged out

Is this stress

Why can’t I

Get in control

What has happened

To the old me

I get angry

This happens

But too

Tired to fight

Please come back Terry

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

7,25,2014

THE GRASPING GAME


THE GRASPING GAME

 

Where did you go

You were here

Now nowhere

Come on

I hear you

Or do I hear

Your old voice

Do I see

Your face

Or is my

Memories over-drive

Come back I say

Turn and

Look at me

Don’t play games

I see you

Walking to

Your room

You can’t fool me

I see you

Standing there

Tears fall

Down my cheeks

As I reach

Out for you

And feel ice.

 

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

07.17.2014

 

tree pavilion

Last Evening


fiddler-on-the-roof-800-75 Last evening I was invited to see a new play at the Wagon Wheel Playhouse in my home town. It was called Fiddler on the Roof.

 

This article is about the 1964 musical. For the film, see Fiddler on the Roof (film).
Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the roof poster.jpg

Original Broadway Windowcard evoking the artwork of Marc Chagall, source of the title.
Music Jerry Bock
Lyrics Sheldon Harnick
Book Joseph Stein
Basis Tevye and his Daughters by Sholem Aleichem
Productions 1964 Broadway
1967 West End
1971 film
1976 Broadway revival
1981 Broadway revival
1983 West End revival
1990 Broadway revival
1994 West End revival
2003 UK tour
2004 Broadway revival
2007 West End revival
2008 UK tour
2009 US Tour
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Score
Tony Award for Best Book

Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Dairyman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—each one’s choice of husband moves further away from the customs of his faith—and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.

The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, had the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. Fiddler held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. It remains Broadway’s sixteenth longest-running show in history. The production was extraordinarily profitable and highly acclaimed. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway revivals, a highly successful 1971 film adaptation, and the show has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It is also a very popular choice for school and community productions.[1]

 

I enjoyed it very much. The entire play was a little longer than others. The first break was not until almost 9:30; which most breaks are around 8:30, but it was worth it. I love the voices and the acting.

One of the main stars, which if you look at the above photo, I am talking about the one with the beard. I was fortunate enough to get to meet him after the show. It turns out that he lives less than an hour away. Gee, I wonder if he is married, lol.

Upon leaving I was so humiliated. I seem to have issues when I stand and walk very far. I was leaving my seat and had made it to the front double-wide doors, when suddenly I felt like I was going to fall.

I have had to deal with this more lately. I never fall, but right there in front of hundreds of people I tipped forward, running into this poor older lady’s back. I am sure my face turned beat red. She turned and looked at me and thankfully didn’t cuss me out; but instead smiled. She was probably thinking that woman had too much wine.

Yes, you can purchase wine only during these plays but I am not allowed to drink because of my Diabetes. I didn’t say anything more to her than how sorry I was. I couldn’t explain. I guess I didn’t want her to know that I had medical issues.

I had to have help from my friends to make it down the hill to the car. I tried to erase the embarrassment away by thanking God that my friends were kind and didn’t mind at all walking an old lady down the hill, arm in arm.

Did You Know?


 

 

Have you ever wondered why when someone yawns, the other person follows suit? Yawning is caused due to low levels of oxygen in the air, which makes the body intake large amounts of oxygen. The reason why yawning is said to be contagious is because when we do so, we are actually activating our nervous system. This has something to do with the survival instinct we have inherited in the course of evolutionary past. In the primitive years, when someone would yawn, the whole group would become alert and get better at sensing danger.

The dragon blood tree is one of the most popular natural wonders growing in and around the Mediterranean region. The tree gives out a deep scarlet colored sap, which is why it is given the peculiar name. The sap is believed to have excellent healing qualities and is used by the locals to cure various diseases and wounds. It is a popular practice to use the gum extracted from the roots of these awe-striking trees in the manufacture of varnishes and toothpastes.

dragon-blood-tree

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born 18 July in the year 1918. He was named Rolihlahla and got the name Mandela from his grandfather. The name Nelson was given to him by his teacher Miss Mdingane. He was born in Mveso, Umtata in the Cape Province. After the death of his father he was looked after by his relative. He became the first child of Mandela family to get education. He was an intelligent child and completed the Junior certificate in two years instead of three. Nelson took admission in the University of Fort Hare to do Bachelor’s in Arts but was soon suspended as he joined in the protest boycott. He accomplished his graduation through correspondence from the University of South Africa. Mandela was a bright student and while in prison he studied and passed Bachelor’s degree of Law from the University of London External Program and in 1952 he along with Tambo started the first legal firm for the black in South Africa.

In 1956 he was arrested for a deceit with 150 more blacks but they managed to elope in 1961; to escape arrest he disguised in different forms. Though a tough believer of non violence he formed MK guerrilla force to fight against apartheid. He was finally sent to prison in 1962 and was imprisoned for 27 long years and was released in 1990.

In 1994 he was elected the first South African president elected in the complete democratic elections. A simple president was well known for wearing Madiba shirts (batik painted). He was 75 when he was elected the president, the first oldest president.

Mandela has almost 250 prizes to his name. Some of them being Nobel Peace Prize, honorary Canadian citizen, Lenin Peace Prize and many others. His degrees are from the renowned Universities which are more than fifty from all around the world.

 

Johnny Campbell was the first to cheer the football team in 1898 in Princeton. Cheerleading is almost 100 years old when most of the cheerleaders were men. Now 98% of cheerleaders are females. The estimates tell that around the world there are more than 4 million cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are generally in the age group of 5 to 13 years. Most of the cheerleaders are gymnasts and 12% are dancers. In US 80% schools have cheerleading squads. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders is the most famous squad. Football is most popular sport for cheerleading. Cheerleading is no doubt a dangerous sport as it involves injuries like broken bones, busted lips and serious injuries. Though cheerleading is to rouse the interest of match watchers, cheerleading in itself is a competitive sport. The competitive cheerleader must be a high level gymnast as she is to perform without any safeguards.

I Saw Some Light


Most of you that follow my blog know that I have suffered emotionally ever since Al passed away. There are some days where it is a struggle to get dressed. I get up, but my motivation is on the lower side.

I have talked to my doctor and he is not worried about me. He says I am still in mourning. Every where I walk in my home I see Al, not literally, but emotionally. Taking care of another human being for seven year, every minute of each day, is a connection that I can not explain.

When I thought it would be easier because he was my brother and not a spouse, I was wrong. Although I have not lost a husband to death, divorce can relate to a death and even that was nothing like this.

Most days my mind is scrambled. Deep inside I know what I want, but I am the one, maybe common or not, that let others feelings and words affect my emotions and decisions. When I let this happen I become a wreck.

I have always been a person that doesn’t like to hurt others feelings. I will forgo my own interest and well-being to not upset anyone else. This along with wondering why I have not located a job, with all my years of experience has made me question myself at first; but then turn to God for answers.

I usually follow my instincts and tell myself if something isn’t happening, then God doesn’t want me to go down that path. Some may say I am nuts, but I believe God has everything to do with whether I work, or where it may be. In fact, I think if I listen hard enough, God will lead me always in the right direction.

Things have changed in my life for sure and lonliness has taken over big-time. I just am not happy anymore, and it is no fault of anyone. Circumstances, life changes, people moving in and out of my life have made me hide under my roof.

Today, it was different. Today, I was able to speak and I didn’t cry one time. Today, I didn’t think of Al. Today, I felt safe. I felt lighter on my feet, I wasn’t afraid to say the wrong thing. Today, my daughter was here to see me.

It was so nice to see her again. I hadn’t seen her since my brother’s funeral. I wish she didn’t live six hours away. I have the ability to make decisions. I can stand up on my own two feet, and I am going to, starting today. I saw some of that light today.

 

grey cloud

Do We Follow The Crowd?


People say the crowd is followed. Why is that? To be popular? To be on top of new trends? My dad used to tell me that I may want my skirt short like other girls in school, but I was living in his home and we follow his rules, not the rules of the people.

I hated that remark, but I get it today. My mom used to ask me, ” If the neighbor jumped off the cliff, would I do it to?” Oh mother, I would think to myself.

It does seem that today things are a little topsy-turvy. We follow or listen intently to the negative. Thankfully, we are not all like this. I have been  guilty of this too. I want to know what happened down the street, and I want all the details. It is much more exciting to  hear about the gun that was used the night before, than how little Susie got a blue ribbon for her 4-H entry of chocolate chip cookies.

Why is this? If I had the answers, i would surely spill my guts right now, but I don’t. I do have  ideas on it though and one of them is a test. As Ma would say on the Golden Girls, Picture This.

Take the headline news. You know, the one that is cast at prime-time. Everyone is sitting at this time, chowing down, and waiting for the exciting news. What if we heard something like this?

1. The sun will be shining with only a small mixture of clouds.

2. A man walking down the street, photographed a teen walking an elderly lady across the street crossing.

3. Little Johnny who has been confined to a wheelchair because of a terrible drunk driver, walked for the first time today.

4. It’s going to be hot and humid today, but it is better than 12 inches of snow.

5. The family residing over on West Street, got together with the neighbors and threw a block party welcoming the new neighbors.

6. Tracy was so surprised when at the end of the month of June, she was awarded a beautiful trophy for visiting the elderly in the local nursing home the most times.

7. Tonight on regular TV programming we have traded all shows with bad language, guns and any sexual innuendos  for healthy family entertainment. We are going to try this for a three-hour period.

8. It is with great pleasure that we announce tonight that not one murder has taken place over the last twenty-four hour period.

9. We have heard from our local hospital that a group of 20 teens volunteered their services where ever they were needed.

10. God is definitely at work. It was reported that on Sunday morning at the little church over on Elm Street was doubled in capacity.

 

04-52

 

 

A Day Out With My Family


hanna and flowershanna and babyHanna in tubhanna and curtis

I went to a restaurant today for lunch when my daughter-in-law and the three kids invited me. It was great holding the tiny one. It was nice watching the middle one do all sorts of silly things that made me laugh. It was amazing to see how quick babies turn into teens as I marveled at the growth of the oldest one.

As usual the two older ones picked on each other. No bullying, just being ornery, brother and sister. It takes my mind off of Al for a while and this is something I really appreciate. I just wish I would quit fighting it.

Yes, I still fight at every invite I get. I mentally argue that I should remain home where it is safe and quiet. If I should burst into tears I would be in my own home. I haven’t left an event for a couple of weeks, so I know I am making progress.

The two older kids ate very well. Every time mom went to take a bite, baby must have had a sixth sense and let her presence be known. Mom and I took turns holding the tiny one so we could both eat

I didn’t think nothing of it. Babies get tired of sitting too. At that age there isn’t much variety. They either sit or lay, or the best, we could snuggle them in our arms.

After a delicious brunch of a cheddar cheese and mushroom omelette, we ventured over to Lowes. I am so happy for my daughter-in-law and my son. They are able to remodel and do some things to their home they have wanted to do for some time.

A little touch of this and a change of that and it is almost like living in a brand new home again.  Sometimes things happen in life that make me smile and this is one of those times. To see the two work together, compare prices, agree on something and enjoy it all.

Here are a few photos I was able to capture of those cute grandkids.