Thoughts For Today


It was so hot and muggy last night. Our temperatures the last couple of days was almost 100. When I woke up this morning I was cold. I turned off the fan and got dressed. The big rains we had over night cooled it down.

Right now it is 68. I was watching the  news and saw that this coming weekend we will be lucky to have a high of 60 degrees. 60? isn’t that a little bit fall-like? I guess with September being here we will see a roller coaster of temperatures.

Summer will fight to remain while the chill of fall pushes its way in. Time to put those bikinis away ladies. Schools have started all around here. Fog hovers in the early mornings.

Thoughts change from picnic foods to warm soups and heartier foods. One of my favorite soups that I could eat all year round is chili. I just love it. What is your favorite soup?

I saw on Hallmark station yesterday the commercial for the Christmas movies. I was blown away. Christmas, already? who is thinking about Christmas? The station reported the movies will start at the end of October. Wow, has it been almost a year since I put that big tree away?

With Al not being here and moving farther away I know I won’t have family at my home for the holidays. My son wanted a big tree so I gave it to him this week. I know the kids will love waking up on Christmas morning seeing the twinkling lights and the goodies under the tree.

Last year Christmas was so sad. Al was still with me but he didn’t realize it was Christmas Day. He slept through most of it. This coming Christmas will be sad but different.

I plan on hitching a ride with my daughter when they come up to visit for their Christmas with her husband. I will spend the day with my kids. It will be nice but there will be that familiar void I have been feeling as of late without my family being there.

Can you imagine what Christmas is like in heaven? Oh my, the mind can not even take in how grand it will be. Do you think Al will be smiling? I do and he will be spending the holidays with our family.

Well, I got invited for breakfast this morning. I think I best get dressed and look presentable. I am going to go visit my oldest son later today, so today is full. I hope all of you have a nice weekend. Smiles and God bless.

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Chapter 24


Life wasn’t getting any easier. I decided Al needed to be home where his familiar doctors were. Al and I were not crazy about this idea. We both didn’t really want to walk back into memories that upset Al and made me sad.

The house listed and before we realized it we were packing up rooms, getting a moving van and were headed back to Indiana, our home town. There was really no excitement between…

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Chapter 24


Life wasn’t getting any easier. I decided Al needed to be home where his familiar doctors were. Al and I were not crazy about this idea. We both didn’t really want to walk back into memories that upset Al and made me sad.

The house listed and before we realized it we were packing up rooms, getting a moving van and were headed back to Indiana, our home town. There was really no excitement between the two of us as we saw the Warsaw sign come into view.

It was late and we were both tired from the travel and all the things that go along with moving. Because of the friction that was heavy in the extended family, Al and I didn’t let anyone know we were coming home except my kids.

My son was waiting on me to let me in to our new home. The movers were tired but went straight to work unloading the truck and setting up our beds. I believe Al and I finally flopped into bed around 4am.

The next day I wanted to pull my hair out as I looked around our home and saw box after box. Al and I  both needed to take morning medications so we dug clothing out of our  over night bags, got dressed and went into town for breakfast.

It didn’t take long while eating that Al and I started talking about the past. Had people’s views changed while we had been gone those few years? Was the talk about who was to get what past now that the estate had been closed long ago?

As we ate, we watched the news on the overhead TV and watched cars go by. Afterwards we went back to our home and Al started putting his room together. He complained of being tired and sore. I told him, ” Just do what you can bud. I will help you with everything else.”

He seemed alright with that. He went for his prize coca-cola and started setting it around. Then he got his clothes out and put what he could in his drawers. He cleared off his bed and laid down to watch TV.

That was fine with me. He didn’t feel well and yet he still helped. I spent most of the day busy putting things away. I started with the bathrooms and then the kitchen. I made sure that things we needed were unpacked first. Dishes, glasses, silverware, toilet paper, bath towels and wash cloths.

By the end of the day I was exhausted but still not finished; but at least I had a path to walk through. Al and I ordered a pizza for supper and had it delivered. For the rest of the evening we watched TV and went to bed early.

The next day was more unpacking. Within three days I had the place pretty presentable. I then started on the projects for Al. I called his former doctors and had records sent here from Florida. I called a company that Al used to work through to see about a Day Program.

By the end of that day we had scheduled appointments set with our new family doctor, Al’s old  heart doctor and Cardinal Center, the company Al had been associated with for years.

We went to supper at Golden Coral. Al loved eating there because it was buffet and he could make all his own choices. Al did pretty good walking. His top half of his body leaned to the side and his total side definitely was weaker, but he got what he wanted to eat all by himself.

As the days moved forward we discovered through the heart doctor that Al had suffered what is called a TIA, a silent stroke. This is what caused his upper half to lean to one side.

http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/TIA/TIA-Transient-Ischemic-Attack_UCM_310942_Article.jsp

The heart doctor said for the damages that Al had suffered in his heart attack and the Angina he had now, he was in pretty good shape. She said he would not be able to keep us with most people and he would tire more easy than others. I was happy with this news.

The family doctor took Al’s vitals and had his records from where we had lived here before and his records from Florida. He asked many questions such as how was Al feeling on a daily basis, how was his appetite, did he suffer constipation, did he take vitamins.

After having an hour meeting the doctor ordered a CBC,(complete blood count) for Al and said to come back the following week.

We had only seen one neurologist when we had lived here prior but I had actually forgotten that so a new doctor was ordered. We went to see him a couple of weeks later.

We spent the in between hours enjoying the fall weather and looking at pumpkin decorations and houses that were fixed up for Halloween. We decorated our own home for the holidays and soon drifted between doctor visits and the thoughts of Christmas and snow. Neither of us were looking forward to that at all. I think this is what we missed the most about Florida, no snow.

We ate out a few times a week. My son told Al and me of car shows that were coming up. I decided to take Al to see them and before long Al had decided to add a new interest to his hobby; car collecting.

My son loved Chevy Bel Airs. He had one that was aqua blue and Al fell in love with it. Al started collecting these same type of cars. If he could not find one he would purchase an old car of another model. He loved the police cars from the era of Andy Griffith. By the end of Al’s life his room was filled up with these two special cars and many others along with his coca cola that he found.

Lessons In Every Situation, Roar Into 2014


2013 for me. I don’t remember a whole lot. Life seems quite a blur. Al was in the nursing home from January until June. I remember plowing through snow and cold to go see him. I never wanted him to think I didn’t care.

Groceries were not bought much. The bills remained the same most of the year. The TV shows got sillier. None of them really grabbed my attention except American Idol. Somehow looking forward to two nights a week to this show made the winter months go by faster.

June came and Al came home and then life was still not that bad. Life is never as bad as we think it is in the moment we are living it. When we move on down the road and are faced with different challenges, we sometimes look back and think, I wish I could go back to that time.

For a while I was still able to get Al in the car. We went to some antique shops. We went out to eat. I was even able to take him to one more big car show. We went places and Al was placed in an adult program where he could socialize with others. Life seemed pretty good.

Then it was like a blink in an eye life began to change for the worse. Al’s MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) seemed to really kick in. No longer was I able to get him in the car alone, and with no help we had to give up the outings. Life became a little more quiet for him and me.

In no time at all Hospice was involved. Al went from being able to shave himself to me shaving him. He no longer could brush his teeth, I did it for him. He went from finger foods to some help with eating to now; which I feed him all of his food and drinks.

He went from a being able to stand with assistance in his wheelchair to his legs no longer holding him up. Today, he is bed bound. He gets all of his baths in bed. Only a month ago he was still able with lots of help to get a shower.

Now he stares at the TV when his vision will focus. His eyes water, his fingers and hands are locked in a prayer position. His legs are curled in a fetal position, not bad, but getting there.

Instead of him and I decorating for Halloween and Christmas, I did it alone. Al was in the hospital during Thanksgiving and he slept through Christmas. Family came but Al remained in bed.

I have learned to lean on God more and more through this illness of Al’s. I have been angry at God, screamed at him, asked for forgiveness for not being as faithful as I could. I have learned to lean on others for help, such as Hospice, homemakers and ministers.

I have learned who my true friends are and who I can count on when in need. I have learned that I have a huge support system with many people on the internet. I have been shown how many care about Al by all the cards and gifts that have been sent.

I have been taught that to gain strength, all I have to do is pray about it. I have learned how to cook for one and puree for Al. My laundry has doubled, cleaning is still going strong. I am tired and now try to nap when I can. I have learned that the house will always be waiting here for me. The dirt is going anywhere.

I am glad that this year is ending tonight. I would not really want to relive it again. I am hopeful that things will be brighter in 2014. I pray that the Obama Healthcare works itself out.

I hope more lean on their own strength and realize they have more to offer this world than they think. I hope Al finds peace and is reunited with our parents. I pray that I will be able to move on and remember Al with smiles. I hope jobs pick-up and crime is less. Schools offer the basics and we have less drop-outs than ever.

My family will expand by two this new year. I wish for my own family good health and common sense, so that they can survive yet another year. Life isn’t easy, it won’t be from this day on. But with careful consideration and a loving Mom standing behind them, they too will find what they seek.

I hope that each of you stay safe tonight. If you are going to drink, please don’t drive. Beware of your surroundings. Don’t be too proud to take a taxi home if you need to. Tell you children you love them. Hug your parents. Stay positive. We are in this together no matter how many miles separate us. It is up to you and me my friends, to make or break this world.

So to each one of you, Happy New Year, 2014.

P.S. Don’t forget to change your calendars and write 2014 on your checks tomorrow.

 

 

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Christmas Gone, New Year Song


Christmas Gone, New Year Song

Christmas is gone

No more songs

No more lights

Oh so bright

No more foods

That were so good

Unwanted pounds

Sneaking all around

Memories dear

I will hold all year.

Now another night

Where some will fight

Others party all night

But I will remain

Sober and sane

I’ll watch the big ball fall

And then I shall shout and call

Happy New Year 2014 to all.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

12.30.2013

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

Here are a few photos of what I see left of Christmas from within my home.

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