Information About My Brother


Today is very hard for me. It seems to get harder the longer the day goes on. I keep wanting to go check on him, or turn him on his side, or change the TV, but I can not.

His funeral is this coming Thursday. Visitation is between the hours of 9-12am. The funeral begins immediately from noon.

To tell you the truth I don’t know if this is something I should be doing or not doing, but I feel so close to so many of you, I am holding each of your hands next to my heart.

Here is the information of where he will be in case any of you are wondering.

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Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home

225 Argonne Rd, Warsaw, IN 46580
  • Cross Streets: Between E Jefferson St and E Market St
(574) 268-0225

Thanks For Letting Me Blabber On


My friend left this past Wednesday. I did alright, I didn’t fall apart. Even the next day I did good. I did so well I didn’t even need to take the stress reliever medicine. But the next day was Valentine’s Day.

Maybe without wanting to admit it, I felt a little left out of the over-rated love day. All I heard on TV for days was what men were going to buy their sweethearts. Flowers of your choice for any woman’s taste.valentinered rose

All I know for sure is I started sinking inside. With all the snow still lingering and the news of more snow storms coming tomorrow I started becoming sad again.

Yesterday I spent almost all day in bed. I napped off and on, but the sad part I was recognizing was I just wanted to be buried under my covers and as far away from Al’s illness as I could get. I would get up off and on and go check on Al.

He hasn’t been very responsive as of late. The illness continues to leak out of any orifice it can find. His eating is down to about a half of a jar of baby food at a time. His eyes will follow me, especially if I have the blue bowl in my hand. He knows there is ice-cream, well sherbet in that bowl.

We had to take him off of ice-cream and switch him to sherbet as he choked too bad on the ice-cream. The more I looked at him, the more I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to do anything special to make me look better.

I remembered when my friend was here she actually had me rolling my hair and putting make-up back on. I did that too the day after she left, but before I knew it; the desire left.

My girlfriend had been calling each evening and she called my yesterday morning announcing she was returning. She came late afternoon and I was already a tense mess. I was ashamed that I was still in my house robe but yet I didn’t seem to have the energy to actually get dressed or even care.

I had to break down last evening and take one of my special pills again. I was fighting it so hard. I just didn’t want to take it. To me, it is a sign of weakness. Too screwed up to fight these feelings I was forced to lean on the little pills.

I don’t know why I allow or let myself fall into this trap of being so sad and depressed. It isn’t even me that is sick, it is Al. I look at him laying in that bed of his and I think, Wow, look what a trooper he is. Staying in that bed for months and yet he never complains. But here I am; able to walk and move around and I am feeling so low.

I then kick myself in the rear for being such a big baby. How and when did I let his illness become mine? I am my own worst enemy. I take on others feelings as if they were mine. The worst part is no matter what I tell myself I don’t stop. I let myself get too emotionally involved. Maybe it is because he is just not a patient, he is my brother. Yet, I still need that little pill to keep going.

My friend said she will see how Al is, and if there is no change, she will leave Tuesday. It is alright. I can’t tell her what day he will pass. I can only tell her that Al has hours to days as the nurse says and just wait. I realize my friend has a husband and a dog and her life to live. I don’t want her here waiting for something that may not happen when she is here.

Yet, if he passes when she leaves I, well I don’t know what I will do. I imagine knowing me like I do, I will stand tall and carry forth what needs to be done. I won’t break down or have a heart attack, I will do what I have to do.

My mother and friend have always said I am a survivor. Maybe I am, but I feel anymore that if something doesn’t break soon I am going to temporarily go nuts. I have made it for seven years taking care of family, so why now am I not as strong as I used to be. I don’t know most answers anymore, I tend to just go with the flow or hide under my covers.

Daily Prompt; Close Call


http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

Tell us about a bullet you’re glad you dodged — when something awful almost happened, but didn’t.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CLOSE.

I know this is personal, but it has been a few years back, so I can speak about it more easily today.

It all started when our Father passed a way. Hurt feelings, money turning from a useful tool to Satan‘s spawn, sadness, jealousy and anything else I have forgotten to add in here was the toy called destruction.

Words I had never heard prior to Dad’s death I was hearing. Actions among family and friends shocked me. Being together held by only a school glue came apart at the seams and family and friends scattered.

Even today as I will recognize my father’s passing in a few days the hurt is buried so deeply that some of it still remains unhealed. There are still names and phrases that can send me from thinking about Al and myself being a caregiver to a frightened child. Standing and shivering as if I am on the outside looking in through snowflakes.

And so it continued, off and on throughout the years. And then there was a day when I answered the doorbell that a delivery man stood standing asking if I was who I said I was. Once he was confident he handed me an envelope.

Of course I was frightened in the beginning. It is just normal to worry what this was all about and what did I have to do with any of it. It was a letter from the courts. A family member was taking me to court to try to take Al a way from my care.

Oh talk about being sick. I vomited, I stressed, I worried. I prayed but I didn’t wait for his answer. I continued to become more frightened as the day neared.

Then it happened, the day, the hour, the minute arrived. I found myself on the stand swearing to tell the truth. I had prayed as I walked to the stand. Dear God in heaven, don’t let my fear show to this stranger holding my life in his hands. Let me speak with confidence.

The drilling started. Questions flew from the smiling face. Answers came from my own mouth. Everything was happening while I stayed in a daze. Other comments were made and heard and then the end came.

The judge looked at me and said, ” This is utter nonsense. My time has been wasted. You, Terry are a wonderful sister and a good care giver. Any fool would not even try to remove him from your home. Case dismissed.”

I think I invisibly sunk to the floor in relief and tears. I went to where Al sat crying so afraid he was going to have to be removed and I hugged him. As I hugged him I said, ” It’s alright bud. Everything is going to be fine. God was taking care of this whole thing. Let’s go home.”

judge

Chapter 16


From the point of Thanksgiving until December 1 life spun in circles. I didn’t see Al in this time frame. In fact I didn’t see anyone. I worked my job and when I wasn’t there I was with Dad.

Dad and I  had quite a few talks about things kids don’t usually discuss with their parents, but Dad knew he was dying. He talked to me about Al and he discussed his personal will with me.

We didn’t do anything when I was with him. I talked and he was quiet. I gave medications and the only time he would eat is when I brought him egg drop soup. His sister dropped by more often. She and B would spend time chatting and I stayed by my Dad’s side.

On December 1, Dad was in so much pain. He couldn’t sit still. I was constantly changing him from the chair to the bed. There wasn’t a position that was remotely comfortable for him.

He finally laid down on the bed. I didn’t even think for one second if it looked bad or not. I laid down on the bed beside him and placed his hand in mine. He quieted down and for about fifteen minutes we lay there with me telling him how much I loved him.

His eyes were closed but I knew he could hear my words. Then he opened his eyes and they became wide and then they closed and he took his last breath. Oh Lord, I will never forget that moment and  five years later, I still re-live that moment over and over.

I got off the bed and went to tell his sister and B that he had passed. They had not been in the room with Dad and me. They were in the bedroom across the hall chatting. When I told them they  both said,”really?”

They got up and went to where he was and told him they loved him. I never felt so alone as I did at that moment. It was up to me to call the funeral home. I made that dreaded call and went outside and sat in the swing and smoked. Crows filled the trees. Their chatter was so loud and when I looked up at the trees they were black in color from so many birds.

As quickly as they had come, they left. The funeral home came and I could not go inside. I stayed out until Dad was removed from the home. I was so thankful to the parlor as they helped me decide things. Who was there to call was one thing.

Dad’s sister’s husband, my uncle volunteered to tell Al and our half-sister. While the attendant and me were making decisions I don’t know what happened to B and the sister, but suddenly they appeared with Dad’s wallet and they had emptied it.

I was in too much pain to notice or think twice about what they had been up to. I didn’t even mind that Uncle was going to tell my siblings. The dust settles though and you learn of what was happening around you once your mind becomes clear.

Considering Al is disabled with mental challenges I would have made the effort to go to him in person and tell him the sad news about Dad, but instead the Uncle called Al. This had to be the coldest move ever. I can only imagine how Al felt getting a phone call stating, your Dad is dead.

Through the years of caring for Al he has told me how awful he felt. He didn’t know what to do. My heart still aches at the crappy way in which he was  dealt the news. What was worse or just as bad as that the month prior to Dad’s death Al and our half-sister were not allowed in B’s house. Neither of my siblings were given the chance to say goodbye or settle any last thoughts with  him.

I try real hard not to dwell on this topic today as the pain is instantly resurfaced and I find myself becoming depressed for a few days. That afternoon of his death I went to the funeral home and tried to make plans with the attendant. My Uncle kept trying to take over and make the decisions. Finally the owner of the home asked my Uncle to please remain quiet. It was time for the eldest child to take care of matters.

I can remember the looks on their faces as this task was taken out of their hands. They were not very happy. I did my job. I let the owner walk me through the steps. I went to my daughter’s home for a few days.

I wish today that I had handled things differently. All I can think of was my brain was fogged. I was moving out of habit but not thinking. Poor Al and the sister didn’t have me around or my support. I am so ashamed of not being there for them. I  was being led around hand over hand and questioned nothing.

The funeral came and the burial was over. I was made Executor over the estate and had plenty of work to do with this. I checked in on Al daily. I saw our half-sister much more often.

One week after we had buried Dad, I received a phone call from Al’s family doctor. He was letting me know that Al had left his job and driven himself to the doctor. Al was having a heart attack.

Up to that point my mind was on the continuing path of how life was before Dad’s death. I was going to get Al an apartment where disabled adults lived. He would continue with his job and routine that he was used to.

This caused a knife into a bubble effect. Our lives changed at that moment and never went back. We were creating a new path in life, with gravel instead of paved. Big pot holes and rather large bumps.

My Story In a Song, (Sorry I Am Weepy Today)


When I was a little girl I looked at my Daddy as my great big hero.dad and me

As I grew older I over heard words of disappointments from others. When I heard us kids names mentioned I always felt sorry I couldn’t do enough to make him love me as much as I loved him.

When I grew up and got married it seemed like maybe he was proud of me. He smiled and liked me being around. He never actually said he loved me back then, but I just knew. I just wanted my Daddy to accept me for who I was.

When he got sick and we found out he was going to die, a part of my heart and soul died right there on the spot.

Oh it hurt. It hurt real bad. I started taking care of him and weeping behind closed doors. I memorized every move he made. Every thing he saw I photographed in my memory. The crook of his smile. The twinkle in his eyes. Each day I tried my best to grab and hold close to me not wanting to let the next day appear.

When the morning sun did appear and I held my Daddy as he took his lost breath I wept. There is never a day that goes by that I don’t look up to the heavens and know he is up where he belongs smiling down on me.

Life is repeating itself and although I don’t want the sun to shine. I don’t want to hurt, I will some day be looking up to the heavens again knowing my brother is up where he belongs.

 

One Word is All It Takes


It is odd that just yesterday I was talking to my girlfriend about how the laws and courts can take an innocent person and turn them into gray, black and bruised all over. We sort of laughed over our conversation but there was a tiny part of me that knew something like what we were talking about could happen.

Al and my step-sister took me to court. She wanted to care for Al. I tell you from the day I received the court papers until the judge’s announcement I was a wreck. I prayed like crazy but there must have been a huge part of me that was not praying deeply and earnestly enough.

I knew that I was a good sister. I knew that I had done nothing but my very best for him, but knowing the law, strangers who knew nothing of Al and me could be twisted into believing the evil one.

Fortunately God was at work through my weakness. The judge threw our sister out of court and said she was nothing but a trouble maker and to leave us alone. Al was the center of attention and even though it has been a couple of years ago I can still see the movie clip perfectly.

Al screamed and cried. He kept telling the judge, “please don’t make me go a way from my sister. I love my sister.” I am sure God had a huge hand in our case, but the pain has remained all this time. Anytime Al hears our sister’s name his body tenses. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth when I mention her name.

Believe me that name is not brought up in this house, and yet for Al’s sake, when he begged me to get a hold of her and let her know he was so sick, she turned her back on him and me.

So the conversation with my girlfriend still leaves a small scar in my mind and heart today. A bit of fear can and is with me as I care for Al daily. What if he falls? Is anyone going to blame me? Are the laws going to get involved? Will I once again have to prove my worthiness?

My girlfriend bounced a way from that topic and went on with new subject matter. This morning I am watching Anderson Live. I was shocked when one of the guest was a wife who had been her husband’s caregiver. They had been married almost fifty years. She had to attend things throughout the day so was gone for about six hours total.

I don’t know his health conditions but she stated that he was fine when she left. When she returned home he was dead. When she called the authorities to report his death she was arrested for his death.

Her daughter was on the show and spoke about the fear and tears her Mother suffered. Seeing her own Mother in the orange garb and behind bars. Eventually the innocent prevailed and she was released. I didn’t catch how long she was behind bars. To me this isn’t nearly as important as the fact that this woman who loved her husband. Who would lay down her life for him. Who chose to care for him at home instead of sinking him in a nursing home, was accused of murder.

The facts were in the end that he just died. Sad, yes he died while she was gone, but we don’t know when our last breath will be taken. We can not even live like we are waiting for a last breath to be taken from a friend or loved one. We would all be crazy and fill up the nut houses and be overflowing.

I felt so bad for this wife. Her husband died, and she was tormented and accused. She suffered terribly and was so scared for her life. Finally now that she has been released she can begin to mourn for her mate and begin her healing process.

I couldn’t help but think back to the incident with our sister and the conversation of  my girlfriend last night. Life is never guaranteed, and God wants us to definitely on him for help and release and justice.woman arrested

_Picture it & Write/ Ermilia


http://ermiliablog.wordpress.compictureitandwrite2copy-1man scared

All his adult  life Joe had been living an alley life. Taking from others. Eating others remains. Not willing to spend out of his pocket, but interested in hoarding what was his.

He could not see himself as anyone but the richest man in the city.

The only way this creature could figure out how to get that is to steal and connive.

Everyone hated him. People gave soured looks when they heard his name. Innocent became damaged. Trust was taken out of his dictionary. All that remained was evil, theft, hatred, jealousy. This was his dictionary of life.

He had grown up poor. His Mamma took in ironing. His Pappa had worked the mines but had ended up paying a high price and died of lung cancer. His sister ran off with the first man who sugar-coated his words.

Now it was up to him to make a life for himself. He swore to himself he would be damned if he was going to live as his family. He wanted more and no matter how he had to do it, he would wear blinders.

He knew the good word. He went to Sunday School as a child. But no one could get him to accept the idea of worshiping a man who had never been seen. Who was so crazy that they would grasp at the imagination, cling to empty words? Well, not him. He would work hard, he would become rich. He would own the city when he was done.

One day as he had just taken another bag of money from an unknowing human  he was racing down the streets. He had his routine. He knew the favorite hide-out. It had worked each and every time.

But this time his game plan failed. The people he had stolen from knew his name. They offered him to dine with them before he left and went on his way. The food was delicious. He had seconds. He took the food. He took the goods.

He ran but he started cramping. Running became a slow pace. Power became weak. The once clear skies became black with birds. Vultures ready to pick the life from his bones. He tried to run faster but his body fell to the ground. The birds  feasted. The town returned to quiet. The man who had offered him food was sitting on his porch smiling.

Which Choice Do I Make?


Although Al had a good day, you can see by different signs that he is sick. For example when I took his shoes and socks off for his nap, his feet are once again swollen. The other thing is he is still napping. He usually sleeps for a couple of hours. Sort of a catching up thing from his days.

Here it is 8:30 and I went into check on him. I actually jumped back and my heart began to beat very quickly.beating heart

There is one thing, no two things that you never see Al do anymore. Number one is; his head will not go back. You could force it all you wanted, (which I don’t), just saying you could and it would not move.

Al’s head was laying flat on the bed. His pillow had slipped out from him or he moved it.

Number 2; his entire body is calm. Absolutely not one tremor. In the shadows of the night all I could see was gray shadows around his face, bouncing back at him by the black shirt he is wearing.

Instantly my breath caught. I saw my brother as he will be when his time is up. I didn’t mean to see it, it was just there all out in the open. I immediately started to cry.

Then my mind snapped back into reality. I checked his breathing. Yes, he is breathing. He was so calm and relaxed I didn’t want to wake him. On the other hand I want to go to sleep tonight. I don’t know which choice to make, let him sleep or wake him up.

Need Your Help Again


I have this issue going on so I want to ask for your advice. I also have some information for you also.

The first being Al. I am learning that the days are becoming a little more confusing for him. A good example is this morning. He brushed his teeth after breakfast. I then placed his electric razor in his hand and asked him if he would please try to shave and I would help if he needed it.

He said he already shaved. I said, “no, you just brushed your teeth.”

After a minute of trying to explain he was crying and arguing. I then took the razor and began to shave him. Then he wanted the shaver back and he tried it. It was like something clicked and he realized he hadn’t previously shaven.

This is one example of what is happening here. Last night is another good example. He has terrible tremors and many times he and I have done hands on with changing the channels. Many times I have shown him which buttons he is allowed to use etc.

As he was changing the stations the remote went funky on the inside. No more switching, no nothing. I worked at it for about 20 minutes, frustrated because I didn’t know which button he had already pushed to mess up the remote.

I finally called Dish. After walking through commands and nothing happened, the staff decided it was definitely the remote. This morning a technician is coming out to fix whatever is wrong.

After I hung up from Dish Al went on a rampage of him hitting the wrong buttons. This is because it is usually the case. I explained that this time he did nothing, it was all in the remote.

He cried,  he wailed he started getting mad. Mad at himself and I think mad at me because I was telling him it was not his fault. This went on for some time and I could not reason with him so I left his bedroom.

I went back later and offered to take him out to the couch to watch the main TV so he could watch his shows he liked. At first he refused, on the kick of he did something wrong. I was actually starting to get a headache, letting me know that two arguments in one evening were not doing my blood pressure any good.

Finally I convinced him he had three choices. Watch the TV in  his room with one station and be limited on viewing, go to bed, or come out to the living room. He did let me bring him out here with me.

This is happening more and more. I blame the confusion but I also know from years of experience Al is a persistent arguer. I can pop a calming down pill in him or wait for him to reason things in his own  mind.

Part of me thinks if I pop a pill every time he is confused or gets upset he will be living on these pills.

What should I do? How can I handle this differently as the mind of Al becomes more ill?

 

100_0749The second part is the talks of Al and his funeral. He is becoming obsessed with who is not going to be at his funeral. It is also a familiar topic in our home now a days.

I feel guilty because my mind often drifts to the future, thinking on his funeral. I kick myself for doing this. It makes me feel like I am focusing on his death instead of his living. I am not actually, but I do ponder the more he brings it up.

I was talking to a friend here at WP about the topic of cards. I was wondering if it would be proper if I ever have to make that sad announcement to my friends here would it be alright to let you know our home address in case anyone wanted to send cards.

She suggested I not wait for that gloomy day. That since Al is having issues about who will or not be at his funeral that I suggest Thinking of You, or Wishing You Well, etc. cards be sent now while he is here to enjoy them.

So I thought that was a good idea. I guess what it comes down to friends is that I really do consider you my friends. Just not people in  passing, but friends who are involved with Al and my life. I would want to let you know if something happened to Al. I don’t look at any of you as,oh they are just WP friends. Nothing more or less. No, I look at you as part of my life, part of Al’s life.

Al still has his birthday card, and sometimes he will ask me to get them out so he can look at them and hold them.

So I think I am asking you, would you like to send Al a card now?

If so, please email me at tellmenolies2004@yahoo.com

I will be more than happy to send you our home address. If you go by another name through your emails that I may  not recognize, please put Al’ card in the subject area of your email so I don’t consider it trash or spam.

What We Think


I was so busy today. Two doctor’s appointments, one for Al and one for me. Running errands for Al here and there. I am beat. Another reason I am beat is for the last two nights Al has slept for about five hours each night.

I want to apologize for not doing what I enjoy and commenting and liking your posts today. I just can’t do it. I am too exhausted and am praying for an early sleep.

Last night Al was having a rough night. Not with the illness itself, but with the mental part of understanding of his illness.

He evidently had been pondering on his funeral. He was asking me questions and I was answering the best I could. Then he started crying and was actually getting upset. He started getting mad at our Aunt in Florida and our half-sister.

The conversation went pretty much like this.

” This illness is going to take my life and no one cares. I fight and fight and I can’t get it to go a way. One of these days I am going to lay in a casket. Who is going to be at my funeral? I bet Aunt Mary won’t be there. She don’t like me. She wouldn’t come see me when we were in Florida. She never sends you letters through your computer. She never calls me. She don’t like me. I bet she don’t even remember who I am. Do you think Julie will come? Julie doesn’t care about me either. You told her I was sick and she doesn’t come see me. Do you think she will be at my funeral?”

This is a good part of the conversation I heard last night. He was really crying and I think he really wishes his aunt and sister would come to his funeral. He told me no one would be there but me.

I told him all of us would be there. I told him everyone from his old work place would be there and his church. I told him that it would be one of the biggest funerals I have ever been too.

I don’t know what or butterflieswill be there, but I do know when I told him it would be a big funeral and so many there would be just for him, he seemed to settle a little. The tears went from gushing to a slow stream.

Al must be doing a lot of thinking. It feels strange because he is having good days again but yet his mind is on his death.