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


Written by,

Terry Shepherd

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


Weekly Writing Challenge; DPCHALLENGE

#DP Challenge

This week, weave a story about yourself told through the lens of your past December 23rds.

When I think back to past Christmas years on the 23, I get mixed memories. Smiles, sadness can appear and then fade a way as I go year to year.

Christmas as a kid was always the same. Wonderful, magical, excitement! Those were the days.

Christmas as a married adult meant working over-time, need of more money, lots of presents under the tree for our children. Giggles and screams of delight as wanted gifts were opened.

A divorce and remarriage on the rebound means sadness to me. A husband who made life hard to exist. Him hiding when people came to our house. Embarrassment, replaced delight of seeing people. Wanting to get the day over with. No money, very few gifts. It was always a sad time for me and an angry time as well. I saved my little bit of money I earned each week and finally was freed from this relationship.

The loss of parents that you love leaves the biggest gap in your heart. Christmas joy is ripped a way. Tears and sorrow replace all other feelings. Robotic movements kick in as you try so hard to carry on in a normal way that Christmas is supposed to be. Always glad when it is over, but sad when my kids leave to go back to their homes.

Christmas this year I dreaded with all that I have. Excitement over my kids being here. Sadness over wondering if Al would make it to the holiday. Thankful he was here, sad he slept through it. Not as many gifts but gifts that were wanted and enjoyed. Plenty of food and good conversation took the sting out of what was happening in my brother’s bedroom.

I am glad Christmas is over. My tree is down and the house looks more back to normal. Al is still here having bad days, and some better days mixed in. I treasured each moment with my entire family, knowing in my heart that there will never be a Christmas like this again.

Christmas will come once again. The 23rd will arrive without delay. People will come and some will never be seen again, but hopefully the future will open new doors. New memories and I will once again smile, remembering the pasts and looking forward to the future.


Update on Al

Al is doing pretty good on being home five out of seven days now. I think he likes not being tossed around on the bus and isn’t quite as tired. Although if he had his way he would go to Day Program five days per week.

His crying has leveled off quite a bit. The doctor took him off one of the medications and I think that was the culprit that made his tears so much worse. His appetite has been big lately. I guess he makes up for the days he doesn’t eat.

He got a Christmas card from a lady who also is in the M.S.A group. He really likes it and holds it quite a bit as it sparkles when you turn it in different directions. If anyone wants to send him a Christmas card, please email me at   for his address.

Although we have had our tree up for sometime Al has begun his ritual of now not being able to talk about Christmas. He doesn’t speak about Christmas that he and I share. His memories go back to when he lived at home and Mom and Dad were still here.

I heard him telling someone that he hated the holidays and yet he likes the Christmas tree lit up and the white lights in his bedroom. So I guess the point is he misses our parents so much and he longs for Christmas to be the way it used to. Deep down inside, so do I. I just don’t talk about it.

He has been complaining of burning feet the past two days. I have researched it and find that many M.S.A. patients have this issue. It is sort of like Neuropathy I think, caused from the disease. I give him pain medications but like his other symptoms the medication takes the edge off but doesn’t fix it enough.

Al and I had an interview with a young lady today who wants to work the weekends. Al started talking to her almost immediately. Filling her in on his coca cola and cars. She jumped right in and helped turn him and was dabbing his slobber.

I have to admit I was really impressed. She is strong too. She had no problem rolling him over. She said she wanted the job so I am hoping she will or can start this weekend. She will mostly be with him but I spoke to her about dusting his room and feeding him. Cleaning up the dishes. I think it is fair, don’t you?

I told her there would be no medications to give as I do that. I explained that her major job would be making him feel special, she agreed.

So, it looks like we may have help again. Her words when she was walking out our front door were, ” You both are stuck with me.” I smiled and hoped that this would be a true statement.Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg44candy canes



I haven’t really done much today. Goofed off, what ever my mind decided on. No real schedule. Took care of Al and then spent my time in my surroundings. I like the feel of comfort. A little old-fashion, lots of white lights, trinkets of antique pieces. Yes this is who I am and what brings me peace within my section of the house.

Here is a little area I put together to add a touch more of Christmas. When I finished I stood back and looked at it. I liked it, then I thought, maybe my friends will like it too. I don’t have much ability of accepting compliments, but I will say that almost every person who has ever walked into our home says the same words, it is always so warm and cozy in here, who does your decorating?

Of course I smile and say me and they say I should go into business. I love hearing good things about myself but I don’t think I am good enough to go into business.

Well anyways here is a piece of what I did.

christmas scene

What Happened?

Last night Al finally went to sleep later in the evening to only wake up at half past midnight. I could not hold my eyes open anymore so when he slept, I laid on the couch. I think my mind shut down immediately.

When he woke up at a much shorter time than my body was hoping for I took care of  his needs and then wrote a prompt for Alastair. By then I wasn’t tired, but I went to bed. I don’t know what I watched but I flipped the TV on and saw Hallmark is now letting us view Christmas movies.

Oh Christmas, the word can cause such stress for me. How can that be? Christmas was always a wonderful, sparkly word. Full of thoughts of snowflakes.Snowflake-Screen-Saver_1 A time for family to get together and feast on the best foods of all.Christmas-Wedding-Food-2 A time for Christmas dazzles, pretty lights and trees.Christmas tree 2013

A time for play, to forget all of our problems and for this one season take our minds off of ourselves and think of others. Build snowmen, make snow angels, go sledding, have sledding

And then something happens. We get no notice, it just slips in underneath of us and once we realize what happened, the sorrow sets in. I don’t know if it has ever slipped in on you too, but I know it has for me.

I look at all my wonderful memories of the photos above and I rub my chin and squint my eyes and I ask myself, what happened? where did everyone go? where is the laughter?

I feel this way very much this year. There is no Christmas spirit in my house, but our tree is up. There is no snowflakes yet, but my white lights are up. Isn’t it awesome how snowflakes bounce off the reflection of the white lights?

Oh this brings me so much joy, the scenery played out at the holidays. There are no presents under the tree as of yet. My gift I ask for this year has to come from God; to bring peace to the inside of this home. To continue to bring understanding, lots of love, and plenty of compassion. To relieve Al from his suffering and to thank God for sending Jesus into my life. This is my one and only gift and yet no one can buy it for me.

As I sit here waiting for Al to get up I let my mind wander back in time. I listen carefully and I can hear Dad laughing and Mom yelling because the food is not perfect. I can see my Grandfather starting up the 1954 Ford tractor. He is getting ready to pull us behind it on an old truck hood.

I can smell yeast rolls baking and see a big bird cooling on the stove. There are pies at the square folding table. I hear giggles from all of my cousins as they race through the house full of excitement of opening presents later.

I see me in my best Christmas dress; all frilly red with white anklets, black patent leather shoes, and my hand muff, all fluffy white. I can hear Grandfather telling everyone at the table to hold hands and I can remember his words of grace.

I can hear the laughter around the table and glasses clicking, utensils digging into mounds of food and I cry now. I cry for the joy of being able to remember. I cry for what Al and I will not have anymore, and I cry for what is about to happen to our lives.

God is good, God has the perfect plan. I don’t always like it, but I have to follow it because I know he is right. As I sit here wondering about Christmas this year at my house, I know one child that will be here, one child that won’t be here and the other child I won’t know until it gets closer to Christmas.

I realize I am never alone. I have you and God and my children, my health and my memories, and of course today, I still have Al. It is important that I stand tall and brace life knowing I will hit bumps. So in closing I will light my candles, and while waiting for Al to get up, I will play my ultimate favorite Christmas song. Together this will cause a smile to come on my face and I will walk into my brother’s room ready to tackle yet one more day.

I Will Always Love You

Al woke up teary eyed right a way this morning. I am sure it is the discussion we had last night. He doesn’t understand that no matter which way I move his bed around he still wants to lay in the direction of the wall.

The room is not accessible to move his TV in any area I wish. If it didn’t cost $75.00 I would have the pros come out and put extra wire in, but, I can’t. I had a talk with Al about when the time comes and he is spending more time in bed. I explained that he will have to adjust to how the bed is placed and try really hard to sleep facing the TV so he can watch it whether awake or not.

He is really noticeable with his heavy breathing. I was shaving him this morning and I could hear the breathing. I hate noticing these changes so easily. The nurse came later and said his fingers were dusky. There was that term again. I didn’t ask but I do want to know what it means.

It is amazing how the mind works. Although I am ready to accept Al leaving this earth, I am not counting down the days. I think Al is though. Just like the new baby I told you about last night. He already said he won’t be here for Christmas.

Do you know how much I want to get the Christmas Tree out this weekend and put it up glorified with all decorations? Why? Because I don’t want him to miss this year with me. What if he is right and he isn’t here. I guess it is super silly to put a tree up in October. Maybe I will wait til the end of the month.

Someone else in this house isn’t happy either. Rhino, our cat. He hasn’t left Al’s room much these past few days. When I go into change Al or do anything Rhino throws a fit. He howls a little and meows loud as if telling me to get out, don’t come in here, I am the caregiver now.

Last night when I put Al to bed, Rhino refused to move off the bed. Usually he meows at me and I tell him to move. He meow argues with me but finally gives in. Last night he wouldn’t budge. When I got Al in bed I had to actually scoot Rhino over and the two of them went to sleep head to head. The next time I saw Rhino it was morning.

Today Al didn’t go to Day Program so Rhino was in there and still is. When Al took his afternoon nap I once again had to try to move Rhino off the bed, but it was a no go. I decided to take a photo of Al and Rhino. I have been replaced by a new caregiver. I think Al and Rhino know much more than they are letting on. I think they know exactly what is happening.


al and rhino4

Who Am I? I Am Learning

After the Christmas Day was here and gone, I sat back and went over it. With some nice things I saw were also mixed with sadness, tears and smiles from my brother. Others I remembered comments that were good and some left me hurt.

I tried my best. I consider it slaving when I spent four days in the kitchen making foods that looked merry and bright. Some tried them, others would not, and some liked. I am learning very quickly after I have wiped the starry eyes, that life is not what I wish it to be. Life is what it is. I can choose to do what I used to do; which was to carry the hurt with me, or I can choose to stop and move forth.

I have chosen the latter. Acceptance that things will never be as they were when I was young is something I am strongly working on for 2013. Closing the gates around my heart is one more thing that I want to work on. I don’t want to close my heart totally. There is too much to see, love and laugh about in life. I do however, need to pull the corral in just a bit more, to remind me that when things are not as you think they should be, you feel it, mourn it just a wee bit, and then move on.

I think that this will work out for me much better. I have two dear friends that seem to go through some of the similar events that I do and they are not living in dream land anymore. Dreams are nice but not when you can ever see the reality of them.

Yesterday, I went to a store in Fort Wayne that I had never stepped feet or eyes in. I walked through the doors and my eyes became big like a kid looking at all the Christmas gifts under the glittery tree. It wasn’t a clothing store, or a health food store. It was Hobby Land.

I had a ball. Even with my aching back and burning feet, I made it through several aisles. I started my New Year’s Eve resolution a tad bit early. I thought of me first. Do you have any idea how difficult a task it is to think of me first? It felt awkward, tongue-tied, and rough around the edges, but I forced myself.

I have always thought of others before me, and it is not always a good idea, because you can lose respect for yourself as well as others can take it for granted that you will always be there, so you let yourself be set-up to a point for pain.

So in ending this post, I have posted what I did for me yesterday. I want my home to reflect who I am. When I come home from seeing Al, or I need comforting, I want to feel it wrap its arms around me here in my four walls. Here is what I did to begin.

I bought some Victorian ceramic drawer pulls for my bathroom vanity in black and white marble.door knobs

min christmas tree










I took my big Christmas tree down and left these two pretty smaller ones up in opposite corners of my living room. They bring me peace and calmness.minature xmas tree


















I placed this antique wall shelf with prisms. I put a loaf of French bread, a bunch of grapes and a candle on top. In the evenings the lights from the Christmas tree reflect from the prisms and create a nice light show.wall shelf










I had this large vase so I redid the entire thing, giving it a wispy soft look, which invites me to be in a peaceful










Already, I am feeling more calm, confident, and allowing all things behind me to remain in the memory storage box.
















































I Am Shocked!

I am shocked at myself! I did not know I could do anything crafty with my fingers other than type! I just had to show you what I made all by myself! I am not sorry, for being so excited. I am actually proud of myself!

I was gifted this old chicken coop window, and turned it into this! It even has working Christmas lights! I went to the Goodwill Store and bought bits and pieces and created a part of my mind.

You can actually see this also at my group page I have on my Facebook:

Well, I have taken enough of your time with this, just wanted to show you what I did!

Let Our Minds Wander

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

The skies are no more blue, the children are no more laughing and being seen in the park

playing. The skies are now gray and the snow/rain mix falls softly to the ground. A look of dreariness on the outside, while I am inside with the heat coming over me.

The holidays are coming, and for some, this is a joyous season full of food, laughter, and good times being spent together. For most of us, it is a season to spend much more time in the stores buying presents. Trunks of cars are filled to the maximum and hopes in our heads are, that the person we bought this gift for will love it as much as I loved picking it out.

The Christmas tree decorating is a highlight for some. The melodies are playing happily in the background. Fireplaces are lit with flames dancing for our delight. Each child helping to decorate their section of the tree, placing ornaments in silly places, throwing icicles in bundles. Parents stand back and tell the child what a great job they have done with this family project, and when the child walks a way, mommy, goes behind her or him and straightens just a little.

A Thanksgiving feast awaits each eye that walks into our front door, and everyone claims how they starved themselves, waiting for the feast. Dishes being brought and the card tables are looking over crowded, as each guest arrives

Grace is said while all hold hands, and thanks are spread around the room for the food they are about to partake. Clatter of glasses, and silverware clinking on the plates, shows the chef that this meal was worth all the work put into it.

The gentlemen retire to the den and the ladies clear the table, only leaving  the munchies for the ones who always find a little more space to fill. The men watch sports or nap, and the ladies chatter about the plans in progress for Christmas, and exchange recipes, and the children go out doors to play in the snow.

In my eyes, whether this actually happened in my brain or it was formed in my mind, this is the Thanksgiving perfect holiday. Family together, spending the entire day doing nothing more than expected.

I look out my window at the dreary skies, and the snow falling, and wonder if others feel what I feel, or are there some who are dreading being alone. Are the lonely people going to remain lonely on this day? Will they even cross our minds? Are the ones hiding under the bridges to stay warm, going to be able to be taken in for food, and heat, and conversation?

Do we spend any time in the hospitals or nursing homes letting someone know we care? Do we participate in Angel Tree Programs so others less fortunate may open one gift under their invisible tree? Will we ring the bell for the season, helping fill homes with heat and water?

This is a joyous season for some, and for others it can be very lonely and cold, and others are so destitute, that suicide can be the main course for the day. Let us all remember others that are near us, maybe a neighbor next door, or someone down the block. Let us try to remember just one other while we celebrate this Thanksgiving Day.