The Fields Tell Me a Story


Yesterday brought smiles to my heart

Love flowed freely all around

Life could be no better

Babies on my hips

Bottles on the stove

Supper in the oven

Love flowed easily

Our covers always mussed

Then one day I seemed to notice

The quiet in the house

John buried under the oak tree

The kids all grown

I look out over the horizon

At the fields lined in a row

The wheat whispering softly

Echoing present and the past

I wait here gently rocking

Anxious  for noise to fill the air

And then I see the familiar color

Of the link I once had formed

Three smiling faces and waving hands

Coming to fill my space once again

With love, new memories to build

And I smiled to myself and the tears began to  fall

I am still alive I can feel my heart beating.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

02.12.2014

fields

 

50 Years Doesn’t Change Too Much


Holding Al’s hand and listening to him breathe I find myself racing back to my past. I am standing at the end of the lane. The small dead-end lane leading to no where that the world recognizes; but to all who lived in the tiny street, this was home.

I pull myself in two pieces, a child and a woman. I see Al, my little brother with his big blue eyes and wide innocent smile. He is wearing his hat with the ball on top and the flap ear pieces that cover when the winds blow.

He wants to stop at the candy store. A tiny white  house that was converted into a public grocery store. Oh this was no ordinary business. This was a mom and pop store. Filled with those emergency food items for moms. Milk, eggs and bread. For dads there were car accessories, batteries and fishing lures.

For us kids it was a place better than heaven. Glass cases filled with shelves of candies. Fingerprints remained from other little fingers of kids pointing to this candy and that. The owner sharing freebies of new candies that came in. Wanting our honest opinions he would say. What did we really think of it?

Al tugs at my jacket and points towards the door with the big silver handle. I can’t resist. I take his hand and we walk in to the smells of friendship, hugs and laughter. Al puts his fingers on the glass placing his individual mark that he was here also to pick his favorite pieces.

I had a quarter in my pocket. I pulled it out and Al looked at the shining coin and we both grinned at each other as we knew we were leaving the store with pockets filled with special treats.

All the way down the lane Al licked his sucker and I made my pieces of chocolate melt in my mouth until I could no longer feel it. About half-way home I let go of my brother’s hand and I skipped and jumped all the way to the front door.

I would look back and see Al looking at me, frozen in spot, afraid he would be forced to walk the rest of the way home alone. I hurried and threw open the door and tossed my books on the couch and took off running for Al and grabbing his hand we walked home hand in hand, me his big sister and protector, he the scared little boy of the big world..

So many memories, so many times the two of us did this together. Now as I stand here looking down at my grown brother’s face I weep into my heart. I see the big blue-eyed child now laying here afraid once again.

Afraid to let go of my hand. Afraid he will be left behind. Afraid to walk ahead without me. My legs feel weak and my heart sobs as I see where life has not really changed that much through these past 50 years.

Al and I still need each other. He still seeks me out for comfort and I reach out to him today as if once again I am caring for that little boy all over again. God has decided that we can’t get too much closer as brother and sister.

He has discovered a new job for me and Al. He wants Al to help him with some project way above what  my own imagination can dream.

As I look into my brother’s face and I see the pain and sweat from this terrible disease my heart finally breaks in two slices. I look down at his puffy and swollen hands and remember how once I had grabbed hold and walked him into that little store. Now just touching his hand makes him flinch in pain.

His legs that once rode swiftly by me on his new bicycle now lay frozen in time. His feet that once walked side by side with me now lay twisted. No longer the shape of what we know of as feet.

I can no longer understand Al’s words but I can still read his eyes and he is letting me know he is afraid. I reach out to him and tell him I love him. I assure him I love him and I will not allow him to walk this journey alone, just as I didn’t let him walk that little lane from the candy store home alone.Al and me Christmas 2013

The Brightest Star


The lonely soldier boy looked up at the stars. It was Christmas night. He was cold and had nowhere to go. He had served his country well. He had stripes on his sleeves and was proud.

His intention was to come home and marry his girl. He had been planning on marrying her and then the letter arrived. His country needed him. But while he was gone, she got bored and found the companionship of another.

When he knocked on her door the day before he learned from her mother that she had up and moved in with some guy. Through tears she expressed how sorry she was. The lonely soldier boy walked a way with his head hung low and his hands in his pockets.

He went back to his home but when the door opened the only welcome he received was the squeaky door. You see while he was gone, his parents had been killed in a car accident.

Something went a miss and he didn’t learn about it until way after the funeral was over. When he finally read the letter that was given to him all it said was that his parents had been killed and the home he grew up in was his.

Silence rang throughout his head. He put his hands over his ears. He didn’t want to hear anymore. He wanted it to stop, but it kept ringing and getting louder and louder. He buried his head in his hands and he wept.

How could this have happened? He lost his girl, he lost his parents, and yet he had done what was right and served his country well. He walked from room to room touching trinkets and remembering back to earlier times.

He got his duffel bag and started placing ever so carefully pieces that reminded him of happier times. He packed some clothes. He walked out into the night air. Pulling his coat closer to his body he walked.

No where in particular, just walked. He ended up at the cemetery where his parents had two markers staring at him. He sat down on the snowy ground and pulling the shiny star out of his bag, he placed it in front of his parents names.

He cried out to his parents begging them for answers. He thought how easy it would be to kill his own self so he could be closer to those he loved. He stared down at the cold ground waiting for some kind of signal that they had heard him.

Hearing nothing he stared off into the distance. Far ahead he saw a beam of light shining down towards the earth. His eyes followed the path and when he looked up in the skies he saw the brightest star he had ever seen.

Like the shepherds followed the star when Jesus was born, the lonely soldier boy followed the beam of light. He walked for what was ever and soon he was standing in the most beautiful house he had ever seen.

When his eyes adjusted and he was able to make out objects, he saw his parents. Beside them were members of his extended family. They came to him and enveloped him with love and hugs.

God had heard his cries, and now he was not the lonely soldier boy any longer. He was in the haven of love, the kingdom of all heavens and he smiled once again.

animationStar

Daily Prompt; My Precious


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

Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PRECIOUS.

Who is the person in my life that can do no wrong? I am sorry, I can’t think of anyone who can do no wrong except one lady. I used to think there were two. My best friend, L.S. and my dad.

Now being down to one I feel so lucky that I have that very best friend who I think the highest regards for. Who in my eyes does no wrong.

Now when I was a kid, not too many years back I had a few favorite people I felt could do no wrong. Idols, who I looked up to. Visits I got so excited about. Smiles so big that they showed missing teeth. Yes, those were the days. Can you guess who they were in a young girl’s life? Let me show you by photo only. I know you will guess then.

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The Man on the Edge of his Bed


Sorry friends, that I have not chatted with you today. Here it is 7pm and I am just able to write. Al was up a lot during the night. He went to sleep about 2am and so I was able to go to bed. At 4 he was up and then continued wanting something off and on until 6:30 this morning.

I caught another hour and a half and then the care giver arrived. I was also waiting for the shower girl to arrive. I had not met this shower girl. When she came she peeked in on Al and noticed his coca cola collection and that was all it took.

The two immediately bonded. Al was not able to have a shower today. He was too sleepy and too weak. He got a nice bed bath and I heard the chatter out in the living room until she left. That felt good. I know the two enjoyed their time together.

For right now, being squeezed in on the schedule we don’t know who will end up being the regular shower girl, but I am keeping my fingers crossed it is her.

Al confided in me in the wee hours of the morning that something had happened and this is why he could not sleep. To me it was a prayer answered. To Al, it shook him up causing him to not be able to sleep.

He told me his dad had come to see him. He said dad sat on the edge of his bed and told him that he wanted to be friends with Al. I got goose bumps as I had waited for this for years.

For Al the only dad he recognized was the one who picked on him and criticized him his whole life. I explained to Al that when dad went to heaven he forgot all of the bad stuff. I had been telling Al this for sometime.

And yet if Al did see dad and talk to him, and if people really do forget the bad things, then why did he tell Al he wanted to be friends? I don’t know the answers. I just kept telling Al this was great news. Now he and mom and dad could all be happy together.

I know Al has pondered on this all day. He fought sleep. His eyes would be nearly closed and then he would force them open again. I wish he would have slept for his own sake though. He didn’t feel well. He complained and was irritable.

Al finally went to sleep this afternoon. I had to wake him up for supper. I just fed him and changed him. I am now finishing my own supper. I went in to check on Al before sitting down here to chat with you and Al through sleepy eyes told me the end is almost here. I patted his hand and said this is a good thing Al, no more pain and many days of being with mom and dad again. He then closed his eyes and went to sleep.cat

 

The Journey Continues


With the sleep I stole yesterday through the day it didn’t bother me too much getting up with Al through the night last night. He and I had many conversations during the evening and the middle of night.

I could clearly tell that Al  has made peace with himself and the world. When he did sometimes look me in the eye I could feel a calm staring at me. It has been so odd lately this week.

With Al being a massive routine person it seemed strange to no longer turn the fans on for him. At times he has asked for the TV to be turned off. It seems that silence has become his friend as his mind ponders on his life.

I only interact with his personal thoughts when he has asked me. I feel it is a very private process and I have no right to interfere. The night before we discussed his Grandma who lives in Florida. We also talked about an aunt who resides in Florida also.

There is pain in memories that Al and I both have carried for a couple of years now. I have forgiven the harsh words, and have moved forward; but when Al brings it back up I can feel a sting return.

I didn’t know how to handle it, since we could not go to Florida so he could speak to them in person. So I became the third person, repeating Al’s words to God that Al said and doing it out loud so he could be sure that God was getting his messages.

It seemed by the time we both found sleep he had come to an inner peace. He had also brought up last night that he wished he could say good-bye to family members. This part hurt me terribly and I can’t help but add I got a little angry.

The people who Al mentioned I have already previously contacted and let them know that he was reaching out to them. I have tried my best to get people in Al’s life to understand that he may be mentally challenged but not stupid. He misses people and has hoped that he would get those visits.

Al only has issues with comprehension, other than that he knows who his family and friends are. He also realizes who has not contacted him in some way and then he cries, telling me he did something wrong. I can do no more for him on this topic unless I want to get on bended knee to those and beg, and I refuse to do that.

Last night Al said he thought he was done with everything that was important to him but for one thing, the will. He said he needed to make a will. I asked around for a video recorder but I never located one.

The next best thing I could do for him was to take pen and paper and let Al write his own will, with me doing the writing. I know that it would not hold up in a court of law, but it was sealed and complete in Al’s mind.

He told me about his coca cola collection. Who he wanted to have certain things. He talked about his vintage car collection. He had been obviously thinking about this very much because he had me write down his clothes, dresser, TV, shelving units. Just about everything in his room was added to the will and separated.

When he felt he was done I read back to him what I had written and he felt content with it. I drew a line and Al signed it. I had silent tears running down my cheeks and all I could do is reach out and rub his arm and his fingers.

He talked then about the ladder to the sky and the little lights he was seeing. I told him that if he decided to leave during the night to always remember how much I loved him. I explained that I would never forget him and reminded him how special he was to me in my life.

He wrapped his free hand over mine and started to cry, but I heard clearly through his tears saying to me, ” I love you sis. You are the best sis I have ever had.”kids sleddingpurple candles100_0749

My Photos of Al


I managed to take a few photos today. Although I am dead tired I have been busy with the day. Listening to Christmas music, which I will put the link below so you can hear it also. Wrapping some Christmas gifts with the help of the care giver who is here today.

 

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Reliving The Days


 

Reliving The Days

Pictures from long ago

Bring a smile to my face and so

I will relive what once was true

Al and I standing under the tree in new shoes

A brand new toy did Santy bring

For Mom it was a sparkly ring

Dad smiling from ear to ear

With all his tools and gear

Crackles of laughter I still hear

As I am sitting here

Remembering the good old days

When life was good no illness in the way

And as I smile and remember back

The tears do fall upon my lap

As I see how life really goes

And there is one thing I know

I am thankful for my memories today

As I relive the old- fashioned days.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

11/29/2013

me and brother

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

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving

 

Sunday afternoon

Lazy day

Laying watching football

Eating snacks

Kids playing, arguing

Taking naps

Time ticking in mom’s mind

Recipe go overs

List of groceries needed

Stress starting to come

Hurry bustle hustle

Things to do

Places to go

Foods to make

The one time of year

Family from all over

Together laughing

Talking catching up

Eating cleaning up

Game playing

Babies napping

Talk of Christmas coming

Oh no she sighs

I have to do this all over again

In less than a month.

But another chance

To get together

With family and

Give thanks for

All that we share.

 

 

 

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