Al’s Requests


Hi my friends. Today was a little different from other days. Al woke up after a restless night. He seemed alright but soon after broke into an ocean of tears. This went on for over two hours. He was asking for forgiveness, I don’t know why. He was naming off relatives, phone numbers, old jobs.

It was like he was revisiting a movie of his own life. He sobbed harder than I have ever seen him. It scared me, I couldn’t help it. I had never seen him like this before. I called the minister from Hospice and he paid a visit.

Whenever this minister, Bob, comes Al calms down, and once again this happened. Ever since the minister left Al seems to have accepted his own death nearing. I was told that Al is in the process of dying, what ever that means.

Al asked for different  people. He started off by asking for my son, who came to see him. The two relatives in our lives that although I have forgiven, still make me very sensitive when I hear their names.

But Al was adamant about speaking to them. I finally gave in for Al’s peace of mind. I located the phone number in Florida and will make that phone call in the morning. The other relative I called tonight and Al was able to speak to her over the phone. The aunt is also paying a visit to Al within the next two days.

Al cried like a baby upon hearing her voice. After the phone call ended he told me that this was his last request. I feel it is nearing, a gut feeling I have. Changes have happened. Al’s tremors have ended.

His eye lids no longer work. The MSA has taken the eye lid muscle and weakened it. He can open them in the mornings but by afternoon he can no longer do this. He has told me how much he loves me and Rhino.

He has made many comments about how I will be after he is gone and I have answered him as honestly as I can, letting him know I will be alright. It is as if he is saying goodbye. His breathing has changed. He struggles and his swallowing has been effected. I can see that he is struggling to swallow anything.

I pray with all my heart that he is taken soon. My heart will break into pieces. I will miss him terribly, but he will be out of pain. He keeps telling me his arms are glued down, but the truth is, the brain is not telling the arms to move so they seemed locked along with his body contracting.

The only person he has been asking for is our half-sister. Although I have pleaded with her to come see him, I can not make her do it. I had to tell Al that I am so sorry but I just can’t make this request happen.

I told Al he is the best brother I could have ever asked for and I told him how proud I am for all he has done in his life. I thanked him for being my good friend and for going to all the auctions and flea markets and out to eat.

He held my hand and began struggling with breathing again. I quit talking as I didn’t want to get him upset. Al has never been able to accept that he is a good man, but I had to tell him. I sat with him until he finally drifted off to sleep.

Tomorrow I have foods to make and I have ignored the house so much. The Hospice nurse will be here also and my one daughter-in-law will be stopping by. Christmas Day my son and his family will be here for the noon meal and our Aunt will be paying Al a visit. Thursday my daughter will be arriving sometime in the day and the caregiver will once again return.

I miss Stacy already. She is a big help to me and to Al, but she deserves off her holiday also. So I will be busy, too busy for my taste. Al is the priority, the foods and holiday will work around him. I will do my best to touch base tomorrow night. Hugs to all of you.

Daily Prompt; Are You Being Served?


http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/daily-prompt-service/, DP, Daily Prompt

What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SERVICE.

I live in the state of Indiana.Indiana-Dunes-Park-Map I live fairly close to this area on the map. Cold, and big snow belt area in the winter. Hot and humid in the summer. I hate cold and the older I get it hurts my Diabetic feet more and more. And my joints, let’s not even go in that area. It would be a whole other post.

My brother and I, after the last of our parents passed needed a break. So we moved to the sunshine state.florida I spent many days here shopping for antiques and unique items. It is a beautiful areas, Sarasota, Florida, but the heat in the summer, oh what a beast. If Al and I didn’t have our errands and running around through the week days by 10am, it was put off until the next day. We moved back to Indiana because Al became ill with M.S.A. I also missed my children and had some issues that I could not fix with outer family members.

When we came back I had to once again get my driver’s license.driver license Al and I went on a sunny, fall day. I had my birth certificate, my social security card and my Florida license with me. We walked into familiar territory. I told the lady what I was here for and she took my information from me. After studying and I think memorizing, lol, she handed it back and said she needed more information.

Let’s see, if I remember right, she needed  mail that showed my new address.mail She also required both of my marriage certificates, divorce certificates,divorce and of course auto insurance papers.

I wasn’t happy as Al and I had many things to do with just moving back, but I smiled and we left for home for the hunt of paper work.

I had to go to another county in order to get some of my needed papers. Was the license branch going to reimburse me for my gas?

It took a day to get it all together and we went back once again to get the license. This time I had done what I had previously and gave her all my paper work. I also gave her the numbers to my auto insurance policy.

She handed it back to me. She told me she had to see the complete policy. I was snorting by then. I was looking back at Al sitting on the benches and he was getting stressed because he saw I was.

This lady wasn’t one of the few who smile at this office. I can say this because this county is known for the least smiling representatives.

I stormed out to my car and brought in the paper work I keep tucked in my glove box, you know, just in case I would ever get stopped by the police. I handed it to her and I couldn’t help but ask, ” Why in the world do you need my life history? This is insane? What does my marriage and divorces have to do with getting my license?”

She looked up at me and actually smiled like the cat who caught the mouse. ” Because my dear, this state wants to verify that you are not an alien.”alien

I started laughing and I commented, ” Look at my ears. See my eyes bugging out?”

She and I both laughed and she said so matter of fact. ” Sorry honey, it’s not my rules, it’s the States”

Al and I walked out after my encounter with the outer space quarters with my new driver’s license in hand.

Big Bitch Session I Have Given


This morning Al was teary-eyed again. I couldn’t take it. A Saturday when I knew he would do this off and on all day. I didn’t want to be sad, so I got to thinking, what can we do.

Bingo, not too much pain so let’s go out. I asked him if he wanted to eat lunch out and he didn’t say anything. I ask him if he wanted to go to Wal-Mart after we ate lunch and look at cars and then he said yes and smiled at me.

So clean face and hands, clean brief, placed him in his wheelchair, got my basket of needed supplies and off we went, just like Little Red Riding Hood.

We ate at a burger joint that Al picked out. He did real good, considering, but he was more worried about people seeing him spill food and his tremors. I told him to forget them and just keep his eyes on me. I would make him forget the strangers.

We ate, by now no matter what we eat or where we eat, it takes Al about forty-five minutes to eat. After I was done I people-watched. Cleaning him up and loading him and the wheelchair back in-car we headed for the junk store, Wal-Mart. Well I guess not junk store, that is sort of crappy term, but this store has changed. They took out American products and brought cheap stuff in for same prices.

So I got my bag of wintergreen lifesavers. I am so addicted to them. I must have one for each cup of coffee I drink. I just love the combo. Then we went to the toy section. Al picked out a new police car. It is pretty cool if I do say so myself. Oh he was so proud. He held it like a new-born baby.

We left that department and went down to look at these razors I was told about. Someone had told me they sell battery operated disposable razors. I looked at them. They were a little pricy, but my friend said they last a long time and work well. I thought, what the heck, I can only be burnt once, so I bought one.

We were just getting ready to leave that aisle when we ran into an aunt we hadn’t seen for almost six years. She was on one of those electric scooters. I saw her coming and she nodded to Al and then went on by.

My body started shaking. This time I was not letting any of this family get by with their rude shit. I stood in my place and yelled at her as she was getting ready to turn the curve.

“Aren’t you even going to say hello to Al? When is the last time you saw or spoke to him, maybe six years ago?”

She said nothing and went on around the next aisle and then came back. She said, “Hi Al, I wish Jeff wasn’t asleep in the car while I am in here. He would probably want to say hi to Al.”

What? She is speaking to me? She is supposed to be speaking to Al. He is the sick one.

Then she says, “I saw a picture of you Al from Joan.”

Joan is our old neighbor that helped that day I took Al to the fair and needed help getting his brief changed because of small doorways. After she helped she wanted to take a photo of Al. She asked him and he said alright.

I asked,” Is that all you’re going to say to him? You may want to talk to him for more than a few seconds. Your chances are running pretty low.”

“Yes, I heard he is real sick.”

She turns her key back on and starts to leave. As she is moving a way, she says, “well, maybe”

That was it. She was gone out of sight. She didn’t even hang around to complete her sentence.

I was so pissed. I have every right to be upset. I give myself that pat on the back for not stomping my feet, crying and running up to her and shaking the hell out of her asking, “what the hell is wrong with you?”

Of course I know what is wrong. She is still friends with the mean woman who dated my Dad when he was dying. My aunt chose to believe anything or everything that this mean old bag chose to say over her very own family members.

If you have no clue as to what I am talking about, go to my Al’s Parkinson’s Journey and read the chapters. It will explain everything to date.

I thought I was being so cool but Al said, “it’s ok sis, at least she said hi” and then he started crying.

That aunt ruined our whole trip. I was even more fuming. How dare her ignore her sick family member. Forget me, although she has hurt me terribly as the aunt in Florida and the Aunt in Indiana, I will survive. I have been hurt plenty.

This whole things stems from one thing. My Dad told everyone in his family and friends circle that when he died the Will was set up a certain way. Well without going into legal and personal details, Dad didn’t word it correctly and there were a lot of gaps.

I wasn’t going to go explain personal business to anyone. The lawyer and the courts figured it all out and I have Al in my care. Enough said I guess, but what ever happened to support from families?

Is it wrong to accept that life is what it is and not everything turns out the way it was planned? For me, I was the biggest winner of all. I have Al in my care. He is not in a State confinement nor a nursing home. He is with me.

I guess I may or may not have made an ass of myself here at WP, but I get really sick of people, especially family, who think they know it all, and yet know nothing, and they ignore us, Dad’s children. Some day Al will be gone. And who ever shows up at his funeral will be the ones who cared. And who ever does not, the hell with them. I can totally understand why Al spends some evenings crying about no one being at his funeral.

The cards keep coming in for Al. He is being shown that people care. We don’t receive any cards from family, so I tell Al that these cards come from extended family, people who love and pray for him.

If anyone else wants to send a card to him, please email me at

tellmenolies20042yahoo.com

for his address.

Al is in  pain now. I think the trip was a little long and the mishap with the Aunt upset him. We are home now naturally, and I gave him some pain medication for his legs. He is now napping. I hope he is having good dreams.Al in the morning

Daily Prompt; Everything Changes


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Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSFORMATION.

He slept in boxes. He slept under the bridges. He slept where ever his body found comfort once the sun set.

He had once been a prosperous man residing in the hot spots of Florida. He had built shells of houses and sold them to people barely out of the danger zone of bankruptcy. His ideal goal was that he charged enough in payments that in no time at all he had gained not only the up-front cost but the house back.

He would repeat this business to one after another. His pockets heavy his checkbook fat he was living high on the hog. He had a sailing yacht. He owned two homes. One in his home town and one by the edge of the ocean.

Drink and friends could be seen anytime of the day or night. He had made millions and even had made the cover of a national magazine. But when one does things for the wrong reasons, it is almost guaranteed life will stop and come and bite you in the rear.

And this did happen. A police family under disguise portrayed the perfect family for purchasing one of his properties. A couple of weeks after entering the home the legal system had everything they required to bust the sales man.

In no time at all the savoy business man lost it all. His homes became foreclosed. His checkbook became skinny. His pockets folded inside out. Friends deserted him, drinks went dry.

As the companies came to clean out his house he sat at his dining table and wept in to his hands. Soon there was a tap on his shoulder. They needed him to move as they were confiscating this table also.

Soon there was silence. Birds could be heard singing outside the windows. Children could be seen heading to school. He picked up his last luggage and opening the door stepped outside and closed the door gently behind him.

Not knowing where he was going his feet stepped one in front of the other. By nightfall nothing had changed and he had a taste of his first real home in a box. He had earned it. It was fully his, and it was paid for.

Sleep came with difficulty. He laid in his blanket-made bed and watched others standing over canisters of heat. Warming their fingers as fall was beginning to enter. As his eyes closed he was having visions of the people he had frauded. All night, each night haunting dreams of people holding their arms out, begging for mercy. Asking for their doors to be once again opened.

In the mornings he rubbed his eyes as tears had filled the pockets and grief over took him. Each morning he walked and hunted for food like a caveman looking for his family. Walking the streets, the only visitors were his own shadows in store front windows, he was lonely, down and out.

The first snow had fallen and he had rummaged through a dumpster and found a ragged blanket. Pulling the cover closer to his nose, he began to weep. He looked towards the heavens and pleaded for forgiveness. He admitted he was wrong. He needed to have one more chance to prove that he was worthy of living.

The next morning he was walking his routine streets and he saw a folded piece of paper. He looked around to see if someone had just dropped it. Seeing no one reaching for it, he leaned down, weary and tired, bloodshot eyes and picked it up.

Fingers fumbled as he walked over to the metal sidewalk bench and sat down. He opened it up and saw one simple sentence. Very few words but with great meaning. He looked up to the skies and the first genuine smile crossed his face. He looked down once again to read the words, you have been forgiven.poor man

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.

Chapter 14


As Dad got worse, Al became farther back in the picture. I liked it better when he was fore most in my mind because he needed looking after. But B. felt that Dad was just a big burden and demanded more and more of my time.

One of the last visits Dad payed to his own home, it was in October. He had the urge to sit on his tractor one more time. B. came along and I met Dad out at the house, Al was home also.

Dad made me go get Al as he wanted to talk to him. It ended up not being talking, it was screeching about how things were not done the way Dad wanted them done. Our half-sister happened to stop by and my Grandma still lived on the property.

We were all getting things arranged in Grandma’s house as she was planning on  moving permanently to Florida to live with her daughter. It was still pretty warm outside and the woods were in full color.

I didn’t know how we were going to get the tractor out of the barn. Dad had tried to climb on top of it but he was too weak. Just then my son pulled in the drive way and I asked him to bring the tractor out.

While my son was doing this B. was in the background bitching at Al because of this or that. I told her, “Stop it right now. You have no right to be speaking to him this way.Leave him alone and remember this is not your son nor your home.”

She gave me a dirty look and then proceeded to start in on our half-sister. It escalated very quickly and soon there was an arguing match in full force. I am so thankful my parents lived in the country. If we were in town the cops would definitely have been called.

Yelling and accusing was going on so long. When I glanced at Dad to see how he was dealing with this he was sitting in a summer chair and his body was trembling. He was so weak and also too afraid to interfere with this fighting.

I probably didn’t handle it the right way, but I told Al to go ahead and go back in the house where he would be safe. Al didn’t hesitate, he left right a way. I walked up between the sister and B. and stuck my hands out in between them. I probably looked like a traffic cop. I told them,” You are destroying Dad. Look at him trembling. You two should be ashamed of yourselves. If you want to argue and bitch, go somewhere else and do it in private. I want this shit stopped now. I will not sit here and watch you all destroy yourselves.”

Voices hushed and the air became quiet. B. was beginning to mumble under her breath and I gave her the look. She changed her train of thought and went to Dad and told him she couldn’t help herself. She just wanted to protect him. In my opinion she could just shove it and go to hell.

After the boxing ring became quiet, Dad went back to the issue of wanting to get on the tractor. My son and I tried and tried to hoist him up but to no avail. Finally I saw a five-gallon container. I went and grabbed it and placed it as a stepping stone for him.

He was able to get on and he sat there smiling. He tried to start the tractor but his legs were too weak to  clamp down on any pedals. Getting him off was even harder. My son and I balanced him and sort of pulled him off.

There was no  more arguing that day. B. had said what she wanted. Our half-sister was done defending herself and inside Grandma’s house. My son left, so all that was left outside was B., me and Dad.

I grabbed Dad’s mail and we all went back to the girlfriend’s home where I helped Dad inside. The day before when I had visited Dad I had brought  over a   toilet commode. He could barely get down on the seat to sit or stand to be wiped.

I had the leverage to grab him this and a walker. When we got inside her house and I had Dad seated and comfortable in his recliner, she called me into her kitchen. When I went to see what she wanted she had the commode in her hands. She made me watch as she tossed it out the back door. She commented or hissed, “No one is going to pretend they are sick in my house. There will be nothing here that represents sick.”

I watched her with intent as she tossed that and the walker outside. I went outdoors and grabbed the walker and brought it back inside. With Dad within hearing distance I played out a short clip of a silent movie.

I raised the walker and pretended I was going to slam her with it. She covered her head with her hands and inside I was having the time of my life. On the outside I was firm-faced and I mouthed to her, “He needs this, dammit, now get your shit together.”

She left the walker alone but put it on the back  porch. I had to look at B. for the first time with sadness. Although I never met her husband who had passed I could imagine the memories of having another man you cared about dying in your home once again. That feeling of sadness didn’t really stay that long, as I knew that someone in her sixties should very well know better to take it out on another human being, no matter how bad it hurts emotionally.

 

On That Friday Afternoon


I have sort of stayed a way from WP the past two days. I began writing today. I wrote a couple of posts so that I could ease into writing this one.

People always told me that God will reveal everything in his perfect time. I remember just a short time ago when I blogged about the cross necklace appearing in my hand when I was awakened by something urging me to wake up. I know how it got there. It could have been no one other than God. That necklace had been in my jewelry box for almost two years.

Do you remember me telling you that Al was to go to a new Neurologist on this past Friday? I didn’t really want him to go. We had a neuro for some time and I was content with his words that he had done everything he could for Al, but he would remain a PRN doctor, as needed.

The weekend that Al had tried to harm himself the Psyche doctor wanted Al to have a second opinion. To say the least I fought it tooth and nail. What a waste of time I thought. But after speaking to a friend about it, I was reminded that it couldn’t hurt to have a second thought from another professional with many more years experience on him.

Well I met Al over at the doctor’s office Friday afternoon. I hadn’t remembered it but we had seen this doctor  not long after Al had his heart attack. The doctor remembered Al and let us know we had been there prior.

He had so many reports from doctors and ER visits plus Al’s visit prior. He did a thorough exam and then asked me to come to his office. He left Al sitting in the waiting room while the two of us spoke.

He told me he had suspected Al had PD way back when and was amazed at how Al had declined in these few years. He added some more information to Al’s file and diagnosis and then asked me when Al was coming home. He asked me lots of questions.

When it was all done and the room became quiet, he began writing. He handed me one script. He added that there was no medications to give Al as there was nothing more to do. When I took the script from him and read it said, flashing starHospice to be involved. High risk of aspiration.

I looked at him and said,” I have tried to get hospice involved before, but they always say the same thing, there is no ending date for Parkinson’s Disease.

He looked at me and said, “now there is.”

Silence filled the room and I stared at him. He said, “Al is pretty bad. His heart has taken a big toll. I have all of the reports here that confirm it. His central nervous system is out of whack. His next step will be aspiration. You need Hospice now.”

“But you must have six months or less before Hospice will take over.”

“He does have six months or less.”

Tears filled my eyes and I sat there weeping until I could go get Al with dry eyes. As I pushed him out of the office and down the long ramp, everything became clear. God was revealing to me so many things.

1. Al went to the nursing home so I could have a break. God knew that now Al could come home because I have had enough rest I can carry this out to the end.

2. I knew exactly why I had taken the foolish move to Florida. It was for Al, I was able to give him some of his best years of his life doing things he had never done before.

3. I had tried so hard to get a job but couldn’t land one for the life of me. Now I saw, my time will come to work, I need to be here for Al for a while longer.

4. The heavy sweating, the constant tears, the struggling to eat and swallow. The internal tremors, the trips to the ER, everything became clear.

God has been letting me know by all the signs that he was going to take Al home. God knows that Al doesn’t want to die at the nursing home, so now he has perfected the timing and is sending him home. Everything is clear. I can see God’s plan.

Friday of this week Al comes home. He will get his wish and be able to stay here for the rest of his life.

The doctor, specialist, that I fought so hard to not go, was something God knew that I needed to do. The questions that I had asked for so many months, God knew that I would get all of my answers on that Friday afternoon.

Daily Prompt; Tourist Trap


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What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us VACATION.

I was  born and raised here in good old flat-land, corn raised Indiana all of my life. But while I was married to my last husband who was never satisfied where we lived, I had the opportunity to visit places other than here.

I went to see my real mother out in Yuma Arizona a few different times. I tried actually living and working there to be near her, but it just wasn’t meant to be.yuma arizona Not only was my Mother’s love for me less than a dog’s instincts for her pups, I was the minority. People carried guns too. It is still like the old west in reality.

Then when I was married to my first husband, I was given the chance to travel to Stuttgart, Germany, where I lived and had my baby girl. I still dream of this country after many years have gone by. I loved everything I saw there, so this must be why I still dream about this beautiful place.stuttgart

I married my second husband in Florence Alabama. I loved the southern people, the laid back life style, but I have a lot of bad memories just with married life. Big mistake, big, big, big mistake.florence

When our Father died, Al hated the memories of the home he had lived in. I battled for years and still do about this house. It was a nice home, but it wasn’t home to me and Al didn’t like it. We sold it. That is the battle I have. Maybe I should have kept it no matter what our feelings towards it. It was paid for and it was family, but I can’t go back and change it now. I only wish I could leave it alone in my mind. We headed south. We had one aunt and my grandmother that lived there.  Our aunt who I will call M just thought we would love it here.

The first mistake I made is going on the word of someone else. I hadn’t ever argued with M, but she had lived in Florida for many years so our personal level of family was not there. I took the money from Mom and Dad‘s home and bought another home in Sarasota, Florida.

The homes are more expensive there than here. I think this is one of the bigger areas in my mind that I learned material crap is nothing more than crap. We had a home that was maintained by other people. It was in a nicer area of town. Complete with pool and tons of places to see and all several Goodwill stores and Salvation Army Thrift stores. The people were different though. I can’t tell you how many time ladies at stores would look me quickly up and down to see what I was wearing before they would respond to my hello. It was too rich for me. Many rich homes and people lived there. I had come from a size of 35,000 people to an area with more than 150,000 people. Too big, too rich for a country girl.

Al hated the pool. I got him in it one time, but he froze in spot. I helped him out and he never came within 10 feet of the pool again except one time. He sat on one of the lounge chairs with me.

I was able to find a place that was for disabled adults. Al went there M-F up until we came back home. He absolutely loved it. Since Sarasota is so large, his group was given many different tickets. He got to go to Tampa to see several ballgames. He went to Imax Theatres. He saw plays. He got to see alligators and all types of wild life.

But one day he quit qualifying for the program. His Parkinson’s was getting in the way. Al just couldn’t understand why he was not going to be allowed to go back. His heart and mine were broken. He didn’t care for the terrible heat, so he stayed inside most of the year. He didn’t like the pool and he was getting more sick, and becoming a patient of the heart and general hospitals.

Florida is a great state for retirees, but if you are a disabled adult who is mentally challenged too, you are up shit creek without a paddle. In our area there was no help. I was becoming frustrated and Al was still very sad about his day program.

I kept hearing Mom and Dad in my head. They were so mad at me because I had sold their home and went to Florida. But worse, I was thinking of coming back home. I thought about my kids and how they were here and I was there. The doctors that Al needed were back home and not in Florida. It made sense to come home but I was ridden with guilt.

The expenses of the property in Florida, giving up my parents home, and only being in Florida less than five years, plus the expensive moving in itself was enough to eat me alive with guilt by now. When I look back on this part of my life, I have come to terms pretty much with the big waste of money. It was a trip or a long vacation for Al. He had been left alone for so many years, that this was his chance to get out and experience life and have fun. Now with his Parkinson’s so advanced, I am glad I was able to give him those few years of total fun.

I talked to Al so many times back then. He never got over being miserable and his pains were becoming more often. I had the sad memories of Mom and Dad being in heaven if I came back here. All of our family but the half-sister were deceased. There was one aunt here but our relationship was ruined when our Dad died.

So why come back to a lonely and sad place? Why come back to the ugly, cold, long winters? I just knew it was the right thing to do, but still I fought with it in my mind.

sarasotaMy daughter gave me an idea. She lives in Ky near Bowling Green. She suggested we move there instead of back in Indiana. It was a brilliant idea to me, and Al was excited too. He loves my daughter and her husband.

I didn’t want to  purchase anymore property at this time. I didn’t know the areas, and quite frankly I wasn’t sure where this Parkinson’s of Al’s was going. We found a place to rent in Bowling Green. I went on the words of the landlord. I specified that I wanted and needed a very safe area to live in.

Well it wasn’t quite like she said, considering someone took my car out for a midnight stroll one night. They broke into the car and tore up the glove box. But in general we really liked the area.

Everywhere we went people treated us like we were family. They didn’t know the word stranger. We lived in a duplex and our bedrooms were upstairs. Things went along pretty well. Al got to visit the Corvette Museum and we went lots of places. We fit in nicely. Then one day Al started stumbling. He was seeming to have heart attack spells more and more.

After a few visits to the ER we discovered he had Angina. Now he had this along with his heart attack a few years back. What was causing the Angina was the stairs. Every time he climbed the stairs he would have another attack.

The doctor told me we had to definitely move out of a two-story place or Al would have another heart attack. I was disappointed and I think Al was too. At this point in my life I gave up the fight and we bought our mobile home back home in Indiana. I had to bring Al back. My conscience could not see it any other way.bowling green

Being back home in Indiana gives me very few comforts. Yes, I know my way around very well. Yes, my one son lives within walking distance of me. Another son lives about an hour a way. We don’t see him often and the son who lives close we seem to always be at odds.

Now Al has been dealing with Parkinson’s and the ugly parts of it. He lives in a nursing home but is coming home. I am lonely without my parents. Too many memories here. The winters are cold. My feet suffer so bad in the winter from my Diabetic Neuropathy. They burned and burned most of last winter even with socks and very warm slippers on.

WarsawCentralPark1I know that as long as I am taking care of Al, I will stay put. I don’t know what will happen if Al leaves this earth before me.

I know my two boys are here, but my daughter is in KY. I know that I loved that area so much.

I know my dream is to be back in Ky, but I don’t know if I will actually ever be able to do something about it.

I can hope and dream. I would be selling the home I live in, but to purchase another home with mobile home profits would be difficult. I guess if God wants me to go back to the blue grass state, he will find a way to help me make my dream come true.

Chapter10


Seeing Al today at the facility brought  old memories for him and none for me. When I walked down the long haul I could see him immediately at the dining table. He looked exactly like I never wished him to look. A stare across his face, head bent down and frozen somewhere in time.

When I approached his table he barely looked up at me. Once I got our food settled that is when he began to cry. I asked his nurse how he had been all morning, and of course I already knew she would say, fine, just fine, no problems.

I wanted to run a way but I cemented myself to the chair. I was feeling like I am the one who makes him cry. I am family and this brings back memories for him. He was back in time. While I was living a married life, I do remember Al getting the opportunity to go down to Indianapolis, Indiana to the big Memorial Day races.

I have been told by him several times  in the past about the fun he had going to these. When our Uncle Jim was still alive, he had as much patience with Al as our Granddad did. There was always a bond between these two men and Al.

I believe in my heart that these two men saw clearly that our own Father was not being the best he could with Al. They took many times and fit Al into their fun schedules.

Today, Al cried the two hours I was there. He spoke of the race, but he could remember very little of it. What I remember from earlier years of him telling me about it; is that they chattered all the way down to Indy, a three-hour trip. They left at 4:30am, and Al always says, he didn’t have a problem getting up that early, it was worth it.

They filled up on hot dogs and sodas. They saw wrecks. Al told me of the speeds of the cars and who was driving what cars. Today all he could remember is that he went with Uncle Jim. It broke my heart, it really did.

There was a time when Uncle Jim and his wife moved to Florida. They went there because one of their children had Cystic Fibrosis. The air was to be better for him. Although Al had never gone anywhere alone, after graduation of high school, Uncle Jim arranged through the airlines for Al to come down for a visit.

All arrangements had been made with the stewards and gate crew to keep a good eye out on Al without Al realizing it. He made the trip with flying colors. He always said he had a good time.

For years life seemed to be monotone for our family. I was raising mine and Al remained at home. He helped in the gardens in the summer, shoveled snow in the winters. He worked from job to job and then finally landed a job where he worked for nine years before he had his heart attack.

Al and Dad kept their distance or when they were together it was pure hell. Dad would yell and scream and threaten. Al’s face would turn beet red and his fist doubled up, his body tense and ready to attack.

Nothing ever changed. Different family members and friends tried so many times to help Dad see the damage he was doing to Al but Dad brushed them all off. I am going to add my own personal opinion at this point.

Our non-blood Grandma and Granddad and our Uncle Jim and his wife, were not directly related to us, but they were the best back in those days. They all spent great qualities of time with Al. Helping to nurture him and grow into a man. I used to hear from my Dad’s sister how she used to have to help take care of us when we were brought home from the kidnapping days.

I will call her T.  T said that she used to give me a bath quite often. I don’t know how old she was, but evidently a teen. She told me of the day she scalded me and how bad she felt about it. I am sure it did bother her and I hoped she moved past that. I never remember words of anyone speaking about the care Al got. The only times I can recall any talk about Al is when he had to be taken to the Children’s Hospital for rickets and undernourished.

When I became a teen I was alert enough to realize that there is a word called fake. You can have family members. They can say all sorts of nice things, but when you aren’t in the room, you can eavesdrop in on the truth.

Cousins used to laugh at Al. He was mildly mentally handicapped. He wanted to fit in. He wanted to laugh with others, speak and carry on with everyone.Usually, the only one laughing out of innocence was Al. The others were laughing at him. It always hurt my feelings because I believed that we were all family, and this was a bad behavior. I noticed that Al was left out of a lot of things.

When there were reunions or family dinners, Al was placed at the kids tables. When everyone was playing Badminton, or croquet, Al was not asked. Card games, he was in the room watching television. I always wondered if he realized he was being left out.

I sure wish I could put a photo up of my brother from early days, but I have never seen even one tiny photo of him. The ones I post on here for you to see, look to me like he is maybe five. I wonder why no photos were taken or if they were where are they.

Before our real grandmother passed she handed out all her photos. Anything that had to do with our family I got the pictures, but none of Al. I have my baby picture but I gave it to my daughter. Maybe we didn’t really exist in people’s minds until my Dad and Stepmom got married. Maybe we were the kids who were in the way, or the two that were from a broken home, or maybe the two who were kidnapped. Something happened. Photos show pride and there are no photos of Al or me except the one baby picture of me until after my new Mom came into our lives.

al

Lessons In Life


After Dorothy's departure, Blanche, Rose and S...

There is a topic  from the Golden Girls, that no matter how many times I watch it; it always touches me way down deep.

It is about when Rose becomes unemployed and she speaks about the bag lady she sees each morning.

It makes me ponder on my own life. I wonder if you do this too. Do you ever think you could be in a position of being a bag lady/man? Did you study real hard in  high-school and go to college and are now in the middle of a great career? Only to find out the company is downsizing.

Did you ever in your wildest dreams think that one of the major reasons you were being escorted to the front door is because you had proven yourself over and over what an outstanding employee you had been them? That the benefits you had earned was the reason you were being let go? The company has learned to hire temps, because they don’t require the extras.

When I was living in Florida I was amazed at how many people were homeless. You hear the hype about big old Florida. The place to retire, the bright, warm sunshine. How could there  be homeless in such a glorified state?

Florida is a great place to retire if you were lucky enough to be on the right end of the stick. If you were the prior generation that lived, played and worked hard. When there was an economy that was better balanced.

A time before companies figured out several ways to give you less service for a bigger dollar. Life was slower. Food was grown in the ground. Families worked together, looking out for each others interests.

Your meat wasn’t filled with chemicals. It was home-grown, corn-fed, and butchered at your local meat market. Although life is always tough no matter what generation you come from, the family that stays together, prays together and lives for one another are the ones who now look at their Golden Years with stars in their eyes. Their hard work had paid off and now they can ride golf carts,  play golf and frolic in the sun.

But life isn’t like that today. Nothing is stable and there are no more securities. Many live and save for a vacation. But there are many who try so hard to save and when vacation comes they stay home or travel close by. Camping has become a great way to have fun.

If you can even afford a six man tent, you can find many fun and enjoyable places to relax and enjoy the outdoors. But there is still a deeper issue. The ones who are our neighbors, or maybe we worked with, who never saw it coming.

There was no preparations for the future. We thought we had it made in a shade. Suddenly the job is gone. There are two mortgages on the house. Two to three vehicles sitting in the drive way. A swimming pool out back. The kids wear only name brand clothing. The newest make-up and hair styles had to be had. Every credit card in our wallets is maxed out.

We never gave it a second thought that tomorrow may not come. This takes me back to the Golden Girl show and my own experience. I may have talked about this many moons ago. If I did, forgive me, but on the other hand, it is very important for all of us struggling in today’s world to keep this foremost in our heads.

Many of us live believing and knowing that God will not let us walk through it without knowing he is by our side. But we also know that this world is to get worse. The Bible promises us this. It has to get worse before Jesus can come back.

One day I was at a local gas station near my home. I was getting ready to get out of my car and this man started coming towards me. He didn’t want anything from me but yet by his looks I was a little afraid. Shame on me for acting this way. Even the ugliest of sheep can wear the most beautiful clothes.

I watched this man who looked like he hadn’t had a bath in days. His clothes were torn and didn’t fit properly. What he was doing was going through the trash cans. When I realized this I pumped my gas and went in the store to pay.

I said, do you know there is a man out there rummaging through the trash?

Yes, we know it. He is a regular here. Every morning and evening he pays us a visit. He is looking for soda cans or food. We save him our donuts each day and he takes them with a smile.

My heart dropped down to my toes. Here I was, worrying about the rising prices of gas. Complaining in my head about what I had to pay the clerk. I had forgotten to be thankful for having the money to pay.

I felt like a real ass to tell you the truth. Right there in the store I thanked God for all of the wonderful blessings he had bestowed on me through the years. Yes, life is tough. Life throws us many curves. I hate the high prices of anything today. But I am  more careful now ever since that gas station incident.

I watch how much I am wasting. I ask myself, do I really need it, or do I just want it.

When I walked out of the store I walked up to the man. I handed him some money. He looked at it and you would have thought it was the biggest amount of money he had seen in a long time.  Who knows, it may very well have been. He got teary-eyed, and he grabbed my two hands into his and he started shaking my hands. Thank-you, thank-you mam. You don’t know what a blessing this is for me. I can now go to the grocery store and purchase some food that I know is safe to eat.

We hugged each other and he waved and smiled as I got back in my car and left. My heart swelled and my eyes were wet from tears. It felt glorious to help another person. I love helping people. I can’t always say yes to others but I try to do what I can.

Thank-you God for allowing me to learn that life can not be taken for granted. This was a lesson that I needed to learn today. While I sometimes forget to say thanks, and there are times I forget that you are near me, you are constantly watching over me, teaching me things I need to learn before I am allowed to come home. Amen