Breaking the Ice/ The Daily Post


http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/breaking-the-ice/#like-89093

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

I have two causes which I believe in and try to spread to others through my actions and words.

My first cause of course is God. I have drifted in and out of God’ s view different times in my life. I was baptized when I was ten years old at church camp. From there I just faded in like clouds according to how my life was going. There were plenty of times that I thought I didn’t need God. Other times I wanted proof he existed. After all, we are a world who needs proof.

In a way that is hysterical as an excuse. There are people out there who don’t have proof until they find themselves laying in a dark and gloomy box after trying drugs. There are females that think they know  they can have sex without becoming pregnant, and then losing the baby to another home or maybe worse, then  discover their full-proof theory didn’t work.

I finally got it through my thick-skin head that I needed God. I could and can do nothing without his guidance and help. I learned that I am to witness to others, so this is my most important cause in life.

My second cause is to spread the word about a very rare illness called MSA, which stands for Multiple System Atrophy. This is a terminal illness with no known cure as of yet. It is so rare that getting donations is very difficult to do.

We need donations so a cure can be found. We need caregivers, families, and doctors to spread the word. We need more information on our Google and other search engines for people to read about.

MSA is an illness that for most, cut the ties that allow your body to move. My brother had this for seven, long years. It left him crippled, bed bound, not able to speak, swallow, eat, focus, contain bodily fluids. He lost his communication skills and he lost his ability to remain a man.

He laid in bed, bound inside the rails for six months, with me completing all tasks for him. He lost his pride also. The worst part of MSA in my opinion was not what he lost; but what he kept.

He still had his memories. MSA does not usually affect the memories. This caused great embarrassment to Al, my brother. He knew that at one time he had worked, driven, made decisions, went to the bathroom on his own, bathed himself, fed himself, cashed his paychecks, went to church, decided if he wanted to sleep in or not.

He could choose his own clothes to wear, decided what day he would go to the grocery store, pick out his own foods, tie his shoes. Folks, the list could go on and on. This illness strips everything and it did for Al. When he died  he had went from 295 pounds to 130 pounds. When I looked into his casket, I couldn’t recognize Al, I could only reflect on my memories of him from earlier times.

If you want to help a cause and you can’t decide which one to help, please consider helping MSA. I am not saying Feed the Children is not a good program, or that Cancer research is not worthy of your monies; but MSA– has little funding coming in.

No funding means no research. No research means no cure. No cure means every week when I look at my Facebook MSA pages, another soul has earned his wings, as Bonnie Llewellyn, always says.

Go to the link below I will provide you with. Make a donation. Make it a dollar, five dollars, ten or twenty. Hell, make it one hundred. The point is; just make it. The life you save may be your own or someone you know as a family or friend. After all, my friends, MSA is most commonly misdiagnosed for the first few years as Parkinson’s Disease, and I am pretty sure we are all familiar with those words.

 

http://www.curesma.org/

I Felt Your Presence


I Felt Your Presence


I Felt Your Presence

On the day you left me

The winds were cold

A chill in the air

Tears falling gently

Music played softly

Hugs and handshakes

Familiar words spoken

Light rose once again

Darkness fell behind

But as you were

Being laid to rest

God gave me a gentle nudge

I looked up to the skies

And saw the most

Elegant, the largest

Gentle snow flakes falling.

I miss you buddy

You are forever in…

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I Felt Your Presence


I Felt Your Presence

 

On the day you left me

The winds were cold

A chill in the air

Tears falling gently

Music played softly

Hugs and handshakes

Familiar words spoken

Light rose once again

Darkness fell behind

But as you were

Being laid to rest

God gave me a gentle nudge

I looked up to the skies

And saw the most

Elegant, the largest

Gentle snow flakes falling.

I miss you buddy

You are forever in my thoughts.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

04.05.2014

snowflakes 2

Daily Prompt; Twilight Zone, ( I Couldn’t Help Crying While Writing This)


Daily Prompt; Twilight Zone, ( I Couldn’t Help Crying While Writing This)


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

Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? Tell us all about it. If you haven’t had an experience in real life that you can draw from, write a fictional account of a surreal experience.

Photographers, artists, poets:…

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Daily Prompt; Twilight Zone, ( I Couldn’t Help Crying While Writing This)


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

Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? Tell us all about it. If you haven’t had an experience in real life that you can draw from, write a fictional account of a surreal experience.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SURREAL.

I have not had a real experience, so this is partially  fabricated for Daily Prompt.

It is a Saturday evening. The day has been quiet. Al has slept 90% of the day. He did eat a small breakfast of baby cereal mixed with applesauce. For lunch he had sweet potatoes and I pureed a banana and some apple juice. He ate most of the main dish but had no room for the dessert.

I cleaned the house and did a little bit of rearranging. I tend to do this when there is no one to speak to. I checked on Al frequently along with repositioning him often. He is trying very hard to speak today, but his voice is but a low whisper.

Supper time came and I went in to offer him a bite to eat, but he refused. I immediately checked his temperature. It was hovering at about 96 degrees. His skin felt cool but not clammy. He looked at me with some prompting and still refused to eat.

This is alright. I don’t want to force him to eat. He will eat when he is hungry. As a last resort a half an hour later I offered him some of his favorite ice-cream, and he refused. Now I knew things were not right.

Al has put me through a few moments the past several days. I find myself wondering if he will be here in the morning, but when I get up, I am able to say a big good morning to eyes that greet me as I walk in.

I made sure he was still comfortable and not cold  and then went and poured myself a cup of coffee. I sat down here to the computer where I had spent a great deal of time tinkering with my sound on my computer.

I had plugged in my headphones a few days ago and ever since then I have not been able to hear sound coming from the speakers. I have tested and rechecked until my eyeballs started spinning.Spinning_eyeball_transparent

I went back in to check on Al again and he was trying to tell me something. I leaned down as close as I could get and I figured out he was telling me, ” I feel sick all over.”

I told him I sure wish I could do something for him and that he didn’t need to eat unless he wanted to. I put Dukes of Hazard on for him and came back out to my cold coffee.

The only lights on in the house were my computer light and Al’s TV. I decided to play a game and was half-way  through the first one when I saw sparks coming from Al’s room. It was like lightning  shooting from everywhere.Animated_Lightning_Strike_by_geans123

The hairs stood up on my arms and my body froze in my seat. I stared at it and somehow I forced myself to get up and walk cautiously to his room.

When I peeked in I saw the most magnificent view I suspect I will ever see in my life.

There were several angels .angels1 They were in mid-air and they were surrounding Al.Al

At the head of the bed stood Jesus. Jesus 3He was lifting Al right out of his bed. He held Al close to him and I looked at my brother and held out my arms to him.

It was as if Al didn’t even see me. His eyes rested upon his heavenly Father. The lights grew bright in his room and the lightening show stopped.

I watched as Jesus lifted him up and over our home. Al was being freed of MSA. The terrible pain that he had been fighting for so many years was now over.

I wept into my hands. Tears of sorrow and tears of happiness that Al was once again going to be smiling. The only thing I ever wished for him was smiles and now as I looked up into the skies, I could see Jesus opening the gates and then the two of them disappeared.

jesus at the gate 2I fell to the floor and praised Jesus for healing the brother I loved so dear. After minutes passed, I stood up and gazed around the room.

Stillness hit me. Silence filled every crack. I walked slowly around his room picking up one car at a time.

Tears rolled down my eyes as I knew there would always be a special bond between Al’s collection of cars and me.

I would treasure them for the rest of my days. I picked up his favorite Coca Cola pieces and cuddled them to my chest. Slowly I walked to the door and before I closed it behind me I turned back one more time and looked up to the heavens. I whispered to my brother, I love you bud. I will always love you. You filled my heart with wonderful memories. You taught me patience and understanding. You gave me wonderful memories. Take good care of him God. Al promised to save me a spot. Watch over him angels, until I find myself standing next to him.

 

And My Eyes…………


cloudsAnd my eyes rose to the heavens

And I saw a whirl in the skies

It opened my eyes

Flung open my heart

Ripped it out of my soul

Laid it out on the ground

And the dark shadows

Came scrambling after me

Ready to crush my belief

And tears rolled from my eyes

As my hands tossed up above

Please save me dear Lord

They are coming for me

And I don’t want to be

I am afraid my sweet God

Lift me from this sod

Pick up my beating heart

Place it where it did start

Lift me up in your arms

Please keep me from harm

And the skies did whirl

And the clouds they did swirl

As my God came to appear

And I felt him so near

I cried on his chest

And he gave me needed rest

And the clouds closed up once more

And God gently shut the door

And all was so right

As I was led into the light

I knew that I could

I knew that I should

Believe in him more

For now and ever more.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

02.04.2014

My Faith in a Stranger


I just saw this photo that Wendy posted to my timeline on Facebook. It was so beautiful, and since this is the main topic with Al most days I thought I would print it off for him.

jesus at the gate 2Every night before lights off Al asks for two things. He doesn’t need to tell me what he wants, I know from many nights. Prayer time and the movie, The Christmas Story.

Although he can no longer speak, I know his request by heart. Ask Jesus to come and take him home.

When I saw this, my heart sunk and my eyes became wet.

How can someone I have never seen affect me to the point of tears? For Al and me, we were brought up in the church. The First Brethren Church in fact. We went every Sunday with our parents.

As we got older Al and I went on Sunday evenings. I became involved with the choir. Al and I partook in different plays. Eventually I took over the Junior Choir as director. Al continued his routine of going every Sunday from way back when.

Sunday evenings he went to church and then came home and read his Bible. I know for a fact that Al has read his Bible completely through at least four times. I got married to a military man and lived in Germany for a year.

The military had church every  Sunday also, but each week  was for a different religion. I remember there were Sundays for Jews, Catholics etc. I got out of the habit of going.

It was almost too easy to drift away. I was married, and living in a new country. I let God be placed on the back burner and lived my life. When things went wrong or I became scared, I would quickly bring Jesus up front and pray like crazy.

Jesus never left me. No matter how much I tried to ignore what I had been taught he always filtered to the front burner. I was the one who left him. When our dad became ill, I found my way back to my upbringing.

I told Jesus I wanted him to be my priority again. I prayed for months and then I learned how to talk to him like he was my best friend. Everything that went right, I thanked him and everything that went bad, I blamed him.

As dad became closer to heaven’s doors, I inched my way into trusting God more than ever. I have never looked back. I rely on him for all that I am and do.

Now that Al is so ill I have fallen. Not fallen away from God, but more like questioned him. I have screamed at him, cried to him, told him how much I love him and have told him I am sorry for my behavior many times over.

Today, as I watch my brother slip closer into Jesus arms I am not scared to see Jesus. I am scared for myself. A sadness creeps over me at the human loss I am about to take on. This is where my strength comes from. This is how I make it day-to-day.

I asked Hospice today when they decide the time is right for them to start staying longer or making more visits. The answer was poor in my eyes. I was told they have to follow the law about driving in bad weather, so they can’t come anymore than they are scheduled. I felt like saying how sorry I was for not planning Al’s illness for warmer months, but I kept quiet.

I hear many times through this terrible winter that the only time we should be out driving  is to go to and from our job. I instantly looked at the nurse and replaced the words friend and hospice to employee, and found it soured me.

Al is my brother, but he is her job. I explained that I didn’t want to be here alone with him dying. I told her I was afraid he would die while it was just him and me. She just looked at me, then said she would try to get a volunteer to come over to sit with me. I thought to myself, how can a volunteer come and she, the nurse, who is getting paid can’t?

I instantly felt embarrassed. I am not an infant. I don’t need a babysitter.  I am not that weak, but I do expect, well I don’t know what I expect, but I expected more from this one limb from the tree for support of Al and me.

Al is in pain and yet he seems comfortable. I can see when I look at him that he is nearing Heaven’s gates very soon. I won’t go into graphics here for the weak stomachs, but I recognize the signs from 23 years of taking care of the elderly and dying.

So when it comes down to it I can cry when I see the photo. I do not know this person as I don’t know many of you personally. I do know that I trust many of you, the same as I trust God.

In the end I can and do feel alone so much of the time. I beg my child at times to come down and see Al. I cry silently that I may get a call from my kids or friends, just wondering how Al is.  I plead with Hospice. I count on my caregivers to be here. But God is here.I am not really alone.  He is standing with Al and keeping him calm. He is beginning the process of opening the gates, and for this I cry.

Tears for losing my brother and tears that he will be happy once again. Al will without a doubt watch over me and wave. He will show me those big, blue eyes and that familiar twinkle will once again shine. The heavens will open up and the skin will be shed away and Al will be free to smile once again.