Ten Minutes to Midnite and Al had a Visitor


I am not writing this to put anyone in a sad mode nor for any other reason than I have been alone with Al since before supper last night and I am just beat. This is one of those posts that is for me to just get it out in the open instead of reliving it.

Last night wasn’t that bad. Things didn’t begin to get worse until 11:50pm. Yes, ten minutes before the new year kicked in. I was sort of listening to the New Year’s Eve program and Al was watching Dave Letterman.

All of a sudden Al calls me in his room in the loudest voice I have heard out of him in some time. I went in and he said, ” Look, we have a visitor.” I looked around but I didn’t see anyone.

He went on with, ” Right here, beside me. Look beside me.” I looked but didn’t see a thing. Although I will admit I caught my breath and the hairs on my arms stood straight up.

Jesus is here.” I was speechless. Al went on to tell me that Jesus was sitting right beside him just watching him. Then suddenly Al began praying. I could make out some words he was saying but he was talking so soft that I struggled to hear.

I could hear him saying, ” Please take me home. Please take me home. I am sick. I want to go home”. This praying went on for about ten minutes. The clock was ticking down to midnight. I was holding Al’s hand while the people on the TV were laughing and having a good time. Then the numbers started. !0,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, Happy New Year.

Al quit breathing. My heart was racing. I looked all around the room but saw nor felt anything, but I knew without a doubt Al was seeing and having a conversation with God right there in front of me.

Finally he gasped and took a deep breath. Had he almost gone to heaven with Jesus? Had his heart decided to stop for a moment? I don’t know what happened but then it was over.

Al laid silent and I stood beside him stroking his hand. It seemed we were this way for sometime. He went to sleep and I went to bed going over in my mind what had just happened.

It felt weird. The world was moving into a new year and yet I remained glued to 2013. Time was speeding by me and yet standing still.

He was restless last night during the night. I was up with him several times. His hands and fingers are pretty swollen today. I don’t know if it is from his hands contracting or if it is his MSA or heart. The nurse will be here tomorrow and I shall be asking, although she will most likely notice it right away.

So here it is 2014. The hopes are brought into this new day. My hope is still that Al finds peace sooner than later.

DSC00183purple candles

Same-O


Is it because it is the end of the year? Or is it because the hype of exciting and fun days of Christmas is gone? Or maybe it is because Al‘s illness just reminds me of an energised bunny; keeps going and going.energizer bunny

Is it because it is cold and dreary outside? Wow, too many questions. Now let’s look at the flip side of that coin.coin

The facts are I am sick at looking at myself in the mirror. No real hairstyle anymore. No cute clips, no real make-up.

Same old clothes, same slippers, same old thoughts.

Now this sounds like a woman who has been in a pile of knee-deep crap for some time.

I think this woman needs a change of pace. But how can I do that? I need, I want, I yearn. I sound like a whiny toddler. I am restless I guess. For years, and months, weeks and days, life is going in one direction.

A direction that will bring nothing more than sadness, tears, and a void in my heart. I want to stop it. I want to flash back to earlier times. I want to pull my hair out.

No wait! I want to roll my hair up, put the make-up on. Squeeze my fat feet into those four-inch spikes. Put that mini over my plump thighs. Put on a push-up bra and pretend I have something to show.

How about some long glue-on french nails? Some plum lipstick and some gorgeous blush. Maybe I will even get in my trunk and pull out those fish net panty hose that were so popular back in my day. What do you think? Do you think I am ready for a change?

Who’s with me? Paris, Hawaii, The Bahamas? Oh wait, I don’t have any money.

ladies

Weekly Writing Challenge; DPCHALLENGE


http://jackiespeaksit2014.wordpress.com

#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.

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The Two Dollar Christmas Gift


I was commenting on a dear friend’s post tonight and suddenly a few happy tears fell. Remembering Christmas‘s long ago when children squealed with delight. Hands clapping wildly and smiles from ear to ear.

We learned about baby Jesus in Sunday School but if I am honest, it was more exciting to wake up on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad were the best Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause all around. We didn’t get hoards of gifts but what we got is exactly what we told Santa we wanted.

Each Christmas was like that until the year I got married. When Christmas morning came there was no one to celebrate it with first thing in the morning. Although I had my husband, it was different.

I still could not wait to go to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve. Every year it remained the same at my parents. Christmas Eve was an unspoken saved time where we knew we were going there for dinner, treats, and gifts.

Spending the time with my entire family back in those days was a true joy. What a gift it would be today if I could have a peek and relive just one of those wonderful years. Both of my parents are deceased. My half-sister has pretty much disowned me. So it is definitely not the same now, but I do celebrate with my children and grandchildren.

New traditions to try out and add to many years to come. New memories are added but deep, deep within my heart is that little void and those silent tears for what once was.

My Dad had a little thing he would do for us three kids every year. He would wait until all the gifts were opened and then he would rise from his chair look at me and smile and slowly walk a way going to  his bedroom.

When he returned he would have three brown paper lunch bag sacks. In each sack was a giant Hershey chocolate candy bar and a two liter bottle of coke. He would grin from ear to ear as he handed it to me.

My dad got a big kick out of Christmas. Of the entire year, this was the only time he truly enjoyed shopping. He didn’t care or he didn’t voice it what he got in return. I remember I used to buy him long john underwear a lot. Dad worked for the County Highway. He drove a truck and during the winter plowing, sometimes he would get stuck outside more than inside the truck.

But for me, I will be thinking this year about Christmas. It will only be Al and me sitting here, but my thoughts will be looking up to heaven and seeing Dad smiling down at me holding that brown paper lunch bag sack. He will be handing me my chocolate bar and coke. But this time I will not just say thank-you Daddy. I will jump up and wrap my arms around him so tight and squeeze him crying out how much I miss him and how much I still love him.

My Daddy, my hero of my world died six years ago Dec.1. I love you Daddy. I can’t wait to see you again. We will share that candy bar and that big coke. Hugs, your daughter, Terry.

This is my Daddy when I was caring for him while he was dying from Leukemia and Myaloma. I am the blonde next to him with my head tilted.

dad, bev, me and theda

Christmas Cards


44Alastair gave me an idea. He wants Al‘s address so he can send a Christmas card to him.

Isn’t that a great idea? I remember I did this for his birthday, but why not Christmas too?

If anyone would like to wish my brother a Merry Christmas, please email me at

tellmenolies2004@yahoo.com

for his address.

Thanks everyone. Don’t feel obligated, I know stamps are expensive and time is valuable.

Wrinkles and Baggy Eyes


big+fireYesterday, slowly the day progressed from good to bad. By the time it came to rest, Al‘s tremors and internal furnace got worse. I sat in his room from 3:30 to 6am, covered in two blankets. A ceiling fan and box floor fan both on high and Al is yelling out ” I’m on fire! I’m on fire.”

The amount of medications I was giving him would let him just start to sleep and then we was wide awake again. From what I have learned there is no fix for his internal furnace and tremors.

I probably looked silly sitting there in my house coat, slippers and two blankets. The register is closed in Al’s room in order to keep it cool also.

This morning the Hospice nurse said it was his heart last night, throwing a fit from the tremors, causing something like women’s hot flashes.

He is a bit better today but not much. I am so darn tired. I just look outside as the world passes me by and tell the leaves I am so sorry to be ignoring them. Hopefully I can get my son to come down and at least mow them if nothing else.

Tomorrow I get out for four hours. A trip to the pharmacy for Al and to the grocery store. I sure hope this new gal relaxes and I can eventually get out of here or there will be no Thanksgiving Dinner or any Christmas gifts.

I learned last night my daughter won’t be here for Thanksgiving and maybe not for Christmas. Of course I am so disappointed, one because I love and miss her so much and two, she is the biggest help. She just picks up and kicks in and none of the other family members do this.

I think I will be glad when the holidays pass in some ways.

Weekly Writing Challenge; Traces


http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/weekly-writing-challenge-traces/

#DP Challenge

Using the story behind the photo above as a jumping off point for this week’s writing challenge, we want you to talk about leaving your mark. For the fiction-minded, fill in the mystery behind this photograph. Who were these flowers left for? Was there a message included? Is there a mysterious reason why these flowers are covered in dust, but still appear so young?

 

Every night after the lights went low, busy fairies came alive. Bustling through the cemetery. Oh there was plenty to do. Everything was groomed but one potted plant. There was trimming of weeds, picking dead blooms, applying fresh fertilizer. Each night the glow of their shiny wands made a person feel like they were seeing the reflections of twinkling stars falling to the earth.

There were many fairies. It all started in the year of 1850 when the lady of the southern plantation took ill. Annabelle had been a beautiful lady.southern belle She was not only the wife of a rich husband but her heart was bigger than any pile of gold.

She had many slaves that worked for her. In fact this was one plantation where slaves begged for her attention so they may earn a chance to work inside for her.

While her husband was attending to business, Annabelle was helping where she saw fit.

She helped teach young mothers how to bathe their new babies. She mended holes in clothing for the farm hands. At the holidays she made each of them special plates of food and each of the children could count on getting a present of their very own.candy canes

When one of the children became ill she fetched him and brought him to the main house. Here the child was nursed back to health if at all possible.

But one day Annabelle felt ill. The house was quiet. She hadn’t been seen any where outside the house.

Buzzing went through the slave quarters as questions remained with no answers. That night Annabelle’s husband had come home.

He had a rough day. Sales were low. He was hungry and tired. He needed someone to talk to. He went straight to the drawing-room where he was hoping she would be.drawing room

The room was silent. He went through the rooms looking in the sleeping quarters  last.

There lay Annabelle ghostly white. He went to her and sat on the side of the bed. Speaking to her he received no response. He felt her forehead with the back of his palm.

She was burning up. He covered her gently and quickly exited their room and dashed out the main door. Hopping on his horse he took off for the five mile ride  to the doctor’s office. Beating on the door for what seemed minutes, the doctor opened it.

Explaining the symptoms he observed the doctor picked up his satchel and hat and readied his horse. The two rode hard back to the main house. Once inside the doctor performed an examination.

Nodding for her husband to follow him out into the hall, the doctor explained that his wife had little time. She had come down with the fever and there was no cure.

Her husband’s eyes filled with tears as he walked the doctor to the front door. Shaking his hand he watched until he could no longer see the horse and rider.

He went directly to the slave quarters. He ordered them to gather round. He explained his wife’s condition. He told them this was very contagious, but he needed the help. Which ones would be able to come to the main house and be of service?

Several  of the ladies raised their hands  in the air. He nodded at each one and they got their belongings and followed him back. For eight days the fever remained. Anabelle grew weaker and paler. Food was offered but not taken. Visitors stayed a way for fear of the sickness getting a hold of them.

On the eighth day Anabelle died. Her faithful followers remained behind to tend to her and the funeral but one by one each passed also.

Ever since the last one passed, the flowers that were left by Annabelle’s grieving husband had remained untouched on her grave. The fairies which were once her helpers in distress watched over her as she had once done for them.

To this day if you visit the old cemetery, and you sit quietly in the night, you can see the reflection of the twinkling stars falling to the earth.

evergreenflowers

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving

Mom and Dad always said

Don’t eat much breakfast or you’ll be sad

You’ll miss out on turkey and taters too

Deviled eggs and plenty of food

So a piece of peanut butter toast

A glass of juice and water at most

Our tummies were growling we could hear

Please let us get there oh father dear

I walk in and oh, the smell of food

Everything looks so yummy and good

Mom fills my plate and also my glass

I take a nice seat and sit on my ___

Oh this was worth starvation today

For going to Grandma’s is the only way

Tummy all full I can hardly walk

Afraid I’ll puke if I begin to talk

I find my way to the guest bedroom

I lay on the bed and very soon

My eyes are heavy and then they close

This is the way Thanksgivings go.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

11/06/2013

thanksgiving table

I Don’t Understand Me


I have not done so well today, or as good as I thought I would. Al has been gone 24 hours and I struggled with the silence here. You must all think I am  just plain crazy and I don’t blame you.

I think I am too. I don’t understand what is wrong with me. I slept but I was restless. The cat, Rhino rhino 2has been so noisy missing his buddy. Lot of meows.

Here I sit at the computer and I feel the biggest empty spot. I should be jumping up and down? Running through the house? Out with friends having fun? Maybe shopping?

But no here I sit. Unable to place once foot in front of the other and make any moves. I feel anger inward at what a rotten friend I have been to myself. There must be another explanation for this.

I didn’t even touch the house today. I had two eggs and a piece of toast for breakfast. I had no lunch and I had a bowl of Cheerios for supper. I was trying to find my sugar substitute in the cupboard and knocked something out and it landed in the cat’s water. That dominoed into flipping the water into his food bowl. That food was ruined where I had just filled it up.

As I was carrying my bowl of cereal here to the computer, I don’t know what I did but I flipped my spoon out of the bowl and it splattered on the floor. I then took a shower and got out and dried off. I then realized I had forgotten to rinse the conditioner out and had to get back in.

My granddaughter’s birthday is today. I was watching a video of her party on Facebook and then just started crying. I had missed her birthday. I had sent no card and said nothing. I quickly apologized to my son for my forgetfulness and told Hanna Happy Birthday.

There is a part of me that can slightly remember the person I used to be. There once used to be this gal named Terry that loved to laugh. I could laugh until my eyes watered, my sides hurt, and sometimes pee my pants. I was always ready to go have fun, be with family and friends. I tried to never be home on weekend evenings.

Oh not that I was a party girl. I never have been. No drinking for me, no big gatherings at the bar. Usually with just family.

I know, I am really dogging myself tonight, but I am a little angry at who I am lately. Too sad, too deep, too full of sorrow. I really do want to laugh, but I cry. I want to get out, but I stay in. What in the world is my problem?

People say I am not that old yet. They tell me there is hope for love still.  They tell me there is still life to live. But tonight, because I miss my brother so bad, when I really need the break, I am a weepy mess.

Please don’t be upset with me and scream at me for not appreciating my break. I am already screaming at my own self and that is punishment enough for one evening.

hanna birthday