Dahlia, My Book is Here


Dahlia front coverDahlia back coverI am so proud and happy to announce that my book is now available for sale. It is now on Create Space and will be out within a week on Amazon.

I stand here proud as I have completed the one task that I have wanted to do for so  many years. I wanted to leave my children a legacy. A slice of who I am and what I represent in life; and now I have finished it.

I want to thank Diane Stephenson for the many hours and time she spent helping me with my project. In the Acknowledgements I thanked each of you, my blogging friends.

I just had to let you be the first to know about this exciting news in my life. Now on with my other two books I am writing on. Thank-you for all of your support.

My Little Angel


Tip toe down the stairs, she stops. She looks and she listens. Tears start to form and drip softly down her cheeks. Her finger goes in her mouth. She says nothing. Too scared to move.

She hears a groan coming from the floor. This forces her little feet to take a new step. Step by step she makes it down to solid floor. Cautiously, tenderly, she moves closer to where the sound was coming from.

She looks to the side of her. She turns and looks behind her. No one is standing near by. No familiar people to turn to. More tears drip as she leans down and softly touches the hands so familiar to her.

The feel of skin leads her to put her little hand inside the bigger hand. She stares at the quiet form on the floor. Her other free hand goes for her mouth and her lips hug tightly around her thumb bringing security in a way nothing else could at this moment.

She stands and looks down at the face and then turns around. She walks toward the front door and her little hands clumsily grasp the door until it is turned and the door gently invites her to the outside world.

She walks down the sidewalk and not knowing where she is going she drifts towards the street. Cars begin to honk, letting her know she is in danger. A car stops. A tall man, taller than her daddy gets out and he makes a loud noise with some kind of shiny thing in his mouth.

Traffic comes to a stop. The man comes slowly towards her. He kneels down and he talks softly to her. He has a nice voice like her daddy. He starts to pick her up and she turns and runs towards the front door.

The nice man follows her and she leads him to the quiet form on the floor. He makes a call. An ambulance arrives. The officer picks her up and puts her  in the front seat of his car and she watches him as he gets in on his own side.

The car starts and it follows the ambulance. Bright, shiny lights hurt her eyes. She rubs them with her chubby little fist. The man takes her to the big counter. He sits her up on it. A lady in white picks her up and cuddled her softly to her chest.

The man disappears. The lady takes her to a room where there are toys. A new lady is there and she has a pretty smile. Soon the room is filled with lots of ladies in white. The nice officer comes in soon.

Clapping and cheering the little girl, they have a big bowl of ice-cream for her. The cheering is of  happy voices. She claps her hands together and giggles wanting to join in the fun. The little girl had saved her mommy’s life. Her mommy had a low blood sugar reading and didn’t have much time before her life would be in a dangerous situation.

After the ice-cream was eaten the nice man picked her up and took her to a door. He pushed it open and the little girl held out her arms. She was being transferred to her mommy’s arms  who now was no longer quiet, but had the warm smile that she recognized so well. Mommy’s alright, mommy’s alright. You saved my life little angel.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

02.21.2014

angel girl

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

Two Hearts Touched


2010.03.24 - Breakfast

Hiding under the stairs I noticed movement between the slats. I stopped and turned around. Cautiously walking around the frame I saw two whites staring right towards me. I walked slowly towards the direction as I knew it was a person, maybe a child.

I knelt down and as I  came closer to him I saw his arms go up and cover his face as if I was going to hit him. He tried to twist his feet so that he could escape easily. I managed to find an old torn newspaper and made this my seat.

He  quickly  became aware that I was not going to harm him. He and I sat quietly. So close we could touch each other but our bodies remained separate as if an invisible screen was between us.

I observed his clothing as his shivering began to subside. He was in dirty clothes that looked like they had never seen a rock and water. His shoes had holes in them and the souls looked worn.

I bet he is hungry I thought to myself. I took my purse off of my arm and placed it on my lap. The movement startled him and he jumped back. I sat with my fingers resting on the clasp of my purse. Our eyes locked as if we were in a dual gun war. Each waiting for the other to draw first.

I watched his feet as he crept ever so quietly back to his original spot. He let his eyes drop from mine and they wandered down to what I was holding. I asked him, ” Are you hungry child”?

He nodded at me but still did not move. My eyes lowered to my purse and then I looked back at him. My eyes were speaking to him letting him know he was safe with me. I saw his shoulders relax a little and I opened my purse.

Rummaging through it with his eyes never leaving my fingers I found two items. I handed them to him and he quickly took them.  His eyes told me thank-you. The speed of his hands putting the hard candies  in his mouth proved that he was near  starvation.

We sat for a while. He was enjoying the flavor. I looked between the boards of the stairs. Wondering if anyone had noticed us. It was if the streets had parted. Dropping souls that would interfere. Leaving the two of us alone to discover each other.

He finished his candy and I could read his eyes that he wanted more. I dug in my purse but could only find one piece of gum. I handed it to him and he savored it. When the flavor dissolved he swallowed it.

I don’t know how long the two of us had been sitting there. I knew that I was becoming uncomfortable from my sitting position. I stirred and this time he did not move. I got up and decided that I better go. Errands were waiting to be finished.

I looked at him and smiled. He looked up at me and his sad eyes became his face. I started to tell him that I was going to leave. I was going to tell him to go home when he tugged on my dress.

He stood up and I noticed he was just a small child. No taller than three feet. I asked him, ” Where is your mama? Do you live close to here”?

As fists formed he rubbed his eyes and I could see big tears sliding down his cheeks. My heart was breaking. This child had no home. Or had he run a way from home? I bet his parents are looking for him.

I reached down and gave him a  big hug. I wanted to pick him up and take him home with me. But I dare not.  The colors of skin separated us. I leaned down and gave him a kiss on the cheek and he wrapped his little arms around my neck. He would not let go and he almost pulled me back to the ground.

We looked at each other with tears in all eyes. We both knew the rules but our hearts were ripping. I couldn’t do it. I could not let him stay here all alone. I took him by his hand and we stepped out into the light of day.

One of his fingers went into his mouth. Afraid but hope bringing us together. I walked forward and he followed me. We made it safely through the city streets and I saw my home in sight.

I stopped and looked at him. I glanced towards the house. He dropped his finger from his mouth. Neither of us said anything. We walked to the front door. I unlocked it and we both went in.

I took him to the kitchen table and had him sit. I opened my refrigerator and took out some left-overs from the night before. Soon I set a piping hot plate filled with biscuits and fried potatoes. The smell of the hot ham infiltrated his nostrils. When I handed him the fork and spoon  he wasted no time.

I sat across from him watching.  After wards we talked. I asked, “What is your name child”?

“Darrell” he said.

“Do you belong somewhere close to here”?

” I did, but they told me to find another place to eat. Mama said there were too many mouths to feed”.

” Would you like to stay here with me”?  He nodded his head.

I took him by the hand and led him into the bathroom. While he sat on the step-stool I started some bath water. I went to the one room in the house that was not visited often. I walked over to the dresser and pulled clean clothing out. I think these will fit. The two boys are about the same size.

Before leaving the room she walked towards the nightstand and picked up the framed photo. It was her son Tod. Tod had died two years ago from a fever. She hugged the photo to her heart and then rested it back on the stand.

She closed the door softly behind her and went back to the bathroom. She got out clean towels and laid the clothes beside him. He looked at me and I took my cue to leave him to bathe.

That was the first day  of the rest of our lives. Neither of us ever looked back. Today I am sitting in this grand auditorium. I am watching my son graduate. He is going to be a doctor.

Break Out The Champagne Glasses, Lets Toast Together!


 

God answered one of my prayers! The first thing that happened was I thanked Jesus, right

 

Show Jumping - Prop

 

there on the phone, while speaking to the lady who called me today.

 

Medicare has approved my brother for home health care! He will get therapy to try to strengthen his weak legs. He will receive showers, and a nurse is coming here either today, later on, or tomorrow, to see what Al and I need help with.

 

Can you believe it? Someone is ASKING me, what we need help with! No more placing ads, no more no-shows, no more quitting of caregivers. Solid, dependable, professional helpers!

 

I am so excited for Al and for myself, that I could do cartwheels, if I was younger!

 

I had to share with each of you. I have asked many times and have received much support through prayers, and now we are going over the first huddle.

 

Thank you everyone!!! I wish I could hug and kiss each person I run across today, I am this happy.