All but three pictures are my own creations
All but three pictures are my own creations
To my brother whom I love so dear
I know you are there and I am here
My thoughts are with you every day
As we walk together and separate ways
I know that you are dealing with all of this
While I am still dealing with hit and miss
Tonight is New Year‘s Eve, and I am thinking of you
I hope you are happy and not too blue
My thoughts and prayers are all for you
As we gather close and pray for all new
I will be always be near you and by your side
As you go through this illness that will not hide
Don’t ever feel alone dear brother
Walking beside you is your loving mother
I ask our God to heal you in this new year
I ask that he also whisper in your ear
And tell you that he and I love you so
I will leave the Rose, so you will always know
Love you brother
When I go to see Al, I have the time to look at him. I mean really look at him. When I mentally compare him and me, I see so much of our dad in us. He has a slightly different chin than me. We both have the same color of eyes and cheeks. I was always the chubby one and he was always the thin one.
When I look at his smile, it seems so much like dad’s and not mine. We must all have our own unique smiles.
Al always was the lucky one, like most males. He has the long lashes. He was blessed with wavy thick hair. While I had a touch of wave, thinner hair and sparse lashes. Now that I am older if I want to show you my lashes, I definitely have to put the mascara on, maybe even with a second coat! LOL. Although I did hear that with aging comes sparseness with lashes.
I have always had the tendency to see a double chin and Al did not. He was always quiet and I was very talkative. He used to lie on the floor and line up all of his hot wheels and move them one by one. He always played very quietly.
I played with my dolls, and always wanted to share what I was doing with someone else. Last night I was thinking heavily on Al and was wondering, will he be alright here for Christmas? Will he be able to eat everything I prepare? Will he like what I got him for his gifts?
Well I was in my bedroom and sort of looking around at the junk I have and I spied a picture sort of hiding behind my lamp. I pulled it out and studied it. Yes, we looked very much alike when we were the ages in these photos. I would say that I must have been around 8 and Al would have been 7. We were good-looking kids I think! Those pink glasses I was wearing must have been the real fad then, because mom always liked us to look like we fit in with the look of the year. Maybe I should go get some pink glasses again…….yes? no?
Me age four at my parent’s wedding.
I think we were 8 and 9 here.
This is the photo I saw last night. Maybe I was in first or second grade and Al a year behind me.
Rusty, the dog sat patiently at the foot end of the bed. The only time he moved was to eat
and go outdoors for relief. It did not matter if there were visitors or not. He never moved.
John was his master. They had been together for nine years. Every day when John went to work, Rusty would sit by the door waiting for his master to come home. They would eat supper together, sometimes Rusty would watch while John worked in the yard. It was always the two of them when John had to go to town.
Now John was sick and Rusty knew it. He guarded the bed, listening for sounds coming from his master, hoping he could help. Every day John’s sister would go to his room and attend to his needs. She bathed him, changed his sheets and fixed him a cup of soup and brought it to him.
Before she left, she would always lean over John and tell him how much she loved him and leave snacks on his bed side table. He didn’t eat much anymore, but she didn’t want the table to be empty in case he had a change of mind.
The minister came from the church down the road. John didn’t go regularly, but the minister wanted to make sure John was straight in his heart and knew where he was going to go.
When the nights drew near, and the shadows took over the sunshine, Rusty would jump on the bed and lie at the foot of his master. When Rusty could hear the breathing slow down, he would go to his master’s side and give his master a kiss. John always smiled.
John had been a lawyer in his working days. He was strong-willed, and worked hard. He hardly ever lost any cases. He became rich in monies but poor with family and friends. He didn’t care whether he was going to hurt someone’s feelings. He didn’t care if he drained a person’s bank account. He cared about winning.
He married only once. He was past the prime age of marrying, but he couldn’t stop thinking about the lady with the big green eyes and the gentle smile. She worked for him as part of the cleaning crew.
At first when he was working late, she would knock on his door getting permission to come in and start on his room. He seemed a little irritated with her presence, but with her gentle nudging, the two of them found conversations to become easier.
One time a few months after she had been cleaning, she knocked on the door and when she heard the familiar ring of his voice she walked in to see a two red roses waiting for her. From then on it was instant love. Love poured out of their eyes. Talk made more sense, and soon he found himself asking, ” Joan, would you care to have dinner with me tomorrow night? It it will be Friday and I should be wrapped up with most of my work”.
Her eyes glistened as her voice shook out the words, ” Yes John, I would love to go to dinner with you”. He got up from his desk and walked over to her. He embraced her and told her, ” Good. I will pick you up around seven since you don’t work on Fridays”.
From the moment Friday night ended, the two of them could be found dining every Friday after. As it became a regular date night, Joan’s family stepped in to remind her of how mean John was. He thinks of no one they said. He is just not the proper man for you. Their voices went unheard as she knew in her heart she was already in love with him.
It was nearing Christmas Eve and John had asked Joan if she would consider having dinner at his house and she had said yes. He picked her up at their regular time and when they entered the front doors, the smell of food could make you dizzy.
John’s sister Kara who lived with him taking care of the house had made a delightful meal. After helping Joan take off her coat, he guided her to the dining room table where two candles were lit, and sitting on the plates were two steaming bowls of home-made chicken soup. He seated her and the two of them exchanged glances and conversations of the holidays coming.
When the bowls were removed, a plate of prime rib decorated by baby potatoes and glazed carrots appeared. Joan said, ” This food is so delicious. You should not have gone to so much bother John”. He replied, ” Don’t worry, Kara fixed it all, and she has cooked for me for so long, that placing another plate on the table was no bother”. She smiled at him.
When the dessert came, two dishes of orange sherbert were placed in front of them, and a box also came out of John’s pocket. He laid it gently at her finger tips and said, ” Open it Joan, open it now”. Her eyes began to water as she opened the box and saw a beautiful diamond ring. She looked up at John and he said, ” Yes, it is for you. I want you to have it”. John got up from his seat and knelt at her side, and taking her hands in his, asked her to be his wife.
Joan put her hand to her heart and then grasped the box and gave it back to John. ” You put the ring on my finger John. I have always envisioned this scene in my head. You put your heart on my finger”. He took the ring out of the box and placed it on her left third finger and then standing up he helped her out of her chair and they hugged and kissed.
For the first time John felt something other than his work. Love had touched his heart. His eyes danced and his walk became lighter. Each day was filled with sunshine. He never saw gray skies again.
A couple of weeks later the two were married by the judge. He took her to Paris for their honeymoon, and the two wished they never had to return to the everyday routine. John and Joan were so happy for the next year. Each day was like a brand new day. Except for work, the two shared a wonderful life. John even gave up a few hours of work to be with his darling wife.
One morning John woke but Joan didn’t. She had passed a way through the night. She had suffered an aneurism and she was gone. John’s heart broke in several pieces. He went through the motions of the next few days. His lips became dry and his voice choked when he spoke.
After a week had passed by, John buried himself back in his work. He stayed late nights and sometimes slept on the office couch. His sister tried to coax him into seeking some help, but he brushed her off. The only comfort he ever found was in his dog Rusty.
Rusty didn’t scold him. Rusty accepted and loved him. Every nite it was Rusty and John at the dinner table. He had no friends. There had been too many misunderstandings from the past. All he had left was Karla, and he realized that he treated her more like a servant instead of a sister.
Now John lie in his bed, getting ready to meet his maker. Alone except for Rusty and Karla. Days and nights turned into one. Karla took on another job, so she was only at home in the early mornings and evenings.
John was dying of cancer alone. He was living out his last days in the same manner he had treated people in the past. The world became cold and his heart became weary. He lay there remembering the eyes of his beloved Joan, and a smile stretched over his face and then faded a way as his last breath left his body with Rusty lying at his side.
I know you are in heaven, looking down on me, even as I write. I can only hope and dream that you are smiling at this moment, as you watch me write this to you. I know you are standing behind me, with your hands held together behind your back, trying not to breathe too heavily, so not to interrupt my train of thought.
I know that I was not the child that you dreamed of daddy. I know first of all, you wanted a boy, and you told me years ago, that this is why you spelled my name like a male instead. I know that I made choices that you did not agree with.
What you didn’t know dad, was that I idolized the ground you walked on. I waited anxiously for your approval of everything that I did. I would sit and think of ways to get you to say something.
I know you loved me daddy, I really do. That one time when I was out of high school, and I thought I knew everything, I moved a way to another state. You remember this daddy, don’t you? You remember how I called you on the phone crying, and pleading for you to come get me.
You said of course, and you and other family members made the long drive to get me. I want you to know daddy that when I saw the first tears in your eyes, when you saw me safe and unharmed, I knew from that moment on, that you loved me.
I learned through growing up that not all moms and dads show physical love, such as hugs, and squeezes, that sometimes, just knowing you were always by my side, was enough.
I remember how you invited me so many times to go down to the basement with you. You would be building something out of wood. You would ask me to hand you this or that, but I think secretly, you wanted to smoke your cigars without mom telling you it was bad for your health, and you enjoyed spending time with just me.
I saw one more time when you showed your feelings through tears. You know, the time when we came home from mom’s funeral and you and I were standing alone in her clothes closet looking at her clothes, and you let me hold your head on my shoulders, and you wept for the love you had for mom? I know you remember daddy. I felt so special that I was the one who could help you for a change.
It took me many years to come to appreciate the person that I am dad. I think you would be proud of me today. I believe you would say that I did a good job. I would hear those first words, as you look back and see how I took good care of your son, my brother, Al. I did my best daddy. I loved him and looked out for him and protected him from the wolves of the world.
I had to place him daddy. I had no choice. Please do not be disappointed in me. His care needed more help than I could ever do alone. You remember how I took such good care of you daddy? The illness that took you a way from me? I bathed you, and brought you treats. I gave you shots and your medications. I held your hand while you wept from pain.
I tried to take as good of care of Al as I did with you, but your illness stopped and you went to heaven. Al’s is dragging on daddy, and I needed more help. Please say you understand. Don’t think I made another mistake by placing him. Look me in the eye and let me see that you understand.
You would be proud of me daddy. I am very close to God now, and have been ever since that morning you and I prayed together. Do you know that God gave me a job to do? It is an important job dad. He told me to write, and to let his thoughts and my heart write the words. He instructed me to be an inspiration to others. Isn’t that a wonderful job God gave me?
I have made many wonderful friends daddy. You would love them all, like I do. Oh dad, I even wrote my first book. Thanks to a wonderful friend, it is being edited right now. Maybe some day daddy, I will hold my first book up towards the sky, so that you can see it. You and mom will surely hug each other for having a daughter that wrote a book. The book is called Dahlia. I can’t wait to show you!
Lastly, daddy, I love you so much. I have never had one day where I have not sat and thought about you and our lives together. I love you so much. Don’t cry now daddy, I know you miss me too. I will be there with you and mom, sooner than you think.
Today, I did not do crap. I didn’t clean, I only fixed myself something to eat when I got hungry. I didn’t do much but play with Polly, work on her potty training, and sleep. I visited with my daughter-in-law and grandson for a little while. Wow, Polly does so good with potty training, and then as I say it out loud, she makes a liar out of me.
Last night I gave in and she slept beside me in my bed. She had her pillow and I had mine. She had her blanket, and I had mine. She only whimpered once at three a.m., and I had her potty on a newspaper. She did it immediately, and we both went back to bed and we slept, until 5:30 this morning, and then she woke me up by licking my face. She not only had to go potty, she was ready to play, so Terry, get your rear up, the day has started.
Tomorrow, I am going to go see Al, and even though he made a disapproving face when I told him about the gift of Polly, I am going to take her in so he can meet her. We shall see what he thinks of her. I hope that this is a nice visit, but if not, I have the choice to once again walk out the door.
I took a few more photos and added it to my web group on Facebook. If any of you would like to visit, just request an add to the group. The link is:
Standing in the shadows of life looking out
At the glistening snow that is falling all about
Feeling a hush covering my mind and soul
The candle is burning, but the flame is low
And now the time has come upon me
To realize that life can set some free
And others will carry a mound of pain
And although it hurts bad, there is nothing to gain
The night brings no light and it is hard to see
The pain that is deeply touching inside of me
Sometimes we are faced and not given a chance
Decisions and answers that become enhanced
Are taken away by the one above
He promises to care and to always love
I don’t understand all of his ways for me
All I know at this moment, is that it is tearing at me
So many prayers have been prayed tonight
These will help me to get through this night
We are born to live and we live to die
We are given trials and ask him why
This is one of the hardest things I will do
Is realizing sometime I am going to lose you
I have kept you under my arms with care
I have carried your burdens so you don’t have to bare
Now I am going to share our lives with them
In hope that we can make you feel better again
Everyone will do their best to make you feel
As best you can, I swear it for real
How ever much time you have left right here
Always remember, brother I love you so dear.
Nov 8th 2012
A life has closed one door
Never to look back anymore
Another door has opened wide
The width of this is oh so wide
Mysteries held for all to seek
For those who are sick and very weak
More help is coming for him today
I only have to stand out-of-the-way
The love I have will carry all through
But I can’t help feeling a little blue
I release him into your hands of care
For his care I will open and I will share
Remember he is only on loan
It is always with me that he has grown
He may be six feet tall today
But he’s my baby brother all the way
Take good care of him as I walk out of his door
Don’t let me come back to find him no more.
I love you my brother you have filled my days
But now I realize there are many more ways
To keep you safe and free from harm
I have walked you to the door and let go of your arm.
It has been strange around here, Al fell last night. He fell between a base against the wall
and his recliner. I had put up so much of his collectibles on to shelves, but there were still
several items on the floor, all hiding right where he fell.
He was confused and he did not ring his bell to let me know he was getting up. He has a clock sitting on his table next to his bed, only inches from his face, but yet he got up, did not put his glasses on nor did he use his walker, and he said that he was going over to the opposite wall of his bed to see what time it is.
An open scratch on his behind, but other than that, nothing happened. I was able to help him get up, but my mind kept switching back to the coca cola glass bottles sitting inches away from where he landed on the floor. He landed on a musical reindeer, that stood about a foot tall and smashed it to pieces. The bottles were sitting directly beside the reindeer.
After I checked his body out for red marks, blood and bruises, and got him safely seated, I picked up one of the bottles and showed it to him, and I told him how lucky he was because the way he fell, he could have taken a bottle right through his eye.
He started to cry and said he does everything wrong, which makes me so angry, because I never tell him he is wrong. I do que him a lot, guide him in the right directions of different things, but do not ridicule him.
He was very quiet the rest of the night, as he usually is, when he falls. I believe he gets shaken up mentally when this happens. He remained quiet today also, he even without permission or asking me to help, leaned over and moved those items behind the recliner, which is what I have been trying to do for weeks. I told him that he should have at least let me know he was going to do it, or have me help, because leaning over forward, is asking for a fall. He cried again.
This afternoon the therapist came for her last visit, and also the nurse came. She has two more visits to go then all home health care is done. After being fairly quiet today, Al let loose when the two ladies were here.
His tremors were a wreck, flying all over and rapid movements. He burst into tears, and he told them how he was stupid and a retard, and I did not want him here, and he was a failure, and I wanted all of his stuff out of his room .
None of this is true. His being down on himself is his feelings alone, and no one else’s. I do not want his room empty, he is mad because we are rearranging things in his room, and Al doesn’t do well with change.
Both the nurse and therapist tried to calm him down, but he was tuning everyone out but himself. They tried some exercises to calm his tremors, but he wasn’t budging from his frame of mind.
Then I made the mistake or maybe a blessing in disguise. I stood up and said,I can’t take this anymore. It has got to stop, please stop. The tears, the arguing, the lack of ability to comprehend anymore what I am saying!! I just want to run and hide!!
What had I said? What had I done? I clamped my hand over my mouth, and sat back down. I had let my feelings out of their hiding place and the professionals had seen it. They had seen my frustrations and tiredness.
The nurse looked at me and said, I was wondering how long you were going to be able to pull this off. I would have been pulling my hair out a long time ago. We both so admire you for what you have been doing and for how long you have been doing it, but don’t you think it is time to actually consider placement for him, where he can get more therapy and be around other people?
Instead of waiting for my answer, Al is over on the couch screaming that I want the house for me alone, and that I don’t love him etc. This is what happens each time Al and I try to talk about maybe finding a better place for him. His guilt words being thrown at me like poison darts, always make me crawl back in my hole and keep me quiet.
Not this time, the nurse and the therapist took over the situation while I sat there in surface shock, and they started talking to him about how much happier he would be living in a home where there were nurses and staff to be with him when he fell, and the games that went on inside, and all the new friends. He began to cry, and then so did I, and then the ladies followed. Pretty quickly it turned into a pool of tears right on the carpet.
Al finally broke down and said he might be happy living in a rehab home, as the ladies called it. The therapist wrote an email to a facility here in our home town to try to get information on what had to be done in Al’s special circumstances.
By now, it has been two hours since they have left, and my heart is in my big toe. I am feeling the guilt no matter how I try to slap it away. I failed him, just like his dad did, no I didn’t, yes you did. I walked into his room just now and looked at him to see if he was alright, and instantly tried to imagine what it would be like to not have him living here, and I turned around and left.
I literally forced myself to think about how I could go back to work, and I could go pick up Al and take him to lunch, and he would actually be glad to see me and we would laugh and chat, bu then my thoughts would come instantly back to you failed him. No I didn’t.
I am not sure if I can do this, I don’t know if I can get rid of the guilt and let him go, even knowing he may be better off. Maybe this won’t work out anyways. I have tried to look into it before, and always got a no, or he is not on Medicaid, so no, but maybe it will work out………………
I need to, no, I have to keep looking straight at Al, and how many times has he fallen, and his confusion, and the EMS’s having to come pick him up off the floor, and his tears, and his sadness. I am thinking of me and not him.
Dad died, and that was it, over. I had no one asking me for permission to let it happen, it just happened without my consent. This to me is ten times worse, I am being asked.
Where do I start and end this? The past 24 hours have been maybe a bad dream, but my body feels to weak to have it anything else but real. It started last night, as I have already posted, at the DQ, with Al not getting his own way.
We brought it home and Al decided on his own, to carry the turmoil into the evening. After his idle threats and temper tantrums, my body felt so scared with goose bumps, a hot feeling all over, and tense neck and shoulders, I broke down and forced him to go to bed, and then went to my phone and called a friend, that I was hoping would help me to calm down.
We talked and it seemed to help and by the time we hung up, I was able to smile again. I decided to go in and check on Al one last time before I checked into sleep land, and he scared the crap out of me. It was dark except for his night-light, and I was standing in the door way not yet in his room, when I heard him say, what do you want?
I know that I jumped a little bit and then told him I was just checking to see if he needed anything and he claimed he didn’t need anything that I had to offer. I saw him stirring a lot in the bed, so I walked over to him to see what the problem was, and he had a hand towel at the side of his body and it was wet.
I asked him what was going on that there was a wet towel, and he said he was wiping up pee. I told him I was going to pull the covers back and check the bed, and it was wet. We talked about the urinal, and then I went so far as to replay how he has to use the bed remote to sit up in the bed before he can use the urinal properly. He said he could not. He said that he could not get it in, so as we re-enacted the scene, I saw that from him getting older, there was a shrinkage problem with his personal body part, and knew then that this was a definite problem in bed.
In the end after talking and him still being snippy with me, I decided that it would be better to wear a brief, in order for him not to have to try to make something work that would not work. I had him roll from side to side as I changed the bed pad and chux pad, and then I placed him in a brief.
He called me some choice names as I made sure he was comfortable, dry and warm and then turned and left his room. It was then about 2am. In my room I could hear him through the baby monitor still calling me names, and I tried very hard to ignore it but my heart and soul were crying as this whole evening had broken my strength, I usually can manage to carry.
I tried to go to sleep but he was noisy, and he never went to sleep until 5am this morning. To say the least, I did not feel good at all today physically or emotionally, and to top it all off, he was still on his roll from the night before.
I had decided this morning, that no matter how much I love my brother or how very hard I tried to please him, it wasn’t going to ever work. It would take a miracle from God to change the despair and sadness in this morgue, we call home. Because I loved him so, I made up my mind to place him. Maybe if he didn’t see his dad in my face, he would maybe find some happiness in his life.
A therapist leader came to our house and he instantly took her back to his bedroom and tried to convince her how mean I was and that his room had plenty of room to hold more cars. I instantly grabbed her and pulled her to the living room and briefly explained what had happened the night before at the DQ, and that he was trying to play her against me, and she understood.
He made a big mistake by telling her he did not want to live here and that he wanted to go to a nursing home and that he just wanted to die, because she took this news back to her head nurse in charge.
After she left, he decided to continue his badgering of me, and I stood up from the couch and told him I didn’t want to hear anymore talk, and I wanted him to return to bed. He fought me but I won and I got him safely placed in bed. He went to sleep and I went to the couch and fell into it with a large headache and tears running from my eyes. I was exhausted and prayed that he would sleep for a nice period of time.
God must have answered that prayer because he slept right through lunch, and by this time, I realized that I had taken my own diabetic medications in the morning and had never made it to my own breakfast, and now I was skipping lunch also, due to wanting to sleep.
The phone rang and woke me up and another therapist wanted to stop by in an hour or so, so I said alright, and at the final moment, I went and woke Al up. I was still dragging and Al made sure he told the therapist how bad he had it here and that he was miserable, all because he was still throwing a fit about the car at Wal-Mart. By this time, it was four pm. She is a very good therapist and worked with Al’s muscles some, but the main topic was Al’s attitude towards his own dad and how he still carries the bitterness and hatred of his dad, and how he pretends that I am now his dad and so he treats me exactly the same. The therapist listened to him and talked and gave suggestions to him on how he needed to drop the past, and live for today. They talked about how I did love him and that I was good to him, and she explained that his sister does even spoil him, but he did not buy any of it.
She explained to me that he has a block in his brain and he is stuck in the past with the emotional abuse of his father. He went on to tell her that he wanted to die, that he had nothing to live for, and that he wanted to go to a nursing home. She tried to talk to him about how nursing homes are so much more restricted than being home, and that he would not receive the love there that he does here, and in the end, with her holding him in her arms, she and he were crying, and I was sitting on the other end of the couch crying myself, he made a comment that he did not deserve anything in this world, that he was a bad person, that dad had mistreated him and he just wanted to die.
His body was sobbing and shaking and my heart was breaking, as this scene unfolded. The therapist spent a lot of time here off the work clock trying to help Al see that he is worthy, but at this point I don’t know if it helped or not. All I know is that she tried, we all cried, we all know the problem, but the only one that can fix it all is God and Al.