Do Not Be Afraid


I don’t know how to say this gracefully, as a lady should. So here it goes, straight forward and up. My brother, who is an adult, with Parkinson’s and dementia, is sitting at the dinner table, eating his supper burping as loud as he can, then going to the opposite end, and letting outrageous blow out tire sounds! He is giggling over and over. When he is not doing this, he is mocking all of the newscasters, in a puppy dog voice. He then threw me off-balance by making a comment that dad always said, it’s a dog’s life? I immediately said to him, well I better put a cage around him, and put him inside of it tonight, as noisy as he is being. Oh my gosh, did that ever bring on the smiles and huge open laughter. Does this scare you? A middle age man acting like a child? Would you be afraid to be near him, when seeing such a display as he is presenting tonight? He is definitely not what people would classify as normal. I sit on this side of the fence, and look at him with love in my heart. I look at a man-child, who can giggle at things we have not giggled  at for many years. He can be entertained tonight by an unknown name on the TV. He can sit here and carry on both sides of a conversation, entertaining himself. I can look at him with sadness and pity, when I see rude people stare at him or his cane. I just want to grab my hair sometimes and pull it while screaming, get the hell away from us you weirdos! He is not a freak, nor is he a leper. He has Parkinson’s, and dementia. He will not infect you, or cause you to be dirty if you touch him. This man used to love his job. If he had a tooth ache, he still went to work. He was lucky, no, I should say his place of employment was lucky. He never missed work unless mom forced him to stay home from being ill. Then I can remember he would stress all the day long on how they were doing without him. He has enjoyed holding a fishing pole in his hand, and with help has caught a fish. I have a picture on the wall of him holding his first fish, with a huge grin on his face. He has watched pigs have babies, and he has helped milk a cow. He has worked in a garden, and he knew how to pull weeds around the trees. I am sorry. I guess I am overly sensitive tonight. The ad for the paper was placed, and the phone did ring with interests. As soon as they found out he had Parkinson’s, dementia, heart problems, and is mentally challenged, I heard many excuses. I even heard one stranger say I could not offer enough money to pay her to sit with him. Tonight, the tables are turned. It is his giggles and big smiles, somewhere lost in his own time, and I am the one sitting here with huge tears running down my face. I have to get off of here. My brother is coming and I do not want him to see my sadness.

30 thoughts on “Do Not Be Afraid

  1. Stay strong Terry! I specialized in this when I was a nursing assistant. I wish I lived close, because even with my ailments, I would be there in a minute to help. I considered the people I cared for as family, as I would like to be treated one day when I can’t care for myself. God Bless You! 🙂 Also, my grandfather suffered from Parkinson’s disease, I loved him dearly!

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  2. Terry- The key statement is I don’t want my brother to see my sadness. Earlier this week you mentioned you could hear his tears, he does not want you to see his sadness either.

    People are insensitive, so just ignore them, do what ever you can to make him laugh and make the day full of sunshine. It is the little things that matter and when he has bad days work with his frustration and try to turn it into a smile.

    To me, it is obvious you both love each other unconditionally and would do anything to make things better. He can’t really control how he feels and I’m sure would love to have things go better. With your great sense of humor, I know you can make things lighter.

    Excuse me if I over stepped, but we all are here for you and your brother.

    Walk daily with God at your side!

    Ed

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    • Ed, i never think of you as a person who oversteps. you are honest with me and i appreciate this. i want to make everything alright, and i can’t. i don’t understand why people are afraid of illness. we all get ill at one time or another. i do appreciate your support and i lean on all of you more than i probably should. god bless you Ed.

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  3. I don’t even know what to say…trying to come up with some sort of wise and comforting words, and I don’t know them. Only that I am so sorry for your hurt…praying. Praying that God will comfort you and send someone to help you so that you can get out and do something for yourself some too. Your brother is blessed to have you there…but I can only imagine how difficult it is. I wish there was something I could do or say…

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  4. My heart goes out to you. What a huge love you have for your brother. This is so evident in your words. I am so sorry for the pain this brings you. Thank you for sharing your truth. You are amazing and inspiring. Much love. Sam

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  5. I am so sorry for your struggles. The ones who shy away are the ones who are missing on an opportunity to grow because of their ignorance. But you do need a break on occasion, so keep trying. You will find an an angel, I’m certain. I will keep you in my prayers…

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  6. Aw Terry, I wish there was a way to lighten your tasks. Why are some crosses so much heavier than others? One thing that is certain about life is that it is not stagnant, things will change. Keep your chin up! Hugs, prayers, ~ Lily

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  7. What is wrong with people … scary! Terry, I don’t really know what to say to you, because you know it all … and you’re a fighter – remarkable one too. You have all the right to feel sad, be upset and cry … understand you don’t want to do it in front of your brother. Yes, can’t believe why the society is so unwilling to help. Happy, for that I’m living where I’m – where age doesn’t matter when it’s about getting a helping hand. I think it’s a massive shame on your government that you are in this situation as you’re today. Terrible. Our healthy status can change in a couple of minutes – and help should be there and then for everybody.

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    • i hired a part time lady today!!! let’s keep our fingers crossed this works out. she seemed so loving and caring………………..i may be able to go get my brother’s gift on Monday, if she shows up

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  8. It sounds as though you are sorry for not being perfect. I’ll let you into a little secret, me neither! Though I think my family suspect.

    Seriously, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t find your situation hard. You are a lot closer to perfect than me and your brother has a blessing in you. I admire your strength and love.

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    • i always thought i could be perfect if i tried hard enough. i thought i could always be there for everyone, but i found out i can’t. it is a sad but yet a relief today to realize i don’t have to be……….thank u Anon

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  9. Wow, your writing is absolutely like a movie that plays before me, capturing my heart, and leaving me breathless with how impactful it is. I love the way you allowed us to peek into his life before Parkinson’s, to see who he was, and who he is now. It really makes you realize that a disease is not us, but it does affect us. Your heartfelt compassion is a flow that makes us tear up for you too. Hugs. Hugsss!!

    Pink.

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