Our Afternoon Out

A father and son silhouetted on the front at S...

A father and son silhouetted on the front at Southwold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought it was going to be a bad time. It was after lunch, and near nap time, and I wanted to interrupt it. I needed to go to one more store, and I really hated to wait until tomorrow, since I want to stay home and clean house, do laundry, and start on any food prep I can do ahead for his party. He wasn’t smiling, but he wasn’t crying either, so I had no signal as to what I was in for. We went to one store and looked around. He rode the scooter, and I walked, using his cane. Actually, that cane was pretty nice. It gave me something to lean on, and hurt my back less, but I am not ready to get too used to that tool yet in my life.They didn’t have what I needed, but I did find a pretty blue butterfly chime. It is on a spring, so any little wind will make it wiggle and force the chimes to sound. Half way down the chimes is a clear, crystal ball, that the chimes can bump into. I love butterflies, and I love the vibrant, deep blues, so I had to have it since it was in my price range. He did pretty good going through the store isles today. He is beginning to recognize how far in advance to turn the wheels, keeping him from bumping into the products on the shelves. We got back in our car and drove to the other end of town. I knew I was pushing my luck, as it was definitely his nap time now, but I asked him if he minded that we go to one more place, and he nodded his head that it was alright. I was looking for closet doors for his bedroom. His doors have mirrors in them, and he had fallen into one of the doors, shattering the mirror, and fortunately, he was not injured, just his pride. We went into the store, and thank goodness there was another scooter for his use. He climbed on and we took off down the rows of items, calling  out to us to buy them. Back in the door section, they carried the same mirror door, but you had to buy the whole set, which upsets me, as this is a money issue for the store. I only needed one, and I wasn’t going to spend the mega dollars on the whole set. I looked at wooden doors, that would fit in his gliders at home, and was told, I would need to measure the whole closet opening. I had only measured the doors. This ended up being a wasted trip, except the fact, that I had purchased my chime. I was proud of Al for not being upset with me taking him out during nap time, so I offered to stop at a restaurant to get him his favorite drink, a chocolate shake. He likes ice cream, but shakes are his best. I didn’t get a smile, but I did get a nod of agreement. We got him situated in the front seat of the car, we both buckled up, rolled back the sun roof, rolled down the windows, and off we went, me singing to the oldies, and him trying to click his fingers together to the music. I pretended not to notice his struggle as he tried to get those fingers to work. I just kept on singing. A beach boy’s song came on that he liked, and I could see a slight tap of his one better leg tapping lightly on the floor. The trip was not wasted. I had found something to deter his mind from what ever sadness has been plaguing him today. We went in and got his shake, and I got my diet coke, and I sipped mine and he gulped his. I was wondering if he was getting a head ache from the coldness and drinking so fast, but he said nothing. As each of us were people watching, I looked at him when he wasn’t looking, and I almost choked on my drink, as my father’s vision came smacking me right in the face. The last four months of our dad’s leukemia, his facial expressions changed so much. He stood like Al stands. Weak and slanted to the side. The underneath of dad’s eyes had drooped permanently, and you could see the blood shot in his eyes. I don’t know if it was from the illness of the leukemia or from crying. My father cried a lot the last four months. He knew he was going to die. As I looked at Al, I could see the same droopiness in the eyes, and the same redness also. Dad and Al look very much alike. Both have wavy white hair, and thick. Both have almost identical chins, nose, and even the same style of glasses. It was like looking at my father near his day of departure. Al was complaining a little bit at the restaurant about chest pains. I glanced at his finger nails and noticed some graying. His nails do this quite a bit. They will turn gray and then back to normal, a circulation problem. I can tell that God is with me at all times, because with no hesitation, I grabbed my brother’s fingers, and prayed right there for God to keep him with me. Please don’t take him until after his wonderful birthday party. I know I have no right to ask this, but I want Al to have lots of smiles and attention that day, so if God was thinking about it, please delay for a few more days. Al’s birthday is tomorrow, the third, but the party is on Saturday, the fifth. I have had comments made to me this week, that they are noticing he is losing weight. As I watched him , I could see the bones in his fingers and in  his hands were more prominent. He used to weigh 295 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia, and the last visit at the doctor, he weighed 254. I am praying that at his blood work next week, he has not lost weight, or maybe only a pound or two. Dad weighed 205 when he was diagnosed with leukemia, and two days before he left, he weighed 145. So as I sat and watched him enjoying watching other people, I grew sad. I had been made gently aware by God that my brother is slowly slipping away from me. I kept strong, I let no tears fall as I sat there, but seeing dad through Al, was a wake up call to me. I feel as if God is preparing me once again for a new stage in this disease, and I better start thanking God for every day Al and I have together. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying Al is leaving me tomorrow, but the wake up from God was an awareness call. Things are changing, get yourself prepared. He and I had finished not only our drinks but also watching people. I asked him if he was ready to go, and he nodded his familiar yes. He has not spoken hardly now in two days. He looks sad, or not here. I can not explain it. The peace that he had for those few days was a different kind of look with a genuine smile. None of that is here for now. We are home, and he went immediately to take his nap. I thanked him for being patient and letting me go to the stores.

22 thoughts on “Our Afternoon Out

  1. Terry, of course he will be around for his party – it was just a small hick up today … it was nothing mayor happening, except the accident with the scooter. You know he enjoyed himself with the music and he enjoyed his drink … nothing for worry about – he enjoyed his day in overall. Please, don’t worry your sick over that he may die soon. I have always said .. let me go when I enjoying myself the most. That’s the right time .. to leave the party. To end up in bed … looking in the ceiling 20 hours per day ????!!!! We have had a couple of guest trough the years that has died on the dance floor in the nightclub – and I have always thought – what a fantastic way to “leave” – when I have fun. Maybe not so nice for the people around me … or my party I’m in, but who cares. Don’t mean to be respect-less. Don’t worry … he will have a fantastic birthday!


    • i NEEDED to see this. i guess i do worry too much. every time he complains of a ache, i get anxious. i need to relax,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,scream it at me girlfriend!!!! lol


      • Terry, read somewhere today .. that we eat right and we live healthy and still we die. We can’t avoid that .. neither can we prepare our self for losing a loved one – so why worry before it’s time .. you have enough on your plate.
        I know you’re a strong believer and that gives you strength – that’s you, but God is not there to help you with lifts, bills .. and what ever it can be. It’s YOU!!!! that make that happen. The day it’s time for Al to leave … hopefully it will happen in his sleep … that day you can never be prepared for. So stop worry, he is fine ..


  2. You are a brave woman, Terry, who are being tested on a minutely basis. It’s quite astounding to me that you have remained your compassion and caring throughout this. I want to give you a hug. Thank you for sharing.


    • this is something i don’t realize except when comments are made. i usually feel like i am whining instead of giving comfort. Mona. I will try to look at my blogs with a different view. thank you for those kind words


  3. You have a very inspiring blog and I learn so much from you. Al’s party will be a success and I’m joining yuou in prayer for your brother


  4. Sometimes, as we try to read others, we look for the worse that can happen instead of the best.

    Having gone through what you are now seeing, I feel your pain. It is hard to watch someone you love get weaker with illness. I know you are doing the best you can. Al will be there for his birthday party, I’m sure and he will have a grand time.

    You both are continually in my prayers. If there is any other way I can help, please let me know.

    Walk daily with God at your side.



    • yes, i think he will b here for his birthday party, and this is why i added the phrase i didn’t think he was going to pass soon, but it was scary to me to recognize certain features that he and his dad had during the last few months of dads illness. just startled me


  5. Wow, it is sad that our crises make for great writing as it often stirs up writing that only emotions can reveal. Death is a funny word because often it means the start of something new as well. This may feel like the only chapter in your life, but there are so many more. We often don’t want to turn the pages, for fear of the plot next. But as we are forced to go from one text to another, we realize, that it is truly the journey that leads us to the destination God intended for us. And God wants great things for you and him, it often comes wrapped in unexpected packaging instead. May you have ease and success in this life and in the Hereafter. Ameen.



    • you are so right Pink. Every once in awhile a thought slips in, which i quickly chase away. a thought of what if he leaves me? what will I do without him? i try hard not to think on these as i watch him growing weaker. i don’t want to know my next chapter before its time


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