FWF Free Write Friday, Word Prompt

After I just blogged about my Thanksgiving dinner with my brother, I found it ironic that this weeks FWF was on Gratitude. It is almost what I have just written about.

I will write about it again, because in my mind the most smallest of things in life, are to be grateful for and with gratitude there comes no dollar signs.

Gratitude to me means many things. I have a home, with a roof, that keeps me safe from winds, rains, deep heat, and snow. I can gather my family here, and enjoy laughter, and make memories to keep in the back of my mind, for the days when I am no longer able to get out, or may not even remember a time when family comes to visit.

I can sit inside the warmth of my home and watch the rain beat out on the sidewalks, turning dull gray into shiny glass reflections, bouncing from  the trees. I can watch the snowflakes gently fall, and try to count each unique flake, and remember back to when I was a child,where  I would race outside in my new coat mom and dad bought me, and open my mouth wide, only to lick up the flakes and laugh, and then fall into the virgin snow, to make snow angels.

There is a quietness now in my home, where only God and I live. Al is no longer living here but has acquired another home where many angels can watch over him, and the worry is taken off of my shoulders, in which I worried whether I was doing enough, or doing things right to help him remain standing and pain-free.

I was filled with gratitude, when I was able to drive to his new home, and proudly walk in, and say that I, was there to pick up my baby brother. I was there to bring him back to his familiar home. He was asleep, so soundly sleeping, that I had to call out his name softly three times, but when he opened his eyes, my heart beat like the beat of the drums, when he looked  up at me with half alert eyes, and smiled big at me. This ripped my chest cavity wide open, as my heart could not quit expanding from joy, that he smiled at me.

He was not angry, he was not sad, he had made peace with his room and his roommate in his new home, and he wanted to come home with big sister. There are no dollar amounts, nor could the richest pay me enough, for what I felt at the precise moment in my life.

I had the ramp that he would walk, with the red carpet, showing him that he was and always will remain king of this home. He walked through a veil of white, Christmas lights, that twinkled, hidden amongst silver tinsel, letting him feel the flow of happiness, that I felt being able to bring him home for a day.

When he walked into the living room, it had been transformed into a child’s dream of a beautiful Christmas tree, adorned with soft multi-colored lights and replicas of ornaments that we used to stare at in awe when we were children ourselves.

The smells coming from within, of Pumpkin pie, and ham and everything that we remembered from our youth, awaited his nostrils, drawing him into a home filled with love and memories.

Although, Parkinson’s Disease has been attacking his heart, and forcing him to slow down and have more pain, my baby brother sacrificed all of this to show me he loved me. NO, he did not say, I love you sis, his actions of being here told me everything my heart wanted to feel.

He asked to go back early to his new home. He told me he was glad that I had picked him up and brought him  home, but his pain was so bad, that he needed to go back to lie down. After taking him back, and getting him comfortable and situated, I told him I loved him, and I thanked him for coming for the day. I thanked him for being my baby brother and spending this family day together.

When I reached my car, I have to admit, there were a couple of tears, gently falling, shining like the tinsel on the ramp, I made for him, reflections of the rain, gently turning the gray sidewalks into mirrors of glass.

I looked up to the stars and I thanked God for the gift of my brother. For this holiday, the two of us shared love without speaking it, we shared time, that could not be calculated on the clock, we shared memories of our past, and I made new memories to savor for when I am old and rocking in my rocker, gazing outside at the gentle snowflakes falling, and smiling for the good life God had granted me.


Al and Me

Thanksgiving 2009 at Isabella and Cris

Yesterday was Thanksgiving at our house. Like most Americans, we celebrated with a turkey, ham, and other goodies. There was a seven layer salad, deviled eggs, home-made macaroni and cheese,  home-made dressing, green beans, corn, home-made yeast rolls, a relish tray, apple, cherry and pumpkin pie, and an old-time favorite chocolate dessert that all went with the meat.

We smoked the turkey for the first time, and I was in awe at how the outdoors smelled the whole day while the bird was cooking, and the taste, oh my gosh, it was divine!

I picked up my brother in the early afternoon. I walked in and he was sleeping. I called his name a few times and finally he woke up with a smile on his face when he saw me standing there. It was wonderful to see the smile. I just knew he was so happy to be coming home for the day.

He didn’t stand very well without help and he needed a little help getting in the car and out of the car. He went inside the house, and then immediately turned around and went outside. The fresh air had to feel awesome to him as he was inside a building most of the time.

He stayed outside, sitting on the picnic bench quite awhile, until he got chilled and wanted to come in. When he came in, he didn’t take his jacket off for a couple of hours, saying he was cold.

He didn’t produce the usual chatter he does when family is usually here. He watched cartoons and laughed along side of my three-year old grandchild. He took smaller portions of food, but did make sure he ate a piece of cherry pie and the chocolate dessert.

His tremors were pretty active, so after he left the kitchen, I went behind him and cleaned up the floor where he had been sitting. I got the kitchen all cleaned up, and then he asked to go back to his new home.

I asked why, aren’t you having a nice time here? He said that he wanted to come here, but he just was so tired. Sadly, I took him back, and found the nurse to let her know we were back and then told her I thought he had a good time but he was complaining of pain while he was with me and how tired Al was and wanted to come back early.

She said that the Parkinson’s is progressing in Al’s heart, so she finds Al asleep a lot more. She said she has to wake him up often, just to give him his medications.

She said the facility was considering pushing Al down to the socializing room in a wheelchair,, so that he would get more involved. I told her he had also told me, that his legs hurt so bad, that it was too long of a trip to the socializing room. She said that they would just start pushing him and the rest of the times he could use his walker.

I had sent him a goody gift bag with him and he made sure to tell the nurse to mark his things so no one would take them from him. He had rolls, cookies, sodas, and a new car, and more newspapers to read now.

When I left the facility, I got in my car, and before I turned the key over, I looked up to the skies and thanked God for this wonderful Thanksgiving day. Although, only one out of three children showed up for the dinner, Al, my baby brother, had made a sacrifice. He sacrificed his pain, in order to spend it with his big sister.

Thank you Lord, for giving me this day with him, and my little family that spent the entire day and evening with me. I feel truly blessed.