I Was Freshly Pressed

Freshly Pressed WordPress: My blog

I just wanted to say a big thank-you to all of you bloggers that follow me and comment on my blogs.

I was Freshly Pressed yesterday for the first time. I have been blogging since March 2012.

I will always feel an excitement when I look back on this in my life.

God has surely blessed me with wonderful friends. He urged me to write. He helped me write my first book.

The blog post that helped me reach Freshly Pressed was


I just wanted to share this with all of you!

The Daily Prompt; Time Capsule/ The Daily Post

Today’s writing exercise is based on this statement.

New Year Sunrise

The year is drawing to a close. What would you put in a 2012 time capsule?

This is something I will definitely be looking back in my files of blogging. To be able to smile and or cry over special moments I have enjoyed or gone through is precious.

January brought about a new year. A year filled with cautiousness and planned activities. New Year’s Day was spent with family. The day was filled with much love and laughter. It was also brought with good news, that I didn’t owe any taxes this year!

February brought with it the thoughts of my brother. He commented, “Why do people spend so much money on Valentine’s Day? Not everyone is married. Some people are like you and me sis, single”. This brought my burst of love on Valentine’s Day down to a more even keel. I could now accept that this day was not to be for all, and I could still remain happy and content through out the day.

March brought a visit to the ER with my brother Al. Heart pains, and a visit by the EMS. The good news was it was not a heart attack; but instead his angina had reappeared. With appropriate adjustments of medications, he was not admitted.

April brought me stirrings of Al’s birthday coming soon. I got a page together for him on Facebook and he received so many birthday cards, I could barely keep track. I saw more smiles from Al in that month than I ever had, thanks to all of my wonderful friends around the world.

May brought with it spring. A chance of another new beginning. Al’s birthday. A well planned outdoor party with family and friends attending. I so remember his eyes popping out when he opened one particular gift, a vintage coca cola soda machine. He still talks about this today. My heart surges when I remember back on that day, that was all for him.

June brought with it pain. A sad month. Al’s pain started to show its ugly face as it made it harder for Al to walk. In this month we purchased him a scooter, and he wasn’t overjoyed by it, but it did keep him more mobile. June also brought car shows, which I took Al to some all summer long.

July came in very hot with no rain. It also brought Al even more pain and tremors. Eating became difficult. Special utensils were bought for independent eating. Straws made it easier to drink, as lifting a glass became difficult. July also brought out the issues between Satan and God. Al had many discussions with me about wanting to die to be rid of his pain. He read his bible so much, that Satan became very angry at him and played mean tricks on him.

August brought with it more heat, and still very little rain. Al was approved for home health care. Quite a bit of therapy, tears, confusion were filling most of the days of this month. A fall here and then was taking place also

September came, with thoughts of cooling down, but it didn’t happen very quickly. Campfires were shared by family and sometimes Al would walk outside with his walker and sit by the fire and we would talk about vintage cars and car shows.

October brought fall and the leaves took their time in beginning their changes of green to beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. By now, Al was doing a lot more sitting instead of walking. He gave up his scooter, as his fingers became too weak to make the scooter go. Tears still flooded quite a few days, and I prayed to God to please bring him comfort and peace.

November brought with it a great sadness, as I realized with Al’s constant falls and pain, he needed more help than I could offer him. He and I made the decision to find more help. Adjustments were made for the two of us. I think I went into a mild depression. November also brought Thanksgiving. Al and family were here, but Al did not feel well that day, so the day ended a little earlier.

December is here. Al is smiling more. The pain is being better controlled with medications. Christmas tree and lights were placed. Shopping and visiting homes with plenty of lights to entertain us have been done. Going out to eat with Al has been fun some days and other days I believe he went just to be with me. Now I am making gifts and wrapping them. The time is coming for once again to be with family and celebrate Jesus birthday. Another chance to be with family is coming very soon. The kitchen will be filled with fattening goodies and smells from the oven will fill the air.

I have made it through another year thanks to blogger friends, family and God. I don’t know what the year 2013 will have in store for me. I can only wish it is all good. I do know that I can count on one thing for sure. God will be with me and he will bring me through anything, good or sad.

Proud Peacock


Friday I went to see Al and he knew that I was going to be taking him out to lunch. I wasn’t sure what we were in for, because sometimes when I pick him up his legs hurt so much, we eat and then I take him back.

Today was different. When I picked him up, we went to his favorite eating spot. He talked to everyone he knew and even ones he didn’t. It still bothers me that some people try to brush him off, thinking how different he is. You know, we were taught to not talk to strangers when we were young. I don’t say anything, and I just let it go, but sit  back and watch how the uncomfortable strangers wiggles his distance from my brother. It makes me a little sad, but I know I am partial.

He ate very well and he was in pain, but he was choosing today, to over look it. Why? because he saw that a local chain store had hot wheel cars on sale. We went to that store next, and then he even asked to go to another store after that. He walked very slow, but he was steady. He had a good time, I am pretty sure.

I did not visit on Saturday, but yesterday, I did go to see him. I took him a meal deal from a drive-thru and when I popped in his room, he seemed a little down. I was almost wishing I would not have brought the food, but then he made a comment about what was in the bag.

He got up out of his recliner and we made our way down to the dining room. I sat beside him and pulled all the goodies out of the bag. We went ahead and ate our lunch, even though it was about twenty minutes too early for lunch.

As we were eating, the dining hostess stopped by to ask him for his menu choice. I didn’t think he would order anything since I had brought him a complete meal, but to my surprise he said, ” Did you know that this is my sister? She is my biological sister. We have another sister, but she isn’t very nice”. The hostess laughed and then Al said, ” This is really my sister! I am going to order a piece of cherry pie, and could you put some of that ice-cream on top of it? My sister is eating lunch with me. I want her to have some too”.

When the hostess left, I said, ” The food is for you bud, not for me. Are you sure you can eat all of this”? He shook his head yes. In about five minutes, the hostess came back with not one piece of pie but two. I made a comment that she didn’t need to do this, but she said, “He wants you to have it, and we try to please our patients”. I thanked her and Al smiled at me like a proud peacock.

When his eating mates came in and others stopped by, he repeated the entire story about who I was and that he had a half-sister who wasn’t very nice. He beamed during our visit. I could see the love for me through each of his words. I was a proud sister. I knew at that moment, that although I miss him terribly here at home, I had made the right decision for him. We are closer now than we ever were. The stress isn’t there when I visit. We talk, actually communicate with each other. He tells me his aches and pains. He tells me who comes in and what he won at bingo. We had a great time, and by the way, he did eat his whole meal plus his pie and part of mine. Geesh, I wonder, Will he have any room for supper?

The Gift

She was 90 years old. Up until three years ago, she lived an independent life in her one

My gift of LOvE for You...

bedroom apartment. She lived in a small village in Michigan. Every morning she would rise at six and start her coffee. After dressing she would pull open the blinds and wait for the first signs of day break. She would fix one slice of toast, and enjoy it with her freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Her husband had passed on to a better life ten years prior. Kathryn had no desires to seek out another relationship and instead went to the other apartments in her building to knock gently on doors, offering her assistance to whom ever needed it.

Sometimes she found herself walking to the market that was on the block that she lived. She would pick up eggs or maybe a jar of coffee for someone who could not get out. Other times she would help by reading the newspaper or maybe the bible to someone who didn’t feel well that day.

Kathryn was the kindest of souls. Her heart was committed to anything she did. But on one day she didn’t open her door to do her rounds. She instead lie on her kitchen floor, never buttering the toast that had popped up. Her empty coffee cup sat near the now ready coffee. She had fallen, turned to quickly and landed on the floor.

Her ankle was in pain and she knew that she had twisted it badly. Tears formed in her eyes and gently streaked her cheeks, as she prayed to God for someone to find her. She thought she must have been lying there about an hour, when a knock came at her door. She took in a deep breath, and cried out,” The door is open, please come in”. The neighbor next door to her, a gentle old soul by the name of Solomon, walked in and saw her.

He walked over to her and asked, ” What happened Kathryn? Are you alright? Can you stand with my help”?  Kathryn, shaking her head said, “I don’t know Solomon. I tripped over my own two feet, and down I went”. He replied,”Let me try to help you up, but first let me go get some more help. I don’t want to make this any harder on you or us than we need to”.

He told her he would be right back, and he took a throw off of the couch and placed it over her so she wouldn’t get chilled. He left and with minutes he came back with a helper. Together they were able to lift her up, and they helped her get to the recliner. She leaned on them as she could not stand on her one foot. After positioning her, Fred the helper, took a closer look at her ankle. He said, ” It is starting to swell a little.On a scale of one to ten how much pain do you feel Kathryn”? “It is about a five maybe. I feel more pressure than pain. I don’t think it is broken. Let’s try standing me up to see how I do”. The two neighbors said no to that idea.

Solomon suggested, ” I think you have sprained your ankle Kathryn. Do you have an ice pack? We can put it on here and then check it every so often for the swelling. I think it should  heal by itself, if you stay off of it”.

She told them where the ice pack was and Fred went to get it and then filled it with ice. After placing it on her ankle, they asked her if she needed anything and she asked for the morning paper. Upon giving it to her, they gave her the television remote and then promised that one of them would be back to check on her in an hour. She told them how grateful she was for their help and then the two gentlemen let themselves out her door.

Kathryn’s body was not as stable as it used to be, and the fall and the pain she had endured was too much for her heart. She was reading her newspaper, when softly it fell to her lap, and her eyes gently closed. When Fred and Solomon came back to check on her, they found her nodded off and sleeping.

Fred called out to her, and then Solomon shook her gently saying, “Kathryn, Kathryn, can you hear me”? When her head fell forward, Solomon said, ” You better call an ambulance Fred. I think something has happened to poor old Kathryn. Hurry Fred, the phone is over on that table”.

Within fifteen minutes, the sounds of sirens came closer, and soon two gentlemen stood at the open door. Solomon told them to come in and he moved out-of-the-way so the EMT’s could check Kathryn out. With the conversations between the EMT’s and the hospital, her two neighbors suspected she had a stroke.

After placing her on the four-wheeled cart, the professionals got as much information from the two neighbors and then whisked her off to the hospital. Fred and Solomon walked out her door closing the door behind them. They made arrangements on who would take them over to the hospital. The apartment manager, Herbert, told them to get ready and that he would be waiting in the front with his car.

Everyone bustled to get around and some neighbors knocked on doors to find out what had happened. It took a little longer than expected, but Herbert delivered Solomon and Fred safely at the hospital’s ER doors. Herbert told them as they were getting out of the car, “Just call when you are ready to be picked up guys. I will come back and get you”. The two neighbors said thanks and went through the glass doors to find out about their dear neighbor.

At the receptionist desk, they announced who they were, and then poured themselves  each a cup of coffee and sat down to wait  for news. They chatted among themselves and talked to others sitting near by. Fred stood up and walked over to where the pretty lady was sitting behind the desk. He was just getting ready to ask if there was any news when the doctor appeared.

The doctor went to both of them and said. ” Kathryn has suffered a stroke. Now it doesn’t look like a bad one. There doesn’t seem to be any long-term damages. She does have a little weakness on one side. I think with some therapy she can regain a little more strength. She will need help at home once we dismiss her. Does she have anyone at home to help her? We will be keeping her here for a few days”.

Fred and Solomon looked at each other and each wished they could fill the job but shaking their head, they both said, ” No, she lives alone, and she has no family left”. The doctor told them that he would make arrangements for her to be placed in a nursing home. She can not be left alone to care for herself”.

The two gentlemen hung their heads as they so badly wished they could help more. Before the doctor left them, Fred asked,” Can we see her doc? We both want her to know she is not alone, that we are here for her”. The doctor replied, Kathryn is a lucky lady to have such nice family like you. Of course you can see her. I am going to go back and check on her and then I will have the nurse come and get you”.

Solomon said, “We are not her family doc. We are just two neighbors who care about her. We have all been neighbors for a few years”. The doctor came closer to them and winked and said with a smile, ” In my eyes, you are her family. Family is defined as someone who is close, someone who cares. Now go have a seat and someone will let you know when you can come back”. With that, the doctor turned around and went back to Kathryn and the two guys went back and found their seats.

An hour and a half later a nurse came to them and said they could go back and see her now. Following the nurse they walked into Kathryn’s room, and she smiled when she saw them. This brought relief to her friends that she was going to be alright. They spent some time talking with her. Fred said, ” As soon as we know which nursing home you are going to, we will be out their to help you get settled in”.

Kathryn said, ” I would like that my friends. I feel blessed that I was able to stay at home as long as I have. I knew my time would come some day, but I was hoping it would not be this soon”.  Fred and Solomon took her hands in theirs and said, ” You may be living in another room, but you shall never lose our friendship. We will be here as much as we can. We shall let the neighbors know where you are at and soon you will have so many visitors, that you will be telling the nurse to close the door just to get some rest”. They all three laughed and then said their goodbyes.

Kathryn did not have any permanent damages but she did not argue when the nurse came to tell her it was time to transport her to the nursing home. She knew in her heart, that she needed the extra help. She realized it could have been so much worse. Her father in heaven had kept her protected.

The two gentlemen got some neighbors together, and they took several items from Kathryn’s apartment and placed them in a suitcase. Each friend gathered some things from their own apartments. Things they thought would make Kathryn feel more at home.

With the help of the apartment manager and the maintainance man and his truck, they all made their way over to the nursing home. By the time everyone had brought in the goodies, Kathryn’s new room looked more like home. It was the holidays, so when you walked by her door and peeked in you could see a small table with two chairs. On top of the table was a small Christmas tree that stood about two feet. It was decorated with tiny blinking lights.

In the opposite corner sat her recliner. Beside that was a table with a light attached. Newspapers stacked on the other side, waiting for her to come read them. A neighbor always seemed to be there, and the new coffee pot was always providing hot steamy coffee. There were three pictures that ordained the walls. Beside her bed sat a table, and it was filled with cards and flowers.

Christmas time is a beautiful time of the year. Friends and family gathering together to show love and support for each other. Some are not so lucky and spend time alone during the holiday, and for this, I am very sad. For others such as Kathryn, God blesses us with more than we can ever imagine. Love, friendship and support. Kathryn knew that she was truly a blessed woman. She had more now at her age, than she deserved. As she sat in her recliner, sharing coffee with friends, she thanked God for the gift of love.

Terry Shepherd