Some days I just don’t know what is wrong with me. Today is one of them. For the last two hours I have been reading posts and writing my own but……..underneath it all I am on the verge of tears. I feel heavy in my heart with sadness. I have no idea why.

I have sat here a few times and looked in the mirror and plastered a smile on my face but it doesn’t look like me. I had a good day, a little mind-boggling but good. So what is my deal? I have the most wonderful blogging friends. I have great kids, but yet I feel so empty and alone tonight. I even have my American Idol on and very oddly for me I am not following it like I usually do.

I thought if I spit this out and read what I wrote I would see the problem, but I still don’t.

Hang On Dear Brother

Today was a good day in as far as it was not snowing the huge amounts promised. I surprised Al when I arrived at the facility. He was upset and in frantic mode. I think I heard one cuss word but ignored it as I knew by opening my mouth I could end up hearing more of that nasty language.

He was looking for his slippers. I don’t know why exactly. He never did put them on. I walked into this chaos. The CNA was looking but she could not find it. Only one was showing. After she gave up I asked Al to please stand up from his recliner and I would move it and look behind it.

I don’t know if I am in partial denial or what but he could not stand. I literally had to stand him and then immediately his knees buckled. Eventually I had him sitting on his walker, moved the recliner and there the slipper was. He put it with the other one and that was that.

He had an unexpected visitor. I could tell when I looked into the visitor’s eyes that he was totally shocked to see me. Where else would I be? Down in the lounge watching television? It was a bad relative. I played my cool since Al was not doing much but letting his mouth hang open. I don’t think Al knew quite what to think.

The chat was calm I would say. Al didn’t talk much, but he has been in too much pain for visitors. I think he tolerates me because I bring him goodie treats. LOL There have been enough complaints about his pain that the doctor was notified. Al’s pain medications were upped. I want him to be in as little as pain as possible. On the other hand these pain medications are strong and bad side-effects. It seems these do help after a couple of days getting inside his body.

Al has sharpened up or maybe I should say caught on. He made a comment to me that these pills would only work for a while and then he would be back in pain. I silently agreed knowing full well that this nasty old Parkinson’s is just going to have its way with my brother.

I met today with the Social Director and the lady who came from about an hour a way. I was not familiar with Medicaid nor all the different avenues that this program has to offer. I listened intently to all that was said and the lady Anita, asked me which route I wanted to pursue.  I looked at the S.S.D and she spoke for me.

She told Anita that she didn’t want to close doors for Al. She wanted all of them open. The only thing I really understood is when an opening comes available at a group home it seems he can go. It can take a while or months. I could help speed it along by allowing him to be placed in a group home somewhere in Indiana and then when an opening was here in our city, he could be transferred. I didn’t know what to think about that. He could end up being the shortest distance an hour, or he could be up to five hours a way.

First I hate to drive. I always have. Going just an hour a way is enough for my knuckles to be red from gripping  the steering wheel. I talked to Al about it and he didn’t say much. The other option is some sort of Medicaid Waiver. This would allow Al to come back home.

He would get forty hours a week of help from different programs at Medicaid’s expense. He would have his bathing and anything he needed done for him. He would also be able to go to a day program here in town Monday through Friday and be home in the evenings and at night-time.

I don’t mind that myself. Al didn’t say too much except he could be with his coke things again. All he cared about was the word day program and friends. He has a lot of friends at this day program here in town. I could never let him go before because he was not Medicaid.

There is too much that I am confused about. I do agree with the S.S. D. though. Let’s keep as many doors open as possible. Let’s try all the routes and see what comes through. All I know is Al is becoming depressed. He is sad too often and it is so foolish for him to have to feel this way. It is because he is ignored. It is because he has no one his age. Residents don’t talk to him. Staff gets involved by the policies and medications and meals.

A human needs touched and talked to and to know they are cared about. We all need this. He is in pain and he is sad. I don’t want him drowning in depression so I am talking to Al about everything I hear. I want him out of there as quickly and safely as possible for him. I want to hear him laugh again and see the smiles.alvin at fireworks

Dear brother I love you so

You and I are no longer together

But you are constantly on my mind

And in my heart each day

I feel your pain as I

Look into your eyes

I see the sadness

Pouring out of your eyes

I am trying to help you

As quickly as I can

Please understand

That this takes time

Please hold on for me

Do not let yourself sink

I never knew it would be like this

Or I would have kept you here with me

I will do my best and with your agreement

I will get you to a happier place

I love you dear brother

I am here for you………………

Terry Shepherd


Daily Prompt ; A Plot of Earth / The Daily Post

Edwin Carter-Log Cabin Naturalist Museum (Circ...


You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Have you ever seen the movie titled Patch Adams? It is my ultimate movie. I have watched it more times than my age number. I am going to do something that I have never done before. I am going to replace Robin Williams, the star of the movie with me.

I am going to build a log cabin. This new home will over look mountains of green grass and wild flowers. You will be able to over-look the whole scene and feel the hope in the air.

After I have the cabin built, I will move myself along with a team of volunteers who are wanting to help. We would immediately begin to build another log style home in walking distance.

It would be on the large-scale of the home we live in. It would hold a very large waiting area with smaller rooms that hugged each side of a wall. A welcome desk would await each visitor that walked in the front door.

There officially would be no doctor on call. There would be volunteers of people with experience in the field of caring. A visitor would bring his weary soul in and find comfort. A cool drink of water a slice of fresh home-made bread with apple butter.  A cut would be cleansed and wrapped in a covering. A person who could sit with a client and be a good listener for all who want to talk. Hours would be open to all and volunteers would rotate hours and days. You would never see a closed-door to anyone needing a hug.

Behind the home there would be a vast space that is growing vegetables. Potatoes, tomatoes, corn, beans,  peas, onions, melons and carrots. If a customer could afford a few pennies these were placed in a jar and new seedlings would be purchased to continue growth all year round.

When someone comes in with an empty stomach, they could pick up a recycled bag and go to the garden and fill it up with nourishing foods. In a small plot next to the plants would be a patch of flowers. The clients could pick a couple of flowers to carry home with them. It would brighten their day.

Medical expenses are so high it is actually preventing people from seeking help. Many times it is of a medical need but so many other times it is an emotional need. The staff would grow by using clients to help out in ways that would use their talents. Maybe they would work in the gardens. Perhaps they would help to bake bread. Maybe they would help sweep floors or do laundry and hang on the clothes line outdoors. This is a situation where everyone would win.

The client would feel useful. The staff would become more than basic. Everyone helping everyone. During the dusk hours and breaks we would stand outside and look over the shadows resting atop the mountains and give thanks to our almighty God for giving us the opportunity to help just one person.


Come Back Butterfly

English: Monarch butterflies

I am a blessed woman. Not the kind of blessing that would make you say wow look at her, doesn’t she look different? No my blessings are not visible when you look at me. They are in the miracles where  God does all the work.

Since yesterday it has been sort of a whirl wind. A mini tornado. First there seemed to be no one that understood what I was trying to say and now everyone gets it.  Many people are involved with Al and my life. Coming together as a basketball team, each one linking with another group. Holding hands and rooting for Al.

This is a miracle to me. To see at least five people involved that I can  think of immediately is awesome. This isn’t including the ones behind the scenes waiting for this form or that nod of approval.

Today I have another meeting with a brand new lady. I am selfish I admit. It is frigid temps here and I wish I could stay huddled in my four walls but I must do this for Al. Do you have any idea how excited my insides are?

As  I woke up this morning I found myself smiling at the thoughts of seeing Al smiling again. Watching him interact with others that are on his level of thinking. Hearing him tell all of his new friends about his coca cola collection.

Maybe I should not voice my thoughts here but I am going to take a risk. I am going to hope that you understand what I am about to say. Come close, closer. I am going to whisper my words. I don’t want anyone to think for one moment that I am not thankful for the good deeds that have been provided to make Al safer.

But there is a difference. It breaks my heart when most of the time I walk in to see Al I see what I would describe as a depressed state of mind. I see Al just about every other day. I see the aids coming into Al’s room but there is a reason. To help in a bathroom situation or take Al or his roommate down to a meal.

I am talking about the communication here. The interaction from one soul to another soul. The part of conversation that makes us feel special and loved. Don’t you and I all want to feel special and loved? Like a birthday every day?

Of course we can’t really have that feeling every day. I realize this, but wouldn’t it be great to wake up each morning knowing without doubt that somewhere in our day someone was going to touch our life in a good way?

Al doesn’t get this where he is. As many years as I have worked in nursing homes, hospitals and private homes I for the first time see the difference. In a nursing home it is our duty to make sure the patient is safe. To have the basic needs and to be given medications at the proper times.

In a group home setting the goal is the same but there is an added ingredient. To make the patient feel worthy. This comes in many forms throughout the 24 hour day and it works. This is the difference that I observe in the nursing homes and group homes.

This is why when I walk in to Al’s room I see the depressed face. He has the basic standard of care without the added ingredient. I don’t want his life to be this way. So having this team working behind the scenes and with me is a miracle from God.

Together we are going to put Al back into a more familiar situation of being in his own home. But instead he will be living in a different home with friends of his own and more help with needs he has.

I ask for prayer even though I know the team is all working together. I pray for a smooth and timely fashion for this to be all done. It is normal here that when you work with the State and government, things can take a very long time, months. So even though I am very thankful I am asking for these extras. I want to replace the sadness with smiles and the quietness with chatter. I know that Al’s Parkinson’s Disease is taking its toll on Al. This is the reason I ask for the prayers. Every month I see the changes taking place.

I don’t know  how long Al will live. I am more concerned with the quality of living Al has until he can no longer realize what day it is. I love him and I want him to have the happiness that all the rest of us have and desire.

Thanks everyone for reading this and taking the moment out of your life to say a special prayer for all of us involved in preparing a new home for Al.