My Brother’s Life Journey Chapter 7

Money cash

After Al graduated I was out of the picture off and on. I had been married and lived in Germany for a year. I was expecting my first child. So thoughts drifted in and out of my family life and my new family to be.

When I came home to the States Al had a number of jobs. This is when a new set of problems started. Al had money of his own. A real paycheck that he wished to spend how ever he wanted.

But life doesn’t work this way. We have bills and most of us can not take our money and spend it entirely in one week. Al didn’t understand this. His thoughts were, he made the money, therefore he could spend it as he wished.

He had a car payment and auto insurance. I admit life was much easier when Mom was around. She felt bad for Al because he didn’t make too much money for his hard labor. She often helped hm and swore him to secrecy.

Even with Al’s mental issues he understood that this secret was to his benefit so he was always quiet about it. Al went to several jobs for quite a few years. He worked in a factory but he got fired. He was too friendly with the ladies and he would smile big at them. Often he would tell them they were pretty. These women did not like this and thought he was weird so they reported him and he would be fired.

This went on at a few jobs like this. He worked in egg manufacturing where he had the dirtiest job of all. He had to clean up at the end of the day the mess of cracked and spilled eggs from the machines and the floors.

I always felt bad for him. He worked very hard but because he was mentally challenged his pay was much less, right at the minimum wage. I thought it was unfair but the companies always said the same thing. We can’t get the same production out of him as we can the others.

Some of the other jobs he had he just plain talked to much. He has always been a social butterfly and will speak to anyone who looks his way. He is still like this today if he is having a good day.

I think Mom got tired of all the jobs so she talked to our Aunt and Uncle. They owned a meat market. Meat was brought in and butchered and packaged up. Once again, in my opinion, Al got the crap job.

I won’t say it killed him but gosh darn, it was a  hard job they gave him. He was responsible for taking those half beefs off the racks in the coolers and bringing them out for butchering.  Do you have any idea how much one of those weigh? My Dad told me once that one half weighed 1000 pounds. That is a lot of weight for one person. Many times I watched him do this.

For high season work when deer were bring processed I would work there helping to wrap the finished product. My job was much easier than Al’s and I made more money than he did. I could go on and on about how it isn’t fair to under pay a mentally challenged or disabled adult, but I won’t. It would take me another chapter.

One day the small family business closed and Al was out of a job. Mom got Al involved with a company that helped to hire and house disabled adults. The first thing the company did, and I will call them C.C. for short was to do a month-long load of paperwork.

After this was completed they moved him into an apartment living situation. It was run through C.C. and Al was given the title of Client from then on out. He lived in his hometown with three other gentleman.

They found him a job a half an hour a way. It was a veal farm. I am not sure what he actually did, but I imagine anything that he was asked to in the barns. He got very homesick.

He was too far a way from home. He missed his own bedroom but Mom urged him to keep trying it. She was sure he would adjust and learn to love the freedom he was allowed. Al never learned to cook. He is deathly afraid of fire and so never wanted to learn to use the stove.

I believe the way it was set up is that each of the four guys had special knowledge of one thing or another. When you put this all together, you had a house that was clean and the clients were fed.

One time Mom paid a visit to Al and she went into shock when she was let in by one of the guys. There was Al and a female client from another C.C.  apartment sitting on the couch together. They were holding hands and watching a pornographic movie on the VCR machine.

Mom didn’t believe in this at all. Even at home when I lived there I saw Mom one time in her slip. Walking around half-dressed was not allowed nor proper in our home. Cussing was not allowed either. Mom was a God-fearing woman and very strict in this area with us kids. I remember one time Mom was so mad at Dad that she said shit.

I thought I would die laughing when I heard her. What a naughty word that was. Mom’s excuse was, he just makes me so darn mad. I shouldn’t have said it and make sure you don’t say it either.

At this age, I had definitely already said it before but I wasn’t going to tell her. Well, she told Al to get up and get in the car. She took what she could take on that trip and took him home. She went back and got the rest of his things and then when she got home she made the phone call.

I saw my son in a position that may lead to sexual encounters and he was watching that sex stuff on his VCR. I’m sorry, he can’t live there anymore. You don’t watch him good enough. I have him home now. I will call tomorrow and make an appointment to see what other options we have.

When We Wish Upon a Star

Twinkling Stars Timelapse

When we wish upon a star

We’re not really

Wondering who we are

We are thinking

Far from this

We are thinking

About that kiss

The one that was

Placed upon our lips

The magical night

Brought with so much bliss

Terry Shepherd




The Meeting With the Top Dog

candle-animated.gifYesterday I called the facility to set up a meeting this morning with the Administrator. He tried to find out what it was about but I told him I would tell him when I arrived. This morning I said a small prayer to act like a responsible adult and not cry or act frustrated in front of this man.

I walked in calm and breathing normally. We shook hands. He smiled and I returned it. It is not hard to look at a young man with beautiful eyes and nice hair. LOL I told him everything. I spoke to him about Al sitting in the bathroom in his wheelchair while he had to figure out how to go pee when he didn’t need to.

I told him about the stolen candy. I mentioned the cookies that the nurse had made such a big deal about. I told him about my unexpected visits and how the two staff members jumped when they saw me there. I added that I want a staff to be near by when he is dressing in case of toppling over.

I spoke to him about the nurse who discussed Al’s weight loss in front of him. I explained how he went back to his room then telling another aide he was going to die because PD was taking his weight a way.

I tried to get my point across for the umpteenth time that no one should discuss Al’s health in front of him unless it is good news, as he builds a case around it for days.

I also reminded him that I had been talking with the nurses and charge nurse and I could get no where. Now I was at the top of the rank expecting help.

He told me to go out and replace the candy and bring him the receipt. He also said with a big smile that he would look into all of this. One thing I did appreciate was he was taking notes about the entire conversation.

So now I sit back and wait to see what happens……All in all I do pat myself on the back because I acted more like a mature caring adult then a hurt sister. But I did get the point across that Al is my brother and I will stop at nothing to ensure he is at much peace as possible through his journey of Parkinson’s.