My Wish For Al, My Brother

“I have a little boy…If he is not dead, tell him

the last words of his father were that he must never go beyond the

Father of Waters, but die in the land of his birth. It is sweet to die

in one’s native land and be buried by the margins of one’s native


Tsali, Cherokee Medicine Man awaiting execution, 1838.

These words are from a Cherokee Indian Medicine Man. As I was reading them I thought of my brother Al. Al did not want to go beyond the familiar waters that he had grown up and lived in.

became very ill with a terrible disease that moves rapidly through your

body. The spirit, the heart, the soul and the body become unfamiliar to

these new changes, and begin to die.

I love Indian stories and tales, I

always have. I read the weather by the Indians through the animals and

now I can still see the story in this quote Tsali stated back in 1838.

Al knows much more than I in some ways. He knows that he is beginning an adventure into unbeaten

paths. This proud Indian says he wanted to die in the land of his

birth. So does Al. For many months Al has claimed many times to not let

me allow him to die in the nursing home.

He never expressed

that the nursing facility was rotten or uncomfortable. But I could tell

from things he said that he wanted to die in his own territory. He has

told me he wants to be surrounded by his coca cola and his vintage cars.


this be what Tsali also has spoken of while he was waiting to die? He

wanted to be in his familiar territory? He also said that it was sweet to die in one’s native land and to be buried in the sweet streams.


believe Al will conquer many fears by coming home. He knows he is back in his familiar area. He can rest now and relax more. He knows I love him. He doesn’t usually express this, but I just know.

I have made arrangements for everyone to make the deliveries. His hospital bed, wheelchair and lift chair will

be arriving Thursday afternoon. I had planned for two days to go

grocery shopping but ran out of time. I have no more time, so will be doing it tomorrow.

I have some inner peace because I know that I could make one of his wishes come true; to come home. My goal is to get one smile  per day and do whatever I can to help  him eat and feel loved. To remain clean and not smell of urine as I so often do now. I promise to change his sheets or bed covers if he soils them immediately instead of hours later.

I promise to be here for him and the biggest accomplishment I hope to achieve is that he knows that whatever his feelings are, sad, depressed,

or happy I will listen to his words. I want him to know that I love him

no matter how many messes he makes. I want him to know that when God

calls him he need not be afraid. I want him to know that it is alright

to go home to see Mom and Dad. I want him to know that I love him very

much and that I will miss him so much but will rejoice in his trip to

heaven along with him. I love you bud, you are the best brother ever a

sister could want.

Your sis, Terry

Tsali in spring

Tsali in spring

Medicine man, by Rinehart, F. A. (Frank A.)

Medicine man, by Rinehart, F. A. (Frank A.)