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

stream.”

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.
He

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.

Can

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.

I

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

http://youtu.be/XcZNmNScGT0

Tsali in spring

Tsali in spring

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

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

 

40 thoughts on “My Wish For Al, My Brother

  1. I can only imagine the road you have traveled…I, only knowing you such a short while…but, I see goodness…and when I see that in a person…that’s all I need to love that person…best to you and Al in this next step on the path…

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    • I always felt close to you from the time we met. You are kind and full of understanding. No one could ever replace what you have done for Al. Even today as ill as he is, he always remembers the coca cola hat

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  2. you are giving him the best gift possible. i can not imagine dying any where but in my own bed with all the memories and love with me. i admire what you are doing and in the end you will know that you did every thing you could to make his life good. we are here wishing you the strength you are going to need on this journey.

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    • Hi Miss, these are beautiful words you have left me. God knows my weakness better than I do, and yet he has gifted me the position of caring for my brother until the end. With God, you friends and prayer, I will do my best

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  3. You are the best sister in the world. Al loves you and he will give you smiles and will appreciate your help in everything. He can relax and surely he will. You are fantastic! Stay strong!

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  4. I’m slowly catching up, Terry, You are probably already immersed in Al’s daily care by now, but I’m not reading ahead. I want to get this in the order in which you wrote it. You are a blessing to me.

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      • I am, thank you. My work week is done, and today I’ll be getting the house ready for the arrival of my son’s girlfriend This will be our first meeting face to face, so I’m pretty excited 🙂

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  7. Terry! I feel heartbroken about Al, but I want you to know that Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear 😥

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    • I am trying to put a way as much in my memory box as possible. It is hard knowing what I know, but God can lead me through this as also you and my wonderful friends here at WP. God bless my friend

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  9. I caught this from the link on your newer post. Yes, yes, yes to what the Medicine Man said. We have a tradition that no one can die alone and the body cannot be left alone until it is buried–usually within 24 hours per the Orthodox Jews due to the fact that embalming is not allowed. There is solace in tradition, and it goes back thousand of years for us. No one should pass away in a nursing home–it’s just not natural to me. You did good, Terry.
    A xoxo

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    • nursing homes are needed, I believe, but too many are thrown in like wet towels in a dryer. I am relieved that I was able to bring Al home at this point in his life

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      • Yes, but we need major regulation and I’m so glad you brought Al home. I just saw on TV today that your state was in the very bottom as far as nursing home abuse, etc. I presumed it would be due to basic economics (poorer states) and sure enough, the southern states were mentioned–the only northern one was IN. 😦

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