Licking My Wounds

Al smilingAl and his cardancing pig









Well, I met Al at the bus and as I was pushing him up the ramp, I told him I had a big surprise for him. He didn’t say anything.

I got him inside and pushed him up to the waiting cars. He said,”Wow, are these for me?” I said yes and I know I was dancing like little pigs  and I was smiling from ear to ear.cat_-_keep_your_smile He looked at them but didn’t touch any. I talked to him about them but he said nothing. I asked him if I could take his picture holding one and he said yes. I placed one in his hand and snapped the two photos above.

That was it, it was over, all done with , dance gone. I guess I am in denial. I expected  the old Al. I want to pretend somewhere deep in my mind that he really isn’t that sick. He is just a little sick.

I thought I was adjusted, but I guess not. Al liked the cars, I am sure of it, but me, I crumbled inside because he wasn’t dancing that pig dance with me. There were no big grins or laughter, no spark in his eye. I asked him three times before I got that smile you see, and as soon as the snap was done, the smile left.

I pushed him to the new clock and he looked at it. He asked a couple of questions and then it was gone too.

I wanted to sit down and cry. I want my old Al back. I want to hear the chatter and the laughter again. I pushed him up to the table and he waited for his supper. I gave him Kiwi for the first time. He hesitated but he did eat it. I think he could take it or leave it. I had a pork chop and he is refusing meats unless they are mushy. He also doesn’t want me to puree them either. He says they look funny.

So he had a hot dog cut up with ketchup, mashed potatoes, cut-up tomatoes, and hominy. He ate the hominy, tomatoes and kiwi because he could use his fingers. He ate two bites of mashed potatoes but since he had to use silver ware, he gave up because he was too weak to use the utensils.

I was reading the Hospice book today on signs of someone in their last six months. I hated it so much that I recognized a few of Al in the symptoms. Al used to drink a lot, but anymore he drinks less than half of what I pour. His appetite is definitely down, which the book said thirst and appetite decline as the body does. It also said not to force them or to shame them if they don’t eat well.

After supper I asked him, “Do you want to go back over to the couch and play with your cars?”

“No, I want to brush my teeth and go to bed.”

Well that was that. Somehow I have got to get my mind in the right setting because I am sitting here licking my wounds expecting more but receiving less.

I guess I will look at the positive in this. He is here with me at home. He ate and drank some. He did the smile for the camera. He waved at me when he saw me from the bus when they were letting him down on the lift.




46 thoughts on “Licking My Wounds

  1. It’s difficult for reality to meet up with our expectations. I have to tell you, however, that the first thing that hit me with the photo is the smile on Al’s face. I think he was dancing inside.


    • I wish I wouldn’t have insisted three times to place that smile on, but I did. I wanted a picture of him smiling. I think it was more for me than him. I want it for later days to go back and look at. I think he did like them, I guess I expected more excitement, but I have to realize he does the best he can


    • it was a wake up call once again Alastair, for me to realize he is sicker than I wish he was. Although he smiled, I begged for this smile. I shouldn’t have done this I guess, but I wanted one more pic of his grin


    • I need to wake up don’t I? I am not seeing clear, and then when disappointment comes my way, I would understand the situation and not be disappointed


  2. Terry,

    My heart breaks for you. I just went through this with my mother in February, and it was unspeakably hard to go through. I won’t lie to you and tell you it gets easier, because it doesn’t.

    Instead, I pray that the God of all comfort will comfort you during this painful time. I pray that His strength will be made perfect in your weakness. I pray in Jesus’ name that He will give you some good memories of Al, while he is still with you, and I pray that you will take comfort in knowing that you have done all that you can for your brother, and in the fact that though he may not be able to express himself, Al knows that you love him, and that you have been and still are fighting for him.

    Terry, even though Al is so weak, and although he is unable to express himself, you have given him the desires of his heart, and I know he is so grateful for that. He wanted more than anything to be home with you, and you fought for him, and made it possible. Praise God for that. You have surrounded him with the things that he used to love, and though they no longer seem as important to him, because of his weakness, YOU are there with him, and that is so much more important to him than all of the model cars, or coke products. Just to see your loving face everyday, and to hear your voice, must give him great peace. To be able to sleep in his own room, in his own bed, with his beloved sister, Terry, who has always cared for him, and will continue to care for him until he passes on to the next life means more than you are aware of.

    Don’t despair because he doesn’t take interest in the things he used to care for, my friend. What is important is that he has you. Take comfort in that Terry. Take comfort in knowing that you have loved your brother, and fought for his best interest, and God has seen it and is well pleased with you. You just keep on showering Al with love, my friend, because that will help you and comfort you when he passes on.

    Also, you’ve indicated that Al loves the Lord and knows Jesus, so take comfort that when he passes, he will be in that place where there is no more pain and sorrow, and no more tears.

    Below is a song that I hope will bring you comfort, my friend, and please, if you need to talk, you can email me at, and I’ll respond, and send you my cell phone number if you want to call me or text me…

    With much love and many prayers,


    • Cheryl, my friend Cheryl, you have blessed me this morning. This song spoke to me so much. I am almost in tears as its words seemed to know exactly my own feelings. I have shared this on my Music That Calms The Soul WP page so others may share in the feelings that I did.
      Bless you my friend for always knowing my thoughts. Big hugs


  3. Do not ever loose sight of ALL you do for Al. Not just the gifts but all the care and love that you show him. There is no doubt in my mind he recognizes much of what you do for him, however in his condition it is getting much more difficult to show you his appreciation and thankfulness. One day at a time. Enjoy the moments you are given. Lord bless you.


    • You are right Rob. I needed to take a curve and turn my mind a way from the past and look to today. Today he said he wished he could do more for me. It touched my heart so much. I told him he was doing plenty to help and he smiled at me


  4. Dear Terry, you have sacrificed so much for most of your life to make Al happy. Yes, there is no doubt he loves you deeply and appreciates all you have done for him. Now I — we all — understand the pain of this one last sacrifice – letting his body and soul take him to the next phase in his journey. Know that all you have done is a blessing for him, for you, and for all who know you.


    • bless you my friend. I will always remember my brother as the one who fought, who tried to smile, who gave me joy and I love him so much I would do just about anything for him.


  5. That moment; when he saw the cars; when he expressed surprise and delight that the gifts were for him… Now that’s a “WOW moment !” Though brief, cherish that moment !
    That smile, even though you coaxed it, seemed so sincere; full of love and excitement. Since I’ve been praying daily for you and Al, that picture of him smiling looks so good and means the world to me! The photo is a testimony that God does answer prayers!
    Just because he may not express his love and excitement the way he used to doesn’t mean that the feelings arn’t there.
    Thank God for the moments!


    • You are absolutely right. I was in the wrong mind set. I expected what I used to see, not what is there today. He did like everything, he is just too tired to express the prior way. thanks for pointing this out. I am so glad I am taking photos. I will have them in every pose


  6. Great to see the photos of Al with his beloved cars. When I read about Al and his struggle now … am I so glad that mom’s last days went so quick and quietly. Nobody should have to struggle and fight into the the last moment … we should all go to bed and fall to sleep without pain.
    Terry, you are so fantastic – and I admire your strength … you have made a tough decision – full of love and tenderness. You know I’m thinking about you both. Tried the other evening to get contact with you over SKYPE!


    • I saw that you had called on Skype. I am so sorry I missed speaking to you. It is nice that you understand what I go through each day with Al and the reasons why. I could have left him in the nursing home, but why? He gets better care and more love at home. I will never regret this decision. I am so thankful you Mum didn’t have to suffer


  7. I am giving you big hugs, and I can imagine how you felt, first so excited and then….. have no expectations hten you will be surprised by things Al might do . Seeing him smile I guess is hte best reward you can get and cherish those!


  8. Thanks for this oh so touching blog. I wish you lots of strength and that you will be able to see and enjoy the little things in life: smiles, the new flower in the never-noticed corner somewhere, the chirping of birds outside, sunrise, the first breath of fresh air in the morning…. My son has schizophrenia and today is his first day at a new job, after long months in hospital, followed by an awful period of substance abuse…. A big hug from someone who knows how cruel life can be, but who has learned to see the other side as well.


    • Hello Heila, I try very hard to find the smallest of things to be thankful for and to enjoy through these days. Someone like me who is a caregiver can get sucked up so easily into the patient’s illness if I am not careful, and even more so if it is family. You left me a very nice comment and I appreciate it so much


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