Daily Prompt; West End Girls

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Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SOCIETY.

Swimming pools and movie stars, oh my. Am I on the Beverly Hillbilly Show?beverly hillbillies

No, I don’t think so. Maybe I am an industrial gal, or the working class. I could dream about being the star in An Officer and a Gentleman.officer and a gentleman No, I am not that person either.

I grew up in a middle class family. A city of 40,000 people. Mainly whites, a couple of colored families.

My father believed that money made the world go round. My mother believed in having money but not bragging about it.

Dad wanted what others had. Mom helped others without their knowing. Dad fought going to church for years. Mom believed in never missing a service.

Where does that place me? A girl brought up realizing the only way that was right, was my parents beliefs. I was not allowed to have my own thoughts until I moved out of the home.

Today, there are many people who live in our area. There are African-American, whites, some Christians, non-Christians too. I live in a city that is connected to a smaller town who’s belief is that God is the main thought in everyone’s mind.

I sit back now at my age and realize I have no living  parents anymore. I can and am able to make my own decisions. A lot of my parents beliefs have been drilled in me and yet somehow I have been able to keep their beliefs and also make adjustments for my own life.

I feel like I am in the middle. I don’t sit on either side of the fence. I don’t care what color of hair or skin you have. You are just as good as me, and I am as likable as you. I live my life and you live yours.

I have my dreams and you have yours. No matter what seed we came from in the beginning,we are the same, we want good things out of life and yet, things split and change. We have the north and west sides of town, just as you have the south and east sides.

It seems color of skin matters to some. More types of neighborhoods live in similar locations. Money rules in choosing  housing areas. There are the finest, the poorest. Sometimes I can see the point of being cautious of where I live. I don’t really want to live in drug infested areas, and I don’t want to see prostitutes standing on my street corner.prostitute

But all in all, I think we are a world that should be able to live and work among each other. We are grown-ups, not children. We have been hurt as often as we have hurt others. We all deserve to be loved and have equal rights to what our world has to offer.

For me, what is important is that I feel good about me. What can I offer to you if I have nothing but disgust for myself. I can live with you as my neighbor. I will walk out my front door and wave and say hello if I see you outdoors.

I am me, nothing more, nothing less. Maybe I am different, because I am accepting. Maybe I am one of those Eastern girls, western girls. Take me as I am, and in return I will be your loyal friend.

Life is Not Cut and Dried

Today, there were issues with Al’s catheter. I asked the nurse to come out and help me, which she did. After taking his vitals the only change she saw in him is his pulse, or heart beat.

For Al, he has had a heart attack along with Angina. He also has tremors on the inside of his chest wall lining. His heart is probably the weakest of all his organs.

Al doesn’t give the regular cues that doctors and nurses look for in a dying patient. MSA constantly keeps people confused and feeling like they are water skiing or big waves. Yesterday, the nurse said Al was worse. Today she said it could be hours, days or maybe weeks.

All the nurses believe Al is worse. Even I believe he is declining by the day. He has lost so much weight I can see very clearly his hip bones, shoulder bones, his jaw lines. Just about any bone visible to his eye.

But when the nurses come and they check his vitals, they go mainly on what those are for that day. Instead of saying he is an hour to hour, she now said days. I let out a sigh, then instantly felt guilt.

I don’t want my brother to go at all, if, he was in a healthy state. But the daily task of taking care of a person who may follow with his eyes, your body walk through his room or a once in a while whisper is very tiring.

You can pick up Al’s arms and they are like a bowl of jello. His legs are heavier than all get out because they are totally limp. When the body becomes limp it actually feels heavier than ever.

Turning him from side to side is a huge issue and takes a great deal of strength.  He takes liquids through a syringe and is down to about a half a syringe per drink. Food and drink are held at bay and not given unless Al request it. The reason being everything that goes into  his mouth goes directly to his lungs. Aspiration is the worst way to die, and believe me not feeding him as usual makes me feel like a monster. Keeping food and water from him makes me feel terrible.

But I have seen someone aspirate to death and it is an ugly sight to see and for this reason alone, I will obey the nurse for Al’s sake.

When the nurse said maybe days, maybe hours, I just fell apart. I suddenly heard myself telling my girlfriend to go home. Oh I don’t really want her to go home, but I realize she has a husband, dog and grandchildren, plus the comfort of her own bed at night. She has her crafts and friends.

How could I keep her constantly here when there is no real ending in sight. She fought it emotionally for a while but I convinced her to take the break from here. I love her enough to send her home so she can take that break a way from the hell here in this house.

Al’s doctors believe 100% that Al’s heart will just quit. If I have some sort of notice I will make a phone call to my friend, and she will return without hesitation. This is the gift of friendship. I know that nightly she will call. I know she will always be here. We have an understanding of each other. Over 30 years of friendship has built a rock of foundation between the two of us.

So the house is quiet today since she left. The caregiver didn’t show up today so it is Al and me. I am still taking my medication. I am cleaning here at home. I have a window open for the first time to air out the house since it is almost 40 degrees outside. I have enjoyed watching the icicles fall from other homes, and seeing the snow melt from house roofs. It is a sure hint that this winter too shall  pass and once again flowers will pop and bloom and green grass shall show itself once again.

New life will once again breathe and hope will be strengthened in our hearts. For today, I am strong. Today, I have hope for a new life for Al and myself. Tonight or tomorrow may bring a different story as MSA shows it ugly self in so many ways.

Life is not cut and dried. I have learned this through my own experiences and watching this illness take over Al, but for now, I am calm.

flower blooming