The Survivor

My brother  has been gone  for almost two years next March. My father  and  mother are gone. My half-sister and I  have been apart  from each other since dad died.

I’m  still here. I usually  feel a sense of displacement. Sometimes  I  wish I didn’t  have to live through these empty days . Some days I  can’t  seem to feel grounded. I’m  tired.

I have never felt needed  like I did when I  was  caring for my father  and  brother . It was a special  kind of being needed .  It wasn’t  like when your  kids need you  or your spouse  wants extra attention .

It was different ; hard to explain  I guess. I’m  labeled through my medical  records as having  depression .  I  always  thought  depression  centered around sleeping ,  medications ,  maybe  a little zombie like. I  can pull smiles off. I  can be with  my friends.

Put me in a room by myself, and thoughts of the family  that once was, comes rushing back like flooding  waters . I  just can’t  seem to snap out  of this for good. I  guess the doctor  was right. I have mild depression .

I want to work, but am too unsteady. I  usually  feel in the way or a bother, or the old person. I  really don’t  like feeling  this way. If things get too rough ,  I  will  call my friend and let her walk me out of my sadness.

That’s  the name, sadness. I  am  so sad without  my family. I  have not been  able to fill the void. My grandkids come closest to being a natural  medicine  for me. I  listen to them  talk and giggle and I   can feel my smiles come once again .

Alvin is at peace now. He has no more pain. He is free from the clutches of MSA. My dad is free from his bone cancer and Leukemia. I had no idea my healing would take so long.

I want to go back to the  person I was, but I  don’t  know if or when that will ever happen. Right now I am looking  for small things that bring me peace. I smile when I  see the frost make the ground look snow covered .  I  look at my silver Christmas  tree and get lost in the    memories  of when I  was  a  little  kid, and watched the colored wheel cast lights on  grandma’s  tree. I   think  about  what   it was like being a young mommie.

I  look at me now and ponder on what’s next .  For me, it was more than losing my brother  to an ugly disease .  It was an uninvited , forever  change in my life, which I  am  still trying  to heal from.



When I  look forward 
I instantly  go back
I bring to mind
All I have done 
All those  I hurt
All my mistakes
When I am faced
With a rock in my path
I stumble ; I almost fall
For my past
Comes running to me
It holds me prisoner 
It holds me in place
Forbids  me to be new
Still afraid  of myself 
The feelings  I  carry
Turn and churn
Never  escape  my mouth
I realize  I  hurt not you; but me
But here I remain, frozen.

Written  by , 
Terry  Shepherd 
December   2015