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.

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15 thoughts on “The Survivor

  1. Terry, I am sorry to hear of your struggle. My sister took care of our mother 24/7 and I think when one is in that place you just don’t snap back easily. As for myself I feel best when I can do something for someone else. I am sending 12 Christmas cards off to ladies that are incarcerated. I have done this several times over the years. It’s through a Christian ministry. I have also been a penpal to some. It was such a blessing..A new group for ladies is getting established. we met for our second time today. We have lunch and then do a craft. We decoupaged a glass jar. It will hold our prayer petitions that we write out. You will be the first to have your need placed in my jar. It is just symbolizes that we have put our petition into our Father’s hands..

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      • The longest I wrote to one woman was for four years. She and a few others would make beautiful cards and send handmade gifts. Some wrote poems. I will work on the cards today and I will enclose a Christmas bookmark for each.. Have a good day, Terry.. (Hugs) from rainy Oregon…

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  2. It takes a long time healing. Think how fortunate you are though being close to your grand children and being able to enjoy them, not many have that privilege. Enjoy them as much as you can. I am sure they are the best therapy!

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  3. I can’t believe it has been so long since Al went.

    You may not see the jagged edges smoothing, but they are. It may not seem that every day is getting easier, but it is. Although easier may not be the right word. I think every day you heal a little more.

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  4. Oh Terry, how much I understand these mixed emotions and how much I admire you for how you have coped! I’ve been a bit silent and/or intermittent on my blog lately and have decided to take a break until January. We still have each others’ email and FB details so can keep in touch. I just need to disengage from the internet as much as I can for awhile. I know you will understand and I wish you a very happy Christmas. Love you heaps – Julie xxx

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  5. You are a survivor my friend. I understand how hard change is too. Especially with the holiday “traditions” trying to invade our present. Like you I cherish the memories, although they are sometimes bittersweet. I pray that we are both gentle with ourselves this season and find quiet moments of peace. May the God of all comfort surround you in this new season of life.

    I hope you laugh! Rent a comedy, watch a comedian, do something silly – humor makes me happy 😝

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