To Heal Thy Self


It is wrong to let the soul
Count on others to heal
For no one can fix another
It is ours to do.

Leaning on a trunk
Filled with knots
Holes were burrowed
But don’t belong to us.

It is with our own vine
Wrapped with our genes
Colored leaves born of God
Who we need to rely on.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

Painting by,

Terry Shepherd

 

new-painting

Tribute to My Mother’s


I am one of those kids who had two moms. My first mom and my dad were divorced before I was five. I tried for years to locate her because I knew deep down inside, she must have always loved me.

I did locate her when I was in my thirties. I flew out to her home. In fact, I flew out to Arizona a few times, even moved there for a short time. It didn’t work. She was a mess? She was hung up on the past and couldn’t see me as an adult. She was probably the worst mom I ever had. She passed away a few years back. God rest her soul.

My second mom married my dad when I was five. I don’t have excellent memories of her as a child. Partly due to my jealousy of a new baby, half-sister. I know I gave my mom grief, but she tolerated me.

Growing into a teen wasn’t easy for either of us. I bucked and she stood her ground. My jealousy continued for years as I saw the difference in showings of affection. There were hurtful conversations and separations at times, but she still stayed my mom.

When I was grown and had children, we became closer, but not in a bonding type. She loved my kids and I know she loved me the best she knew how. Times were better, but I could have worked harder at being a better daughter.

There came a time when I began losing family to heaven, and I also came to know God better. About two years before her passing, I committed to getting to know her as a woman and mom.

I am glad I did. She did a ton of awesome things in our community. She helped others without reward. She was a woman of God and believed strongly in her faith. She tolerated a less than perfect home life, shed some personal tears, but kept marching forward.

One day soon after her retirement she had an incident that landed her in the hospital in a coma. I comforted my father while we watched her leave us. I  held her hand and whispered to her how sorry I was for all I had done and I told her how much I loved her.

She passed away within a week, but with all my training in the medical field, I believe with all my heart, she heard every word I said. I have no regrets to the commitment I made towards patching our relationship. I understand better today how easy it was to sway towards a biological child over a step child.

I had the best step-mom ever. Today, although she is in heaven, I dedicate this post to her; Donnis A. Miller.

LOVE YOU MOM

Love you , Mom

We can’t go back

Nor turn the clock

We can’t speak over

We can’t erase the tears.

We can be cocky

We can be smart-assed

But in the end; we grow.

Thank goodness

Parents realize this

They forgive us

And continue to love.

We are not perfect

Neither are parents

We both do the best that we can.

For my parents, I am grateful.

Love you mom,

Terry Shepherd

 

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Is There Someone I Can Call For You?


The firefighters raced in. Smoke engulfing anything that breathed. Looking around they saw no life. Checking the bathroom, they looked behind the worn shower curtain; nothing.

Climbing the stairs, stopping in mid-air, as they watched three stairs collapse in front of them, they took giant, baby steps, and landed on solid ground. Splitting in different directions, they sought each room.

There he was, the little boy, hiding under his bed. Flames dancing all around him as if inviting him to a special party, where he was to be the main event. The firefighter pushed fervently the bed, crashing it into the wall, causing the little one to cry.

He bent down quick and scooped the tot in both arms. Turning around he raced out of the door, yelling, ” I found him, I found him. All head outside now!” The piercing sounds of blazes licking at their heels, caused them to run faster. Hearing the splitting of wood from above, they raced through the front door.

Crowds screaming and clapping as the firefighter transferred the boy into the arms of the EMT’s. The mother and father came and were standing at the rear of the ambulance, throwing questions faster than playing darts.

“Is he okay? Is my baby alright? I should have insisted he bring his toys downstairs to play with. I gave in because I didn’t want to take apart his train track. I will never forgive myself for being so lazy.”

“It’s going to be alright. He seems to have suffered some smoke inhalation, but only minor burns. Don’t put yourself down mam. You were only doing what you thought was right.” The mother buried her head in her hands crying. All she could think of was what she had done wrong.

The EMS team worked on the tot, cleaning him up. Mom could hear one of them speaking over a speaker in his hand. “ETA, five minutes.” The police guided the parents to their patrol car and opening the back door, helped each of them in.

Silence guided them to the nearest hospital, Angel’s Mercy South Side. The EMS was ahead of them, but close enough the parents zoomed in on the flashing bubble, and they waited anxiously for the tot to be transferred inside the doors. The police pulled up next and not waiting for their doors to be opened, they raced inside the electronic, double doors.

They started running to catch up with their son, but the receptionist stopped them, stating they needed to fill out  paperwork and show their insurance forms. The mother turned to her and started laughing out loud. The husband tried to quiet her, but the wife refused.

“My child has been burnt. Do you think you could think of something besides money for a change? You’ll get your damn money, but my son comes first. Excuse us lady, we are going to see our son.”

The guards were motioned from behind the desk and pulling their pants up tighter and touching their side gun, they stiffly walked up to the parents. ” I can understand how you feel, but the staff is looking after the child at this moment. They will call you back as soon as  everything is under control. You must fill out the paper work as the receptionist has so kindly asked. We need this completed before we can proceed.”

He once again touched his gun and tipping his hat forward, he gestured the two to turn around and do as was requested. The mother was cussing under her breath. The father patting her shoulder, whispering, “It’s going to be alright. Let’s just do what they asked so we can go see Ryan.”

What seemed like hours, they tediously filled out each line and signed on the dated lines. Yes, they understood the HIPAA law. Yes, they had insurance and let the lady make copies of that and their driver’s licences. Yes, they had signed permission papers, giving the hospital rights to treat their son. They had placed their preferences of religion.

The receptionist, checking every detail, thanked them and told them to take a seat in the lobby and as soon as they were able to see their son, their names would be announced.”Why don’t you get a cup of coffee for the two of you,” she smiled saying. The husband  rocked his wife’s head on his shoulder and neither stood up.

It was an hour passing and a gentleman in a white coat, with a navy blue shirt and a bright red tie came out of the double doors. He walked to the receptionist and she pointed in their direction. The doctor neared them and asked them to verify their name.

“Please come with me.” He placed his arm around her shoulder guiding them through the double doors, into a green, cold hallway. He led them to the fourth door where he opened it for them to enter first. “Coffee?” Both shook their heads stating no.

The doctor sat behind his mahogany desk in his luxurious, leather chair. Clearing his throat and hesitating momentarily he began.” Do you have family near? Is their someone I can call to be here with you?”

“Why, why are you asking us these questions? Where is our son? What about  our son? Is he alright?” The doctor repeated himself with his prior questions. Both parents stood up. “What’s going on? We want answers now.”

“I am sorry I have to tell you this Mr. and Mrs. Miller. The staff did all they could. Their was just too much smoke for that little body. We couldn’t save him. Now is there someone I can call for you?”

“You bastard, you son-of-a bitch” You wouldn’t let us see our baby first. You demanded and the police almost held us captive wanting us to sign papers. We could have been holding our baby instead. He needed to know he wasn’t alone. I will sue this hospital, you hear me? I will sue you!”

The doctor stood up and walked around the desk. Placing his arm once again around her shoulder, he said in a softer voice.” I am sorry mam. I wish things could be different, but we have to follow the hospital’s regulations. We could be held liable if we didn’t. I understand how you feel. Now, is there someone I can call for you?”

(This story, I wrote, is fiction. Although I want it to give you something to think about. With all of the new laws and regulations, when does money  become more important than anything else?)

 

doctors

 

Humpty Dumpty Can be Healed


She sat alone
Her dog, his bone.
She sat and cried
Asking why.
Feeling sorry for herself
Humpty Dumpty on shelf.
Why me, why me
Can’t you see?
Broken in two
Boo hoo, boo hoo.
A party she had
Pity so sad.
Break your crown
Now get down.
Off that shelf
You’re full of wealth.
Friends and family too
Always saying, I love you.
Just because you can’t stand
Or lend a hand, you’re still so grand.
They’d miss you, you realize
They’d look at the skies.
Tears in their eyes
For saying goodbye.
Now give all you can
We’ll take the love you send.
Your life’s not over
Just lean on our shoulder.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

 

tears

Changes


Changes
 
Looking out big bay windows
Watching moments pass
Smile at friendly creatures
Looking through the grass.
 
I look back at my history
Seeing the people I cared for
Most have died and gone to heaven
But in my memories for ever more.
 
In these walls, I see lonely faces
No place to go; no calls
It’s sad because my spirit
Wants to jump right ore’ these walls.
 
TV and music, plus reading
Is what keeps the silence gone
Very few visitors come a calling
And brighten us with their song.
 
Whether we’re sick, disabled or old
There is one area we do agree
We accept where we are headed
But we miss what we used to see.
 
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
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Soaking in my News


Last year I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I have continued to progress with swallowing and choking issues. I tend to fall or am constantly working on not falling. The next thing that happened is what sent me to my brother’s neurologist. I was getting the worst headaches I have ever had, and I never was a headache gal.

I was a little afraid I had MSA/P like my brother, so this is why I decided to go to my brother’s doctor instead of my regular neuro. I needed a second opinion.

He ran me through so many tests and I guess my body didn’t like it. I had tremors everywhere possible. My toes curled under and froze. My legs became stiff. I was a mess, but I think that is what he wanted to see from the tests he did. Along with blood work and brain scans, I was again diagnosed with something close to Parkinson’s, but not actually.

It is called in simple words, Ataxia Parkinsonism.

http://www.movementdisorders.org/MDS/About/Movement-Disorder-Overviews/Ataxia.htm

While I am not thrilled with this, I hope to be able to do some living for quite a while yet. From what the doctor said, I will most likely end up in a wheelchair. In a wheelchair I won’t fall though, right?

I have taken a couple of days to let this soak in. Today, I decided to give it up and take some photos through the front windows. Here are the photos I took.

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Be Grateful, Life Could be Worse


No matter how hard I am trying to stay positive, today is not one of the good days. It isn’t my  health; but yet my health plays a giant role. I am not unique; there are many in my situation. I can’t beat it; neither can anyone else, unless they know something I don’t.

By now, I bet your curiosity is up. Well, I will tell you. If you are disabled or living on the government’s assistance, you can smile and think,∴yes, I know what she is talking about now.  Yep, I got it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am thankful for the roof over my  head. Heat when I need it and for being alive and safe, but I almost wish I lived with a roommate where help was more available. When you lean only on yourself, there aren’t many doors open. My problem is I pay the least possible in what I find I really would not like to live without, and this mainly includes; a way to reach the outside world or EMS, or talk to my kids, the cheapest of ways to be able to use the internet and the cheapest and lowest way of having sound within these walls.

Of course, there is auto insurance and other bills that deem important. Providing food is a task each month. I drive mainly for visits to the doctor, or visiting family. I guess it doesn’t really matter does it. The point is, everything seems off balance.

Not enough to live on and you know why? Because I made the choice to stay  home and raise my children instead of working, therefore not giving me enough credits to get a nice monthly check. Things will never change. When I reach 65 I won’t get anymore in my check.

This is when I hate Parkinson’s with a passion. It stops me dead in my tracks. I can’t get work. If I get work, I lose my medical insurance I carry through the government, or my rent raises so what’s the point of working? You can’t win over the system. I can’t work 40 hours, I can barely stand and walk for  more than a little at a time. Part/time work threatens a loss of help, which could cost me more dollars in the long run, then of course there is the issue of my balance.

So I would not have insurance offered by the company and would be forced to purchase my own. Have any idea what insurance purchased privately cost for a diabetic patient? I do, way too much.

I am so down in the dumps right now, because I know this is the way it will be until I die. If you have a job; be thankful. If you are dead tired, sleep. If you don’t have much money after paying bills’ thank God they are paid, next month is going to be different. If you don’t have to worry because the cupboards are getting bare, it will be alright, you have another paycheck coming in soon.

I guess what I am saying is; be grateful, life could be worse.

Each Day We Must be Positive


I wish every day was like today. I had so much energy; I felt like my old self. I rearranged my living room, watered my plants, cleaned the hamster cage and swept. I admit, tonight I have some sore muscles, but I do know what it is from; today.

What is the magic ingredient I added today to be so active? If I only knew, I could cure everyone. I have no idea. I will have to just be thankful for a good day.

Tomorrow after six long months, I go to the dentist for my final fitting of my false teeth on the bottoms. I spent last year doing the same with the uppers. I will be glad it will be finally over.

For three hours tomorrow I will have no bottom teeth, while the dentist makes that final fitting with a much lighter-fitting plate. I should like that. To be quite honest, I hate both of them. The set still feels like I have something too big in my mouth, but my original teeth were bad. Every time I ate, I had to use floss to pick out every fiber of food or I would be in so much pain.

The gums had been receding for some time and the roots were starting to show. I am thankful for no pain any longer. The most embarrassing thing I endure from these babies, is biting into a sandwich. The  uppers begin to slip and I have to form my muscles around them and hold them in place. ( I can’t stand the gummy stuff to hold dentures in, I gag) Pain in my rear, but better than eating liquids the rest of my life.

Friday, I go to my brother’s neurologist and hopefully, I will be told I do not have MSA; just Parkinson’s. The neuro is very smart about MSA and would you believe he examined my brother once and diagnosed him with MSA?

Multiple System Atrophy is a rare disease that is neurological. It breaks all ties during the illness of nerves going from the brain to action. Eventually you end up with a frozen shell, who is very much alive inside. There is no cure. The life span is an average of seven years.

I teach Hospice groups about MSA and I am an advocate for the disease. On my Facebook page, I am very active with caregivers, patients and families. I so wish I could do more, but at this point I don’t know what. I would give my left arm to be able to afford to go to one of the National meetings MSA holds within the U.S., but it takes money to get there and money to spend the night.  My biggest hope ever is to meet a woman is has this disease, but carries herself high and has been a close friend of mine ever since my brother began his journey with MSA. Her name is Bonnie. I want to meet her so bad. She is from Canada, but does make trips here to the U.S.A. Perhaps someday, my dream will become a reality.

My Gift From God

When we wish upon that star

And we think with all our might

We hope that God or angels

Grant our wish tonight.

 

There is so much to achieve

For me upon this earth

I believe with all my heart

This is my gift since birth.

 

I am poor as poor can be

But helping others dream

Makes me the richest of all man-kind

I actually burst from inner seams.

 

A kind word I can lend

A question answered too

Helps others have less fear

It’s what I’m here to do.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

“Can’t Wait til They Grow up and Move Out”


Life sure throws us some massive curve balls in life doesn’t it? We manage to work through them, or disown them and life continues. When times arrive that we can’t fix things, it is so upsetting.

When our children get into messes and we can’t fix them, it is hard to stand by and watch. We can offer advice, if asked. We can pray about the situation. We may shed tears, feel our hearts breaking,  help out in other ways; but we pretty much have to wait it out, knowing that this situation too, shall  pass.

As moms and dads, no one ever told us that even when the baby grows into an adult, we still want to be involved like we did when the kids were young.  I have  heard so many young parents say,” I can’t wait til they grow up and move out.” I don’t know if that’s so true really.

When the kids move out, we no longer have the right to keep tabs on them. We have to pray and hope that what we taught them as babes, sticks with them as adults. We can’t enable that curfew anymore. We can’t help persuade them of friend choices, or mate choices. We can’t tell them how to raise their own young, or that their outfit is too short, too revealing or anything.

These are the days to keep our mouths shut, unless invited for opinion hour. We must cling to the fact that we did the best we could as parents and carry hope for them now that they are grown.

Who said, can’t wait til they grow up, probably regrets it today.