This past Friday was my birthday. I won’t admit to my age because my mind isn’t in alignment with the numbers yet. My daughter-in-law took me to lunch. We went to Pizza Hut. I always have the buffet and try to only have one slice of pizza along with my heaping salad. My daughter came from out of state for my birthday, and my other son had a cook-out and bonfire planned for me.
Going back in time, three years in fact, my brother had a beautiful Peace Lily delivered to his funeral. I have nurtured it for these three years and enjoyed its company too. Where I lived the past year, was a strain on this special plant. The water and lack of natural light took their toll and at the end of the lease; I had to say goodbye to the plant with a couple of falling tears.
I prayed about this. I know, it sounds silly to pray about a plant; but this plant was a surreal connection to my brother. I could see it, not just vision it. I ask God to please replace the plant and I would dedicate it silently to my brother.
For my birthday, only a month after I had to dissolve Al’s plant, I received the same type of plant from my one son and family. It is beautiful and much, much bigger. It came with one big, white lily opened.
Also on my birthday, along with the many well-wishes on Facebook and from my children, I was leaving my door to go to the elevator, and there in the dead center of the long hallway was something that I knew without a doubt, was a birthday wish from my brother. It was three, heads-up, pennies. You know how I know it was from him? Because each penny was aligned perfect in length and width. It was exactly how he lined up his Hot Wheel cars when he was a child. There was no way, I could miss that as I walked. I picked them up and placed them in a special drawer.
This year, I had an extra special blessing and I thank my children and God for my gifts.
Hello Dear Brother
I ride your scooter, you probably know
I use the walker, like you did bro.
I have a cane as you did too
Sometimes dear brother, I see me in you
You had an illness called MSA
Maybe I have it, some docs say
I have your Parkinson’s, no doubt of that
I tend to fall just like your past
People say this can’t be passed on to me
But my symptoms are very hard to flee
If you hadn’t gone to heaven so soon
We could share these scenes without the doom
I’m going to see your neurologist
The one who gave the song of bliss
He’ll ask me questions that he asked you
I’ll remember your answers that rang so true
I sometimes feel better because I know
You’re walking with me, every step I go
I feel so close to you these days
Because I resemble your MSA ways.
I love you brother, stay near me now
Because it is possible I’ll have to take that vow
To keep strong, and hold onto my faith
Just the way I made you when you paved your way
I’ll ask our God to guide me through
Just like the way I prayed for you.
And if the day comes I have to leave
Keep your promise and save a seat for me.
If you have lost a loved one; than you will be able to relate to this post. It is Saturday, and the plans I had made had been cancelled; so I decided to play on the computer. One thing led to another and soon I was looking through old photos I had saved.
These included images I had used here at WordPress, personal photos and documents from several years ago. I started looking at everything, and was amazed at how many sad quotes and sad things I saw on my computer.
It made me sad just looking at these. Al has been gone over two years. I still miss him bad, but I don’t need the images of angels, and death quotes etc. Without thinking further, I cleaned my photos. It took me a couple hours, but after I was finished, I had cleaned my mind of sad things.
I am ready to move on and didn’t even realize it. There are still songs, and coca-cola items and pictures of Al and my parents that can bring me to tears, but I am so much further along in my healing process that a year ago. Christmas is the hardest time for me, so all I have to do now is lean on my family and friends, and I, too, shall get through this holiday.
The painting below, is my latest painting I did last evening.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Northern Indiana.
It is the time of year those lost to us and gone to heaven; are thought more of than any other time. I know this is true for me.
This year I am thankful for my children and grandchildren. They come together and support me in ways that no other person can. It is wonderful to feel loved and know they want you near.
I will miss my brother and parents too. A special prayer to them will be said by me. I have lost many family members. All of my grandparents are gone. I have one aunt left. As the snow blankets our land, I feel my heart somehow reaches their souls and they know I am thinking of them.
It is a time to put bitterness, jealousies, anger aside and come together and remember the reason for this very important time of year. I wish there were perfect families; but there aren’t. Many times the hurt comes from those close to you.
We can carry feelings for eternity; if we choose to do this. This year, I pray that when my own family comes together, there is peace and harmony.
I don’t know about you; but the best gift I can receive is smiles on each family member’s face. A hug upon arrival, and the words, “I love you”, when departing.
I will treasure every moment spent with my family this year. I won’t be traveling, or making reservations for anywhere. I just want to be with my children and grandchildren, sitting by the fireplace; making new memories.
My brother has been gone for over two years. In fact, it will be three years next March. Still seems like yesterday, at times. I have shared plants and flowers that were at his funeral. I now have one.
This Lily has really fought hard to die this entire year. After giving it a new place to sit and the perfect soil conditions, I sometimes think it is trying to tell me, I am tired, I want to die. Just remember what joy I have given you thus far.
Well it is for that reason alone, I fight back. Once again, I will win, even if for a short season. You see, I am like so many others who have lost loved ones. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming and the dreadful thoughts of my brother not being here weigh heavy on my heart.
So I believe with all my heart, Alvin lets me know he is happy and thinking about me too. I receive his gift of one bloom on his plant. It is the same time each year. Thank-you brother. I love you too.
Living without you
The hardest task of all
Days turn into weeks, then months
And still I stand, I fall.
Memories of you in my mind
Thoughts of you every day
I just wish I could turn back the time
When we would see the day and play.
Things that mattered once
Don’t seem to count to me
Sometimes I just see blanks
On a paper I write; he and she.
What I wouldn’t give for this moment
To see your face once more
Where pain is separated from us
Where there is no heaven’s doors.
It’s almost here; the date
You left this life for good
I am taking step by step
But life’s not as it should.
I hear your cries of pain
Your desperate plea to be free
I carry this photo in my heart
As close as close can be.
I know that you are healed
From M.S.A. the beast
I know you are with God
Full of smiles and gentle peace.
I have to remind myself
That where that light had shone
Could once again shine for me
As I will never walk alone.
March is Multiple System Atrophy Awareness month. Many of you already know my brother, Al, struggled on a daily basis with M.S.A. for seven long years. It was the most wicked and horrible disease I had ever seen in my 25 years of working in nursing.
I wanted to post this to remind each of you to appreciate those in your life. You just never know when something dramatic like a terminal illness will come knocking at your or their door.
If you have been thinking about making an important donation to a group, please consider M.S.A. Do it in the name of my brother, Al. He will be gone 2 years the 24th of this month. I will even provide you the link. If you choose to do this, I will be thanking you forever. Let me know, so I can give you a big hug.