My Holidays


Talk about Who am I. Wow, this is something I didn’t even have time to think about over the holidays. Busy, busy, busy. This was my schedule for days prior to Christmas.

As most of you know; I have Parkinson’s and Ataxia. This disease makes you so tired. So you can imagine how many times I visited my bed for naps on a daily pattern. It seems that now that Christmas is over; there is the clean-up of the house too. I switched my televisions from bedroom to living room. I have some things on one TV that I don’t have on the other, and when it comes to movie times, I would rather be laying down, not sitting on a couch.

I put all my Christmas items away including the tree. I kept up some of my lights and of course I still have three smaller trees that stay lit and up all year round. I moved the furniture and pulled the stomach muscles. Ouch, did that hurt for the next twenty-four hours. Each project I finished made me more tired; but I was determined to have a new look. I moved all my paintings and pictures to different rooms. I had a friend clean my carpets. I feel like I have a new apartment and it feels good; but whew, I am so tired. After this post; I am taking a nice, long nap.

I don’t volunteer tomorrow or Tuesday, so  hoping for more catching up on my sleep. I can’t tell you which is worse. The weeble-wobble I do at all times now or the extra need for sleep. I guess I am just thankful it isn’t worse and we know life can be much worse than we have it now.

I went to my son’s for Christmas. It was very nice. I just love watching my grandchildren opening their gifts. Hearing their excitement in their voices, the laughter and yes, even their running around the house. I went over the night before and watched the annual Christmas cookie baking. That was a real treat.

My daughter will be up sometime in January. I took the tree down so it won’t look like Christmas but hopefully our visit will be even better without the clutter.

Tonight, I am going to try out this new recipe I found. I posted it on my other site I have for recipes. It is a Sloppy Joe Casserole. Looks pretty easy and now-a-days; I like easy.

Here where I live, we had our annual Christmas party. It was nice. I don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve. I don’t drink so no need to go out and party. It’s also hard for me to stay awake so late and besides; I have seen that ball drop for so many years, it’s not special to me anymore.  Perhaps I will go down to the community room and see if anyone is down there. It would be good to share some chat and laughs.

What did you do over Christmas? Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve?

 

 

A couple of photos of my family Christmas.

 

Here are two of the paintings I did for two of my children.

The Familiar Place


Last evening it was quiet. I did some of the things I wanted to get working on and then I went downstairs. The poem I just wrote is about what I thought and saw.

 

THE FAMILIAR PLACE

The Christmas lights glowed

Reflected on her tears

I felt the storm

Of thundering memories.

 

We aren’t really that close

I didn’t know what to say

I looked around for others

Not a shadow of a face.

 

I felt the tug in my heart

Requesting me to stay

I pulled my walker close

Locked my brakes and sat down.

 

Words flowed easily

From my mouth

I explained I felt her feelings

As I was living mine.

 

We shared so easily

Memories of our families

The empty seats at dinner

The place we live in now.

 

We spent about an hour

Like friends for ever more

We ended with some laughter

We then both went our own ways.

 

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

 

christmas

Merry Freakin Christmas!!!!


Tis the Christmas season. Time to be stressed, underpaid, overworked and the biggest, pretend smile ever right? Nah, some really do enjoy that push and shove time of year. The time the gift you are holding and thinking to yourself, “Will they like this?”, and the lady behind you yanks it right out of your hand.

The time of year that you definitely have that grocery list of the most needed items and you find that the prices have doubled since last week. Makes you want to let the cart remain right there in the middle of the aisle and let people go around it if they want to shop. You are definitely leaving without the filled list and going to the neighborhood bar.

Remember that Christmas a few years back when you worked the hardest ever on that special candy recipe. You only had a few more degrees to raise the candy thermometer to when suddenly the front doorbell rang? You looked at the boiling candy. You thought how rude it would be to not answer the door, especially when every, stinking light was on in the house. You decide to answer it and gently and politely tell the person that you can’t chat; to come back at another time. You aren’t interested in any sales pitch.

You hurry to the door, brushing the hairs away from your face. You open it and to your surprise it is the members from your church that you have attended for over twenty years. They start singing Christmas carols. Oh my gosh! My candy! My friends. You put on that fake smile and you prop one leg on the other as if you have to pee real bad. When they are finished; you return to that black boiled, stuck on pan of candy.

Hey! Wait a darn, picking minute! It’s your life too, right? You can make decisions at this time of year also, right? Just do what I do. Don’t open the door. Turn the lights on low. Only cook after everyone is in bed. Turn your favorite Christmas music on. Grab a cup of hot chocolate. Prop your feet up. Breathe deep and smile. Hug the night.

Merry Christmas my friends!

 


Hey everyone; it’s Monday! Did you go back to work? Or are you like me and stay at home?

There are pros and cons to going to work. Number one for me is the con; no paycheck. I get paid once a month and I have to make that last all month long; no matter what is going on that month. Prime example, December, Christmas, gifts, baking. Where does that money come from that we need when we live on Disability?

 

We just make it work. We find other means to make life as normal as possible. I have almost all of my Christmas gifts made or purchased. I am getting easy recipes gathered so I can take some goodies to my family’s home. Of course, this is a way for me to also taste sample and put on a few pounds.

 

Tell me what you are doing today? What do you do to make Christmas gifts stretch for you?

 

 


Hello my friends. It has been a while since I have written to you and for this; I apologize. I started a volunteer job. I work two to three days per week and I feel really good about it. I am doing something to help someone else. The issue comes after I work. I’m exhausted. It isn’t that I work to hard, it is that my Ataxia can’t take it so I sleep a lot of the next day.

I have been making wreaths for Christmas. I donated one to the place where I work. I have sold some and others I have hanging in my home. The wreath below is the one I finished this evening.

 

wreath

I have been more into Christmas this year. I have put a tree up for the first time in five years. My brother will have been gone in March; five years. I feel like I can really enjoy the lights. I have a white tree with blue lights. It brings a peace within me.

I am working on getting simple yet good recipes around for Christmas baking. I don’t  have freezer space and will have to make so much of this the week of Christmas. I have to have it simple because Ataxia wears me out so quick.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I did. I spent it with one of my sons and his family and my nephew and his family were there also. We enjoyed the day and I was very thankful to have their home to share the day in.

Anything you want to tell me about? Something new to share? I’m listening.

 

 

My Christmas Tree


THIS CHRISTMAS

This is the first year
After four years
From when my brother passed
That I am feeling up for a Christmas blast.

I wondered if the feelings would ever return
Or were they permanently burned
But I feel joy bursting from my heart
i feel like I can really start being a part.

The tree is up, the lights are lit
I think of my brother and a tear did drip
I told him hello and how I miss him so much
I asked him what he thought of my Christmas touch.

I felt a peace fall over me
As I looked at my Christmas tree
I knew he was smiling from up above
I really could feel his Christmas love.

I know it’s early to put my tree up
Cuz there are those who say, hey what’s up!
But Ataxia can rule my day, really get in my way
And today I was good so I did what I should.

I decorated my tree, I thought of mom, dad and me
I remembered Christmases past and what this year could be
I told myself I’ve got a great family
And we will share among this year’s Christmas tree.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
Nov 11/18

 

christmas tree

The Thinking of an Ataxian Gal


Getting that time of year
When multi-tasking is in gear
But I’m getting past that stage
When my brain doesn’t want to engage.

Seems so overwhelming to me this time
Dancing thoughts are all in my mind
Writing mental lists for me to do
Isn’t working like it’s supposed to.

Thinking Thanksgiving recipes
Thoughts of beautiful Christmas trees
Making messes in my little home
Listening to Christmas on my phone.

I hate thinking it so early this year
Put the holidays on rest for another year
Let’s just sit and drink coffee and watch it snow
Let the holidays come and watch them go.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
11/10/2018

 

Ataxia

I Have Nothing to Live For


I have nothing to live for. These were the words that Thelma whispered over and over.

Thelma had Alzheimer’s disease. It had attacked her many years ago, and if I know anything at all; it is that she shouldn’t have to suffer much more.

Her children and grandchildren used to visit quite often; but once Thelma couldn’t remember who those once familiar faces were, visitors strayed and came rarely.

I am Phil. I am her caregiver. I received a call one day from the agency I worked for. I went in for orientation and learned that family had decided they had had enough. If mom/grandma was going to forget who her own family was, then screw it. Someone else could take care of her.

It was a cloudy, brisk day, the first day I entered that home. The drapes were closed. Artificial lighting was all that could be seen. There she was, sitting in a straight chair over at the kitchen table. She didn’t say a word that I, the stranger, had just let myself in with the key given to me.

I walked over to her and introduced myself. She stared ahead, rocking back and forth. She held an old rag doll in her arms and she rocked back and forth on her chair.

I studied her for a moment, as if trying to suck in all the life that once lived in these walls. I said in a whisper , “What a shitty thing to do. I bet this woman loves her family. Instead of learning about the disease and being here in these last months, they throw her off on someone else.”

Day after day, I returned for my normal shift. I tidied the house, did her laundry, fixed her meals. I set up a Christmas tree and asked her if she would like to help decorate it. ” I have nothing to live for.”

“Yes you do Thelma. You have plenty to live for. It is almost baby Jesus’s birthday. Don’t you want to help celebrate his birthday”?

She stopped rocking and her eyes turned to my face. She said nothing, but clung tighter to her doll. I reached out my hand and placed an ornament in it. With my help, she stood, and I guided her to the tree. She looked at me and instead of seeing nothing; I saw a tear, then two.

I placed my arms around her and gave her a gentle hug. With my help, she hung the ornament. There was silence in the room so I started humming Silent Night.

She turned to me and said, “Baby Jesus, Nancy, Rita and John. I asked,” Who are Nancy, Rita and John, Thelma?” She looked me straight in the eye saying, “Children, they are my children. I have nothing to live for.”

Written by my feelings,
Terry Shepherd

#Education
#Alzheimers

 

alzheimers

My Wish for Christmas


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Northern Indiana.

falling-snow

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.

mom-and-dad

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.

 

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