Oh the Valleys we Travel Through on our way to Heaven


It seems so right that I changed the name of my blog page to Who Am I, months ago. Why? Because anymore, I don’t really know who I am.

I know I am a child of God, but here on earth, I just don’t know. I know I am a mom to three and a grandma to several, but some days, I don’t feel like a good mom. I have one child who pretty much has disowned me, it seems. I have begged, pleaded, called and text but no answers are provided for me on what I may have done.

This has turned my health upside down. My blood pressure is now messed up going higher than lower. I am stressed with sadness that keeps my veil of happiness covered by blackness.

I have apologized, sat for hours wondering what I may have said or done without realizing it may hurt others. I am getting sick and I find myself wishing I was at the end of my journey here on earth.

I snap out of that thought though because I am not really ready to die yet. I even called my primary and neurologist and have spoken to both about this up and down blood pressure problem I am having.

I know that my diagnosis has been changed from Parkinson’s to probable MSA. This sickens me. Not so much because it will shorten my life; but because I won’t be as lucky as my brother was in having a sister to take care of him. I will go through this alone with God beside me; which means I am truly not alone.

Life has not been a bowl of cherries as of the past few weeks and I am grateful that Spring as officially arrived and I can get lost in my camera once again outdoors.

Oh the valleys we travel through on our way to heaven.

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In the Field of Flowers


I sat on a broken tree stump
Gazing out over the field of flowers
I tried counting each one but I failed
I saw your name printed on a stem
When I looked at the buds
I swear they were eyes
And you were reading my heart
I raised my hand out as if I
Thought you would bend your petals towards me
The wind blew gently, causing you to bow my way.
Your petals bent and I could see the form you displayed
A smile on your face, seeds spilling as tears
You miss me too. The wind shifted the other way
You stood tall and very still. I took a picture of you
That I will keep in my heart forever.
We communicated; you and I
I feel an inner peace knowing that
We miss each other the same and
I will remain as strong as you are standing
In the field of flowers.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

 

 

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I Had to Smile


I wrote yesterday about my chaotic week. Full of hurt and loss from loved ones. After repeating to myself over and over, See through your eyes Lord, Hear through your ears, Love through your heart; I am more calm this morning.

I can not control how I am feeling in my heart from people’s actions but I can control how I let it affect me. There is nothing worse than being un-friended by a loved one or knowing there is an issue but the other person won’t allow you to know what it is.

What can I do about it? Pray, give it to God, let him deal with it. He knows how to fix things. The other thing I do when I get to bombarded by the “stuff” in this world is look for something that makes just me  happy, and this is what I did.

I went to my favorite second-hand store. I looked at everything, knowing I had a budget I had to stick to. I saw this piece that I had been wanting for about a month. Every time I went inside this store, there it sat.

Yesterday, I decided; this would make me smile. This would make me feel good every time I went into my bathroom, which is where I placed my new piece. Here is a photo of it and yes, I am still smiling over it.

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It is about four foot tall. It is slender which fits my bathroom perfect. I filled it with toilet paper and soaps. I love it. Of course I love old things. What do you think? Do you like it? Do you ever buy yourself treats when life gets you down? Does it help when you do?

I am Strong Because I have a Shield of Love


Don’t ever tell yourself, “I got it made” or “Life is a piece of cake.” I swear as soon as you say that; you will be shut down.

This has been a rotten week. I am glad this is Friday. Hoping for a new week with less stress and sadness.

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I was with my family during the loss of a family member. A viewing one day, the funeral the next day.

I have  had issues with a family member also. It is plum crazy when the issues arise and for the love of God; I don’t know what the problem is. The other party won’t open up and therefore I am left with a feeling of being helpless and lost.

I also lost a very close friend to the same disease that took my brother; Multiple System Atrophy. I tell you; she was one strong fighter. She carried hope and a bright spirit to the end.

bonnie

I wasn’t expecting it and my emotions ran a muck. Maybe with a prior funeral and then this major loss, I went over the top with my tears. I will miss you forever and ever Bonnie.

I am a pretty emotional person. With the final encounter; I found my blood pressure rising, my neck was  hurting along with my head. My stomach ached and I felt like I had been tossed to the wind.

My girlfriend has been helping me through this. She has reminded me of how to take issues I can not fix and give them over to the Lord. I am doing this and I have found myself calmer and now laughing again. The problem isn’t fixed but knowing God has this covered and will fix it; I can go about my life.

She told me something that I really like repeating over and over in my head.

Lord, let me see through your eyes. Let me hear through your ears. Let me love through your heart.

She also gave me a precious song to listen to and I play it often. It brings me comfort.

 

 

So although this week has been a big blow to my spirit; I have also learned I am strong because I am protected by a shield of love.

Lost


Sometimes I write to show you something and sometimes I write for my own healing. Today is the latter reason; for my own healing.

I used to be so bubbly. I was always ready to go somewhere and laugh tons and enjoy the day. I don’t know what has happened to me.

If I am in a crowd of people; I want to be home sooner than later. I used to sit and listen to people talk and tell their stories but anymore I have learned these stories cause some pain because of plain, old gossip.

I used to jump up and eat and get dressed and put the make-up on; not anymore. I do feel awesome when I first wake up. I feel little pain. I give my thanks to God for this day. I would rather now take my time and I discovered this past few months, that not long after I am awake; I could go back to sleep if time allowed.

I don’t cry. I haven’t cried since my brother passed almost five years ago. I think between losing him and my dad; I just cried all my tears until they are permanently dried up.

I volunteer each week. I love it but I find myself almost wishing I didn’t have to get up and go. Once I am on my way; I am good to go.

People get on my nerves so much anymore and that used to never happen. I was always a people person.

I have a few excuses as to why this change has happened. Winter? It’s always a long winter  here in Northern Indiana. Shorter days of light? Maybe. The place I live in? Perhaps. I was told by the manager at the time I applied that this building was really hopping.

All sorts of activities to attend, friendly people. This has not proved to be the case as now living here for two years, what I mainly see is a variety of people. Senior Citizens live here. Disabled adults live here. Mentally challenged people live here.

This leads to a variety of things to see on a daily basis. In fact, I just saw a post taped to an escape door on my floor. “If we see such and such, please don’t let  him in.” This  happens so much here.

There are illegal activities here almost daily. Maybe this is another reason I  hibernate in my room. I posted this topic before and had a reference made back to  me that this is happening everywhere. If it truly is then this is a sad state of world we live in.

Maybe I am just plain living in the fifties. I shouldn’t be of course. I was born in the fifties. Maybe I should take that back and say sixties. I would just love to live in an area that is safe, an area that doesn’t reach below freezing for most of the winter.

I think about moving farther down in Indiana and then I instantly think of my kids. Nope, can’t do it. I tried it different times in earlier years and always came back home. I am telling you though; this weather, this cold and frigid weather hurts my body and mind and spirit.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me anymore. I just know, that I don’t have that bright spirit. I could sleep and hibernate for days upon in and yet I don’t like this at all.

Well, I don’t know if you can relate. I don’t even know if I helped heal myself. I just know I need a change. Lord help me figure this out.

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January is Gone


t’s been a rough month
Words spearing my brain
I’m actually glad this month’s over
Now dreaming of rain and Spring.
 
Spring is all about new
New hope and answered prayers
I know God listens to my words
Because he is everywhere.
 
On the other side of the coin
Sadness can fill my eyes
It’s so close to my brother’s passing
When I was forced to say my goodbyes.
 
From this day forward
Alvin will occupy my mind
Still seems like only yesterday
He and I had so much time.
 
Our days are filled with goodness
Our nights can be like hell
I just have to remember to be thankful
While God teaches me to sit a spell.
 
It’s hard to not be guessing
What tomorrow may or may not bring
Will we still be like this morning?
Can time really change everything?
 
My faith is what I carry
In a bucket wrapped in my heart
I have to remember to refill it
Until this earth I depart.
 
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
 
Dedicated to life and my brother, Alvin Miller.

The Long Month of January


Hello my friends. Well the holidays are over. No more stuffing ourselves with Thanksgiving. The change purse is dry from Christmas and now we here in the northern part of Indiana wait.

 

What are we waiting for? Well, some are waiting for the usual snow we have plenty of by now; but it  hasn’t arrived. I’m sorry, but for me, less is more. Now that I am older, snow is my enemy unless I’m sitting inside and watching the flakes fall.

 

There are lots of comments being made. No snow in December or January is a promise of over-load in February and March. I don’t know the future. I will have to deal with what is given me; but for now; I am fine.

 

January is the longest month of the year for me. It always has been. Maybe it is because it is long and boring. No real holidays in it. The back to the normal groove thing returns and the days tick down until a lot of people get their tax refunds. At this point of the government shutdown, who knows when those tax returns will happen.

 

I saw a post on my Facebook a bit ago which stated,”Count the Mondays.” I got it immediately. I suppose if you live in the southern part of the country,  you may not understand but up here, if you can count the Mondays in the long month of January, it will promise to get you closer to Spring.

 

February is a time when I will be thinking more of Spring. The farmer commercials will be posting on the television. This is a good sign that Spring is coming. I will be starting to watch for the Robins to reappear. When they arrive, it means that there will not be so much snow that they won’t be able to find food and shelter and Spring is near.

 

Animals say a lot about your weather. Have you ever watched the squirrels gather nuts for winter? On bad winters, you will still see the squirrels in early December, storing nuts. The Catapillars, the ones who crawl so slow and have beautiful colors, these creatures turn a dark black if our winter here in Indiana is going to be a vicious one.

 

As for me, I have been fighting something for four days now. I don’t have a temperature or aches and pains, but instead, I am nauseated anytime I eat. This circle includes a trip to the Ladies room no matter how little or much food I put into my mouth. I have lost four pounds in four days. I am glad I am experiencing this during our winter months.

 

I don’t get out much in the winter time. It’s too cold. Aged skin cracks and burns. Eyes sting, and the thoughts of playing in the snow are exchanged for will my walker get through the snow and ice. Here where I live, that is doubtful. There is not sufficient cleaning in the parking lot so there are many grooves of ice. I just don’t want to fall down at this point in my life. I do go out if it isn’t too cold or snowing and go to my volunteer job. I try to go twice a week during the winter and I will go at least three times per week or more in the warmer weather.

 

I didn’t go to church today. This matter of my stomach is just a little too much to deal with during a church service. I do have one thing to look forward to in the month of January, 2019. My daughter is coming for a visit. It’s been quite a while since I have seen her and am looking forward to a visit.

 

Another thing I am looking forward to is; my insurance is covering the expenses for me to have Life Alert for my falls. It will bring me comfort knowing I am now not alone here in the apartment, or too far away from a pull light, or definitely when I am taking a shower. It will be worn on my wrist and if I fall it triggers the alarm company. If I don’t answer the second chime, this tells the company that I am not alert. I believe from what the company said, is that I will receive my wrist band and plug in box in five to ten days.

I know this is not a big deal to most but for someone as unsteady as me and who lives alone; this can be a real life savor.

What about you? How do you get through the long month of January?

 

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.


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