The Fairy Tale

Fairy tales, lust and love. Somewhere in your younger years you thought of these three things. The dress in white. The man in the tux.ball-gown-empire-wedding-dresses_1

The days of thinking of no one else but him/her. The nights of lovemaking under the stars. The house, the babies, the laughter then the tears.


Why, why does this happen? You were so in love? If I had the answers; I may not be divorced today. I don’t know why things change. Perhaps the bills start things out. Companies having their handout for money.


Work and more work to make sure there is adequate money to cover bills, food, insurance, gas and of course; I could go on and on.


Somewhere the glitter leaves and reality sets in. Sometimes marriage counseling prior to the wedding helps. It helps set the goals of what each wants to bring to the relationship. Even then, this doesn’t always help.


The world is full of glitter in black masks.blackmask

It comes in many styles such as stress, overweight, insecurities, failure and many more. There is always someone out there leering near by, watching your eyes, and feeling your losses. They are there, waiting, tempting you to respond to their call.


A person at the bar, a hunk at the gym, a co-employee. They are all around us, and ready to make us feel better. When we are hurting or confused, not sure where we stand in a relationship; this is the time temptation comes along.


Now don’t get me wrong my friends. Not every person is devious. There are thousands of people who care and many who would not consider breaking up or interfering with a marriage. We do have to face the facts though. Life is delicate and easily breakable.


Don’t believe me? Take a look for a few weeks at the divorce filings. It is so sad to see many who have been married less than a year or even six months; filing for divorce. It sometimes appears that there surely was an argument and instead of seeking help, they sought a divorce attorney. You know, the I’ll show you attitude?


Then their are the relationships that have lasted fifteen, sixteen and forty years that have filed. The mid-life crisis? What is that exactly?

mid·life cri·sis
noun: mid-life crisis
  1. an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age.


Sometimes this can occur from The Change. Wow, what a phrase, but so true.

Hormones bouncing, hot flashes, the kids are moving out. Suddenly it is just the two of you again and now what do you do? Weight gain has occurred. You have time to go to the gym. You get in shape. People notice. Your head swells like a big balloon.big

Guys flirt, you flirt back. It feels good. Darn, how long has it been since this has happened?


Well, as you can see, there are many reasons that the fairy tale can go up in flames but it doesn’t mean the light has to be snuffed completely. You just have to get the help needed for the issue and without delay. First, you may ask yourself, do I still love the person I have been involved with or married to all these years?


If the answer is yes, then there is hope. Pray, seek counseling, change the routine at home. Smell good, look good, think of him/her before yourself. Have a picnic in your bedroom with candles. Put the kids to bed early. Put the cell down, turn the TV off. Change it up. Do what ever you need to do to salvage what was good.


If you have tried your best and it still fails, well, this is the ultimate suck-ass situation of all. How do you go on? What about all those years spent together. I don’t have the answers, but I can offer suggestions. Stay close to your family. They do love you. They will listen. They will emotionally support and encourage you. Lastly, don’t forget to pray. Prayers are answered. God listens. God feels your pain. God knows your future.


Enough said for tonight.

I dedicate this to a very special man in my life.

I love you. R.W.


Use Those Fingers, Use That Mouth

When we are young, we don’t think much about the serious stuff. We live life until we are told to go to bed. Even as teens, life is still pretty awesome. Maybe a sad time or two happens, but what the heck, right?

Something happens after the kids grow up and move on with their own lives. First we have to deal with that empty nest syndrome. Does it really exist anymore? Maybe more parents work today to survive then in the days I was young. I felt lost when my kids grew up. I loved being a mom, even through my stupid mistakes. It was hard on me.

I guess God knew it so I was sent down another path of taking care of patients. He was right. It filled my life, soul and heart. First I worked in nursing homes and hospitals. It was okay, but the rules and regulations along with shortage of staff sure didn’t fulfill what I still needed, which was contact on a more personal level. Have you ever sat and really listened to those stories elderly people have to tell?

They are awesome! I took care of a lot of patients but one family will always stick out in my mind. The wife was a school teacher and the husband was a tomato farmer. I learned that the golden rule for children really was, reading, writing and arithmetic. No one gets too far without these three.

I learned about the process of tomatoes from picking them by hand to what they delivered to the table. The stories I listened to were highlights in my day while caring for them. They were the type of family that appreciated each other and life. Their love was true and I must admit, I still miss them dearly.

Next, you start gazing through the obituaries in the newspaper. Actually, you hope you don’t recognize anyone, but you have to check. When you see that first classmate’s death, it throws you for a curve. Wow, they are my age.

Then maybe there is a death or a divorce. Children gone, living alone in that big home. Maybe it’s time to sell the home and downsize into something more suitable. Less steps, less cleaning, maybe no more shoveling the steps or driveway.

You sort of slide into another stage without realizing it. You live in Senior apartments or Senior assisted living places. You make new friends. You share your own battles and the joys of being a mom. You discuss your grown children and grandchildren. You all become quiet as the topic of when the last time you saw one of your kids.

You get excited about your birthday. Not for the fact that you are another year older, but hopefully, the kids will come and visit or maybe you will get a card in the mail. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day; a guaranteed day of being thought of. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?

Here, where I live, we have as much socializing as possible. It is good for us, although some never attend. It raises the spirit. It takes away the loneliness  and sadness that screams and bounces off the walls. It saves you from having to cook for one.

The only sad thing I have to be aware of at this point is; making friends and watching their health fail. More disappointment, another loved one going to be leaving  our lives. Words of encouragement I give, and prayers that the good Lord doesn’t take another precious thing a way from me. Sounds selfish doesn’t it? Well, when we get to be older, sometimes being selfish is a good thing.

As you, yourself, walk through your own life, make sure to say hello to those you see. Smile, say hello. You may never know how you changed that person’s day. To those grown kids, stop what you are doing. Time is going by so quickly. Text or call your parent (s). Say you were thinking about them.

My Lord, don’t tell me you don’t have time or you are so busy at work!!! There are 168 hours in a week. There are 604,800 seconds in a week and 7 days in a week. Don’t use those same old excuses. We old ones caught on years ago. So hey, make the effort. Without your parents you wouldn’t be married, have kids, have a job. I could go on and on with things you wouldn’t have, if your parents didn’t want a child.


A Soldier’s Goal

Ann didn’t know what the fuss was all about. People were flocking the sidewalk outside her windows. Flashes from cameras could be seen going off. She hid behind her old-fashioned curtain; peeking out when she thought it was safe.

Ann worked for the local animal shelter. Six days a week, rain or snow, she walked the six blocks to work. Once there, she cleaned the filled cages, washed water and dog dishes, fed the animals, and did laundry.

She didn’t mind. She lived alone and this gave her something to do. She had never married, and had no children to care for. Her parents had both been killed several years back in a gruesome car accident.

She lived in a small house at the end of Circle Street. She had purchased it with funds that her parents had left her. Ann wanted to  get married; but had never found the right man for her, so since she had such an enormous love for animals, she began this career over ten years ago.

There wasn’t too much excitement at work. The normal things happened day to day. Parents and children would come glue their noses to the glass. They would point at the animals that they thought were the cutest. Parents would request a holding and petting session. Ann would let them pass through the locked, green door and they could spend fifteen minutes with the animals.

Some days were heavy with donations of pet food and toys. Some  people brought in old blankets and others volunteered an hour or so a few times per week. In the afternoons, when it seemed the most quiet, Ann would take a few leashes and attach them to different dogs and take them out for exercise.

It was this one, bright, sunny, Spring day that an other than routine action happened. Ann had the dogs out for their exercise. There were two males and two females, all about the same size. One of the females was expecting.

She never knew what triggered the commotion, but one of the males was sniffing the pregnant dog, and suddenly became aggressive. Teeth showing, standing erect, the female tried hiding behind Ann, but the male was dedicated to chasing her away.

The female, we will call Emma, became frightened. So much frightened that she jumped back, as if it was planned, and jerked with such a force she got loose from Ann’s hand. The leash snapped, knocking Ann to the ground, and took off. In no time, Emma was out of sight.

Ann stood up and wiping off grass and dirt, she raced back to the shelter and ran in telling the other employees that she was leaving. “Emma got loose guys. I have to go get her. She’s pregnant, and we need to rescue her before she gets hurt”.

People nodded in agreement; but no one followed her cue. Ann found another leash and racing back out the door, she started running in the direction that Emma had taken. It seemed she walked for miles.

She walked up and down the streets, looking down alleys. She looked at the dumpsters restaurants had out their back door. Nothing, she saw absolutely nothing. She kept walking, determined to find Emma before someone found her and perhaps would hurt her.

The sun was starting to go over. Work was done and the doors were locked for the day. Ann was getting hungry, but hated to give up. She knew that the longer time passed, the less she would find Emma.

She had no money with her, so she couldn’t stop at any place to eat. She hadn’t eaten much lunch because of so many visitors. Her stomach growling almost made her feel nauseous.

Ann decided she had no other choice. She would return home and begin her adventure at the break of dawn. She felt a heavy heart. She loved Emma. Emma was such a gentle dog, but she was older. Not many people came in for older dogs. This was surely Emma’s last litter of pups. Ann hoped that some nice, older couple would come adopt Emma. She would be a perfect TV companion and she was not a barker either.

Her head hanging low, she walked a couple of blocks, still glancing down the now dusky alleys. The streets were quiet. This is what helped Ann to hear the faint sound of whimpers. It was a dog’s whimper.

Ann found her energy and raced down the alley. There was an alley light shining in the crossroad of the alley. Right there in the middle of the path was a sewer, and the sewer lid was pulled off. That was most likely done by the city workers earlier that day and someone had forgotten to place it in its rightful spot before leaving.

She looked down at the hole. It must have been 50 feet or so down. Ann could see nothing. She called out. “Emma, Emma, is that you? Let me know Emma. It is me, Ann”. A whimper came once again, and then it sounded a little stronger and louder.

Ann had nothing to help her see better. She could go home and get her big flashlight, but that would be taking up valuable time. She looked the hole over and noticed the steel ladder.

She hesitated for only a moment, before beginning her climb down the ladder. The smell, oh it smelled like old water and humidity. She made her mind forget that and made her way to the last step.

She didn’t feel another step and took a chance on jumping down. It ended up only being a few inches from there. She landed on her feet. She stood in place, trying to let her eyes adjust to the darkness. Something ran over her feet. She shivered as she could imagine what might be down here with her.

She called Emma’s name again and the bark came. Not a whimper this time, more like a bark of joy. She followed the sound and bumped into Emma. She started patting her head and then rubbing her belly as she tried soothing Emma with soft words.

She felt something at the bottom of the dog’s stomach. One, two, three and four little fur balls. In the darkness Ann smiled. Emma had fallen down here and somehow managed to not get hurt from what she could tell. She has also made this her time to give birth to four babies.

In her blind sight, Ann did her best to make sure everything was alright. She knew by  Emma’s licking her hands, that the birthing was over. Ann took off her shirt and in her bra and pants, she wrapped the babies up.

She told Emma, “Hold on my friend, just hold on for a few minutes. Let me get these babies up to safety, and then I will come back down and help you up”. Emma seemed to understand her gentle voice and allowed Ann to rescue the fur balls.

Once safe on the bricks above, Ann climbed back down to where Emma waited. ” Now girl, you have to listen to me. I don’t have anything to help pull you up. It is  just you and me. Your babies are just a few feet above us. I need you to help me by being very still when I lift you up, then you will be with your babies”.

Emma didn’t bark nor try to lick. It was as if this dog could understand what Ann said. Emma lay very still and allowed Ann to pick her up. As hard as it was, Ann managed to wrap the dog’s body around her neck. Emma didn’t move. Slowly and cautiously, Ann climbed one stair at a time, holding on to Emma, until she had the two of them back out in the alley.

She laid Emma down gently beside her babies and petted her head. ” Thanks for being such a big help Emma. You are a good dog”. Emma licked her hand and then her face. Ann smiled.

It took time and Ann was starving, but she was a soldier with a goal. She got Emma and her babies back to the shelter. Unlocking the front door, she let them all in. She found an empty cage and placed some fresh water and food, along with a few soft, cuddly blankets.

Emma walked in and  took each pup in with her. Ann sat down in the corner of the cage, and just admired the new pups, talking all the while to Emma about how good she had been.

When she felt the time was right, she told Emma and the pups goodnight. She told her she would be back in the morning. With that being said, she shut the cage door, making sure it was secure. She went to the front and turned the lights out. Locking the door behind her, she walked home.

The next morning at work, everyone wanted to know all about Emma. Where did she find her? The puppies? Who helped you? Ann told her story about what had happened. There was a buzz in the building the entire day. Ann was tired, but she felt good inside.

After work, she walked home.  She took a shower and began her supper preparation. It was going to be an easy supper tonight and an early bedtime. She took her food into the living room and was starting to sit down to eat, when she heard the commotion.

Ann’s curiosity could hold no longer. She opened her front door, to see what was going on. A bouquet of flowers were thrust into her hands. Clapping engulfed her. Photos were being taken.

“Ann, we are all here because we  heard about your story. You are a true hero. You could have got hurt out there all by yourself, but you didn’t wait for help. You knew you had to save an animal’s life. What you did was just nothing short of a miracle”.

Ann didn’t know what to say. Her cheeks blushed, and she sort of rocked from one leg to the other. One of the city councilmen walked up to her. He handed her a plaque. On that plaque, trimmed in gold, were the words, CITY’S BRAVEST WOMAN EVER, 2015. Underneath the wording was a sketch of a key. The gentleman held out the big, gold key. “We all want you to have the key to this city”. With that cheers and whistles rang out through the neighborhood.

Ann smiled. Her heart warmed. She waved at everyone, knowing she had strength she didn’t realize. She knew that for her, marriage may not be in the picture, at least for now, but she had the best darn job in the whole town.


Short Story Written by,

Terry Shepherd




True Love

I had some errands to run today. It is nice and sunny and I believe the temperature is 41 degrees. Even living in a small town, the streets are busy with cars pulling into restaurants, getting groceries or washing their cars.

While I was at the grocery store I noticed a man hanging around this gal who was my check-out gal. After completing paying my bill, I said to her, ” This guy must know you or you have a stalker on your hands.”

She and I both laughed and the gentleman stepped up and said. ” I am her stalker. I stalked her until she finally said yes, she would go out with me. Then I stalked her all through our dating until she said yes, to my marriage proposal.”

All three of us laughed and then he said, ” Now we are happily married and I am responsible for that.” I looked in the direction he was pointing and noticed the clerk, his wife, was expecting. He reached over and patted her belly and I could see clearly that these two were crazy about each other.

I congratulated them and went on my way. I smiled as I remembered the days of past when I was in love and expecting my first child. Now that I am almost considered a Senior Citizen, I would love to still feel those butterflies in my stomach once again.

When I arrived home, I took my groceries in the house. After the last bag had been taken out of the car I heard a plane. I grabbed my camera and took a photo. It reminded me not to give up on life or love. The white, visible line is similar to our lives. It just keeps moving on, making new marks in the world.

plane line



If he gets laid off

Will you stand strong

If he falls

Will you pick him up

When he weeps

Will you wipe his tears

When he errors

Will you understand?



Men are to be strong

But sometimes we are wrong

For they have hearts

And can fall apart

They need us too

Just like me and you do.


Written by,

Terry Shepherd




Goodbye My Lover

brideIt is finally here

My wedding day

I have waited so long

For the month of May

But now as I stand

Here waiting to move

I don’t know if

I am really in the mood

I wanted nothing more

Than to be married today

But something is clearly standing in my way

Do I love him do, I really want to

Stay by his side for at least fifty-two

Or is it the glamor and all the lights

The wedding preparations and the high lights

My parents always said don’t marry just to be

Stay single and wait til the right one comes to me

I know in my heart that this isn’t right

I drop my bouquet of flowers right here on the site

With tears in my eyes of how I have pained

I know I can give him nothing to gain

I take my veil off and lay it aside

I almost knew what it felt to be a bride.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd



FWF Free Write Friday; Image Prompt

Write a prompt on this photo.

jackson-wedding-e69Oh my God, I am actually standing here. In the door way on my father’s arm. He looks at me and brushes a tear from my eye. His eyes are glistening also. He smiles and I reach up to him and give him a peck on the cheek whispering, ” I will always love you Daddy.”

The music is playing. Roses adorn the entire room. Perfume scents the air. We take one step then two and we slowly walk down the aisle. People are smiling. Photos are being taken.

I see my Mother. She is weeping. I smile at her and I continue our walk. He leads me into the hands of my one and true love. We look into each others eyes and I can’t help but let a tear fall gently.

The minister speaks but I’m not hearing. I hear my lips saying I Do. My stomach is trembling as he slips the ring on my finger. As we are pronounced man and wife, he gently lifts my virgin veil and kisses me for the first time as his wife.

My legs feel weak. I must not faint, no not now. I place my hand in his and we turn to the guests. I hear clapping. I see crying. I see smiles. I am married. I have dreamed of this for years. I used to dance, as a child,  in my mother’s dresses twirling round and round to the music playing on my jewelry box.

I take my gloved hand and wipe my tears. Joy bubbling up and over my heart and soul. We start our walk back down where we came in as separate units. He stops me under the arch and tenderly kisses me. Running his finger over my jaw line I want to melt like chocolate drops right here, but I must control my emotions.

Wedding gifts are opened, Champaign is drank. Food is tasted. We hold each other closely as we partake in the first dance. I am drunk with love. All I can do is stare into his eyes. The man of my dreams.

He seems to sense as he always has that this may be our cue to leave. He goes to the podium and he is thanking everyone for attending. He is letting them know that we will be departing now for our honeymoon.

Everyone is standing. They are clapping and yelling good wishes. Rose petals are thrown on the floor as we make our way to the back door of the church. He helps me get into the front seat of the car. He climbs in and leans over and gives me another kiss. It is more heated. I can feel my body stirring with desire as he starts the engine and we depart.

He pulls into the parking lot. Opening my door he leads me through the entrance. Stepping to the counter he takes the room key in his hand and tucks it in his pocket. He walks to me, kissing me in front of everyone and leads me off to paradise.

Shutting the door and placing the Do Not Disturb sign on the door he loosens his tie. He takes off his tux and jacket. Slipping off his shoes he is undressed down to his trousers. He comes to me and turns me gently around.

Unzipping my dress he gently caresses my shoulders as he drops it slowly to the floor. He turns me so I am facing him. Cupping my face with his hands he kisses me ever so tenderly.

I can not hold myself up any longer. I sit on the bed and he follows. He helps me scoot further up on the bed and lies me down my head resting on the plush pillows. His hand glides down my body, my body reaching up to him. This tender moment will always remain in my memories forever and ever as we became one that evening.