Fourth of July, 1977

Almost forty-one years ago, wow, am I that much older now? Yes, math doesn’t lie. Almost forty-one years ago, it was much like a day today is.
Hot, real hot and humid. I was in my twenties. I was married and had a little girl named Rachael Wagner who was five. I lived on the outskirts of Warsaw back then.
I was only days from introducing a new baby into the world. The world seemed quiet then compared to the noise today. I was happy. I had a wonderful husband, a daughter who smiled all the time.
My parents and grandparents were still alive. Prices were more even with the economy. This was the time period when we had the blizzard of 1977.
I delivered a baby boy in less than twenty minutes with no real pain; I swear I am telling the truth here! A piece of cake, a real fire cracker baby, born on July fourth. My last son, Randy Weaver, was a real corker at being born, but it was well worth it.
Life sure has changed. My daughter lives out of state. I have one son who lives very near me and another son who lives less than an hour from here.
I have I think, eleven grandchildren. I am no longer married. I have lost my parents, grandparents and brother. I am different from this, but also more in touch with who I am.
I live for times, texts or phone calls from my children. I love my camera, writing and painting. I love peace and quiet. I hate my short-term memory that is showing its ugly teeth more and more.
I am far from rich, but rich in riches. I am blessed. I love my kids and grandchildren. I am lucky. Happy birthday, Ryan Weaver.

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.


The Very Special Gifts for my Birthday

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.


pink tree 15three pennies

The Day Has Ended

Well the day has ended

The hours passed

The minutes long

The shadows were cast


Took the dog for walks

Made potato salad

Watched silly TV

This day was valid


Tonight it was quiet

The darkness screamed

I called my son

Let’s have a fire and dream


He said alright

He came right down

Brought the two kids

And AJ ran around


The air was quiet

The moon was small

The wood smelled great

The sparks were tall


It broke the evening

Took away some pain

So thankful for family

So thankful for no rain.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd



firepitmoon 3

Ray of Light Amongst the Clouds

For two days Al talked after weeks of no speaking but then it left. Last night he was trying  very hard to let me know about something. I tried and tried but his voice is so soft I couldn’t make it out.

It makes a person feel so totally helpless when you are the one standing and they are the one in bed. I felt like from his facial expressions he was letting me know he is still scared. My friend and I said prayers over him. We promised him I would be alright.

My friend even told him that she would look after me when he is gone. Of course she won’t unless I am in a terrible situation, but we were hoping it would bring some comfort to Al. I just wish I knew whether it did or not.

We have been struggling with temps with Al. He seems to have a temp quite a bit now. This is very common in the last days as the body just doesn’t know what else to do to fight, so it will spike a temp. The day before yesterday it went to 104.6.

Now this scared me as it was very close to the level where a seizure could appear. I got it to come down but then as high as his temps will go, it will also drop too low. Almost to 95 degrees. When it gets that low he is in the state of dying, so we rock that cradle back and forth pretty fast around here.

Today is my friend’s birthday. She turned 60. I always kidded her about her being older than me. Even though we are two months apart, it is still 60 days that I get to be younger. The first thing I did when I woke up is bake a cake for her birthday.

Then I popped some chicken in the crock pot and put the most fabulous sauce and spices over it. It will taste so good. I know for a fact, because I make it often.


1/4  cup vinegar

1 bottle BBQ sauce

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic

1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all together and pour over chicken in a crock pot. Cook at least four hours on low, or until tender.

So when my girlfriend got up I had coffee poured and on the table. A decorated cake awaited for her. I had a lit, very good smelling, candle shining brightly. A plate was placed in front of her with hot bacon, scrambled eggs, and raisin toast, along with water.

So in the midst of the drama of watching the clouds roll through my brother’s room, I found a ray of light in wishing my best friend a happy birthday. Happy Birthday my dearest friend!!!

birthday cake


Weekend With An M.S.A. Patient, My Brother


This gallery contains 10 photos.

Al has definitely not been himself yesterday and today. After the nurse came Friday night and did her thing with helping Al use the bathroom he has changed. He can’t stand at all. He stayed in bed all day yesterday, … Continue reading

Where Ever You Are


I have thought of you today

And know  we won’t connect

You live your life so different

It’s as if we’ve never met.

Somehow we lost each other

In the bumpy roads we walk

We used to be so close

But now we never talk.

I love you as a sister

But fear for what you do

I pray you find the light

And return to your old you.

But just remember sister

I know what day it is

I have thought of you today

Happy birthday little sis.


Gratitude, Thankful, and Full of Hope

I don’t talk much about my finances, but today I am going to speak about them. When our Dad died we were left some money. No one was rich but there was enough for dreaming.

I had big plans. Stupid and silly dreams. Ones that usually flutter around in our mind but end up leaving as quickly as they entered. I was going to buy me a different car. I thought about taking a vacation. I did do that part.

I invited my daughter to spend a few days in Gatlinburg  Tn.gatlinburg I think she had as good of time as I did. We shopped and visited places. We got on roads that seemed to take us no where. We visited Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

We had a couple of shocks on our trip. One was the motel I booked, but we remedied that immediately. No one is going to put two ladies near the back entrance by the trash dumpsters. Nope, not going to happen.

We also visited roads that you literally had to back down the same way you drove up. We bought trinkets and ate junk food, although we added a couple of healthier meals in there, I think.

Other than that trip I didn’t do too much with the money. I do believe that God has a path carved for me and everything I do is for his purpose. I can look back now and see the exact carving that he has done.

When Al had his heart attack after Dad died, little did I know that I would use my inheritance to live on while I cared for my brother. It was all in perfect timing. I am not upset about this at all. I have enjoyed my life for the most part. I have been able to let Al experience life in a brand new way.

The money has carried me through these last several years with careful planning and budgeting. But it isn’t a money tree. I don’t go out back and shake the tree, leaning down and snatching a new batch for this month. It is running out, but it has served its purpose well.

For about six months I have let the prospect of not working and continuing to pay our car payment. For the past few months the thoughts have entered my mind more and more. I knew deep inside my heart that God would take care of everything but I couldn’t help starting to worry.

When Al came home two weeks ago, a lot of different programs were entered into our lives. He gets help through different state and government programs. I have been involved throughout all the meetings and decisions.

One day last week one of the business contacts was talking to me  and mentioned the hard work I am doing taking care of Al and maybe I should be compensated. I remember thinking I wish, and then that little worry came back to surface, the car payment.

The car will be paid off a year from this Christmas and to me it seemed like eons to go. This is my biggest bill. I like to have little bills, ones that are so low you almost laugh, but car payments are generally one of our larger debts.

Well this gentleman talked to this one and that one and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a training class, which was yesterday. I had been hired without an application or interview process based on my years of experience and the fact I was Al’s sister. I am being compensated for caring for my own brother.

It was an all day class. I had a lunch break and went to this little Coney Island restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat. It was pretty packed and I was on limited time. Of course I thought of all my friends and snapped these three  photos so you could get the feel of where I was.coney islandconey island 2conely island hot dog

I had to have a TB test, and a criminal background check, plus fill out tons of paper work. As soon as the check is back and the test is read, I am on the payroll. I will start getting paid next week.  My car will be paid. As long as I am taking care of Al the car will be paid.

Isn’t this just plain crazy? I just can’t believe how God does things in a big bang way. He actually used my loving my brother to help me make it financially. I am just blown a way. I won’t look down the road about the what ifs. I know if life changes and I still have that ball and chain around my ankle of a car payment, God will just give me another way to complete the debt.

I want to say one more thing before I quit jabbering in this post. 37 years ago, at 7:20pm I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy. The biggest blue eyes I ever saw.  I don’t think he reads my blog but I still want to wish him a Happy Birthday. I love you so much. Now I will close and get a hold of him and tell him myself. Besides I know he will be peeking behind my back to see what gift I hold for him. Adult kids are no different from little kids. They all want their very own gift. Kids, don’t you just love them? I know I do.

Interesting Day

When I arrived today to see Al, he was crying and so upset with the staff. He and I had talked yesterday about him trading his diet hot cocoa in and drinking a glass of apple juice instead since it is warmer outside.

He evidently tried doing it for lunch but they wouldn’t let him. Two nurses showed up at his table once they saw Al trying to explain to me what was going on. They didn’t know why he couldn’t have the juice. Maybe it was too much acid with the daily orange juice at breakfast. Maybe he couldn’t have the hot chocolate and the apple juice.

Both nurses told Al and me that they would ask the proper person on Monday. I begged them to let him have the juice. This was his birthday party after all and one glass would not hurt or kill him I thought, but they would not budge.

So it didn’t make a real good start to Al’s birthday party. Eventually he gave it up when he began eating his cake and ice-cream. I didn’t hear anything else about it as he was opening his gifts I gave him. I bet the facility hears about it at supper tonight though.

Al smiled a few smiles for me and then he got tired and started to hurt. That ended the party and I cleaned up while an aide helped him go potty. I sat with him while he and I watched TV and then he fell asleep.

I told him I would be back later and that I loved him. I think all in all he enjoyed his special time. Here are a few photos I took of him today.

al's birthday cardA singing birthday card that got a good smile out of him when he listened to it.

al's birthday partyGetting ready to open a gift after eating some cake.

Al's carOne of his gifts that got another smile.

Al's car 1His other car that got a big smile.

After I left Al sleeping I stopped at a local laundry mat and dropped off my winter comforter to be cleaned. I couldn’t believe they were or are going to charge me $15.00. The prices sure have risen. But, I can’t fit it in my washer at home so I guess I will pay it.

I also stopped at a yard sale that was close to my house. I found these and placed it on my website for sale. I will give you the link if you would care to look at anything. Everything is negotiable if you are interested. If you want to pay the S&H for your area, I will be glad to mail it to you.

black vaseWell I guess you get to see a bit of background of my house in this.

An oval photo of a military man in a bubble glass frame

the immigrantsA small paper book about immigrants.

If any of you can help I would appreciate it. Even a donation of a coffee would help.


oval picture



A Lot in one Post

I usually go to see Al at least every other day and sometimes every day depending on his needs. I had not been there Friday and Saturday. He knew that I was bringing him lunch Blue_candletoday and I also had told him repeatedly that if he got too lonely in those two days, to have the nurse call me and I will be there immediately.

I went into see him today and set down our lunches and he broke into tears. He was upset because evidently he had a bathroom accident and flooded the floor. The aide who was helping him made a comment that he heard. It went something like this. I need another job. This job sucks. I don’t like cleaning up messes like this. Al, why didn’t you go more often so this didn’t happen?

I explained to him that this was not his fault. He finally believed me. Then he told me that he thought he could do it but he had missed me so bad. He broke down in more tears. My heart split in half for his sadness.

I can only imagine what it is like to be in a  place where you feel unwanted and like you don’t fit in. He went on to say I wonder if anyone will remember my birthday.

I know it is his birthday this Friday. I have told him that I will be in with cake and ice-cream and two presents that I just know he will love. But once again, I am asking any of you if you want to send Al a birthday card please email me at for his home address. Many of you have it already, but there are bloggers who don’t.

If you would like to wish Al a Happy Birthday by way of statement, please go to this link and you can write to him on here. I will print it off and take it to him.

Here is a photo I snapped of Al today.









Update on Al’s fundraiser. We have now collected $200.00. We have had many different ranges of donations. The way I look at it is it will grow one dollar at a time. If you would like to help Al and his debt, here is the link to this. I believe that credit cards and  Pay Pal are accepted.

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