WHO AM I


Who Am I is the name of my blog here at WordPress. I used to always think I knew who I was but beginning in July, 2017, life started to change and I got caught up in a whirl wind of emotions.

It began with my father having two cancers at once. Leukemia and Multiply Myeloma.

A.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/symptoms-causes/syc-20353378

 

I took care of him for the  year that he went through this before it took his life. I learned not to be embarrassed by bathing him and taking over his daily chores. I was his daughter and thought I could never look at my dad in anything other than being fully dressed but the nursing person in me took over and I did it.

 

Next, I got a divorce. I had always been married since the winter following graduation. Suddenly I was alone and wondered if I would make it. Then came my brother’s heart attack and his ugly disease, Multiple System Atrophy.

A. Multiple system atrophy (MSA), also known as Shy–Drager syndrome, is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremors, slow movement, muscle rigidity, and postural instability (collectively known as parkinsonism) due to dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, and ataxia.

 

Today, I have some of my father and brother’s illness. I have the Parkinson’s and Ataxia. I wondered daily not knowing where I was going and who I really was. It is just recently that I seem to be settling down inside.

 

I pray a lot. I go to church more often and I believe God is showing me things I never actually realized about myself.

 

I have stepped out and tried painting. I made Christmas wreaths this year. I have been asked to provide our Saturday night supper this coming Saturday with selections of Christmas music by playing the piano. Before I had the time to think before answering; I answered yes, I will. God must have had a hand in that answer and I will lean on him that I can pull this off.

 

I volunteer now at a local agency. I help many people and this is good for me since I tend to have my own little pity  parties on why I can’t stand well and do the things I used to do. There are millions of people worse off than me, and my job shows me this each day I work.

 

I don’t know who I am but I do know God still has work for me to do and I have a purpose here on earth. I look forward to each day, asking him to help me shine to others, to help those in need, and to thank God for all I can still do.

Merry Christmas my friends.

 

wreath


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 Visit


THE VISIT
 
I can’t get it out of my mind. I keep thinking about the dream I had last night.
 
With the illness I have; I usually have terrible nightmares, always waking up before I die, but to see my brother in my dream and be able to talk to him was bigger than anything I have experienced.
 
I am a thinker by nature so it is not unusual for me to have been pondering on how I made this dream happen. Can I make it happen again?
 
Alvin was healed. He was standing tall. He wasn’t crying and he didn’t act afraid of life. He smiled that big, familiar smile I always saw.
 
We talked. In my dream it didn’t seem like we chatted for a very lengthy period, before I woke up, but I remembered it and i still remember it.
 
I have definitely moved on since his passing. I have managed to hide my tears and sadness. I have laughed among friends. This is the part that has moved on.
 
There is an injured snail crawling inside my spirit though. The feelers come out when I am all alone and this is when it seems like only yesterday; I walked into his bedroom and found he had passed.
 
The dagger still punctures my soul and heart. The eyes well up instantly. I sit. I remember. I cry. I don’t think we ever truly get over the death of a loved one.
 
I don’t know if we ever heal completely. It is complete though. He was born. He lived. He passed. I think there is a bigger torture when there is no final stage of life.
 
When friends or family hurt us and it is never settled. That sword just keeps twisting and stabbing. The mind rolls over big hills and stumbles over boulders as we try to find peace that is now broken.
 
How do we go forward? How do we hide the memories of what once made us smile. How do we hide the tears in our daily living?
 
It is so difficult but this is something each of us has to deal with and lay to rest. God placed us here to send the message out to others about his love.
 
God gave us feelings so we can love and hurt and hug and smile and heal. God gave us ears so we can listen to his message, a body who can accept a hug from another person.
 
We must give these heavy burdens to God. We need to carry our faith in large baskets, and know that whatever the problem; God will carry us through it. We have to believe this.
 
Other wise, we will be injured creatures, walking this earth, thinking only of our pain. We will not be able to reach out to others who need us or are hurting.
 
This dream that I was honored to be a part of was a wonderful vision. A gift from God you might say. I have told God so many times how my life will never be the same, how much I miss my brother.
 
God showed me last night, in my dream, that no matter what pain I am going through in my waking hours, he is right there, holding my hand, guiding me and showing me his love.
 
Thank-you God, for allowing the visit to happen between me and my brother.
 
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
October, 15, 2018
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A Night Out With Family


Yesterday, I was not planning on doing much of anything. Where I live, the main headquarters paid a visit to inspect each apartment. I am always a neat and tidy person but when I know that the head haunchos will be looking at what I live in; I tend to be a little more picky. The inspection was done and now I can relax.

 

The rest of the day was up for grabs. It was later in the afternoon that my son called. He invited me to ride along with him and his family to Fort Wayne. They had a stop to make and he said we would be dining out.

 

Fort Wayne, Indiana

https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/

 

 

I eagerly accepted as I love spending time with my family and grandchildren. The forty minute drive went quick as we chatted over the past week and all that had happened. The talk of the Holidays came up and we were discussing the whats and ifs to come.

 

My family took me to Longhorn Restaurant. I had never eaten there before. Here is the link to where I dined at.

https://www.longhornsteakhouse.com/locations/in/fort-wayne/ft-wayne/5544

The photo below is what I ordered but I had a baked potato and broccoli as my vegetable.  There was so much I brought the extra home and ate it for my breakfast.

 

steak

It was a nice gift when I learned he had paid my bill.  I thanked him so much for that. After we left; we went to Hobby Land where I found on sale a table type LED light. I had been looking for one to place on the table that I work on for my paintings and crafts. It was almost half-price, so that was a big plus for someone on a limited income.

 

After we left that store I pointed out a store that I like to visit when I get to Fort Wayne. It is called Ollies. It is similar to a Big Lots; but much nicer, in my opinion. I bought some shampoo and conditioner and some craft items I needed. My family seemed to like it also as they bought some goodies too.

Here is the link, if you have never heard of this store.

https://www.ollies.us/home.html

 

Before I knew it, we were home. I again thanked them for inviting me and paying for my dinner bill. We hugged each other and I know in my heart; I will see them again very soon.

Tonight, here where I live is the building’s monthly, Saturday night supper. There are four floors here and each month a floor is in charge of the supper. This month, it is our floor. I fixed a big pan of home-made macaroni and cheese.

 

My kids always loved my mac and cheese. I make it with three different types of cheese, a white sauce and this time I added chunks of fried ham. Of course I had to taste test it and it turned out perfect. Cheesy and stringy with lots of flavor.

 

We are also allowed to dress up for Halloween if we wish. I do wish this so will go in my mild costume. With my Ataxia, I could not afford to be over dramatic, for fear of falls. Those photos will follow in my next post.

 

Well, you all enjoy your Saturday. Our forecast for today in Warsaw, Indiana is; sunny and a high of 52. Fall is definitely here. My header for my blog is a tree I photoed yesterday. Notice the beautiful trees and how they are beginning to change their colors.

Talk to you all later my friends.

God’s Got This


It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. Many doctor appointments. Doctors of specialty trying to fix my unsteady gait problem. No one has been able to help; though I do appreciate the efforts.

 

Many times Neurological problems can not be helped. Doctors can not fix the brain while we are still living in most cases. I have had my eyes and prescription changed and I got new glasses and frames too.

 

Next week I go to my Primary care doctor for lab work to see how my sugar levels have been and how I am doing on my insulin. I am still struggling to keep my sugars down so I have to wonder what will happen next. I, myself, believe with the fight I have to keep steady sugars, that perhaps after thirty-eight years of being a Diabetic; my pancreas is failing. Time will tell if my thoughts are on the right path or not. In November; I go back to my second Neurologist for a re-evaluation.

 

I have had personal issues along with doctor visits. I have been so sad that I can’t make everything in my life correct. I was having a wonderful luncheon with a good friend of mine Wednesday.

 

I just love spending time with this gal. She is relaxed, a good Christian, and we can talk about anything. I had been telling her about what has been happening in my life lately and she said something that turned my thinking a 360.

 

She said, “Maybe you are being tested by God to see if your faith will hold strong during these times of struggles.”

 

Bingo! I knew as soon as she said it; that she was right. I suddenly relaxed and I thanked God for allowing this friend in my life that day. I am still having my issues; but I have a whole new outlook. I am giving my problems to God and letting him deal with it.

 

Back to my living. I am living with a smile and hope , knowing God’s got this!

daisy

Possibilities


Possibilities

Don’t sit inside
Think outside
Feel the crisp air
Hear the leaves rustle
Listen to the snapping of twigs
Hear the children’s laughter
Hear the fire crackling
Envision this, your memories
No matter the situation
There is always one reason to smile.
Written by,
Terry Shepherd

 

This Could Be You


You have been a part of the family your entire life. You know which ones you look forward to seeing and which ones to hide from.

Year after year you spend holidays together. You know the routine, then one year; everything changes. Uncle Ray passed away. Aunt Betty is now in a nursing home.

The cousins you played with are all grown and go to their own holiday gatherings. The big, oval table looks smaller. The laughter not quite as loud.

Some of your favorite foods are no longer there. Yes, life certainly changes doesn’t it?

Then the next year you go, a bigger change than ever has happened. Your favorite Aunt Sue is different. You don’t know what happened exactly but something sure did.

She repeats herself over and over. She wanders the familiar house like she has never been in it before. She walks up to me and ask me my name. I say,” You know my name. It’s Bill. Remember? You used to call me little Billy.”

She looks at you and nods her head. She wonders off and in less than ten minutes, she is back, asking you the same question, “What’s your name?”

You soon find yourself walking to another room when you see her coming. You feel guilt because you love her so much, but my gosh, she’s asked you five times who you are.

By the end of the day, you learn that she has Alzheimer’s disease. You have heard of it but don’t know much about it. When the holiday is over you return to your own home.

On the next free time you have; you research this disease. You find ways to interact with your Aunt. You give a donation to the foundation to help find a cure.

On the next holiday you seek her out. You go to her and put your arm around her. Looking her straight in the eyes you tell her hello and how much she has meant to you all these years

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

This disease can strike about the same time you are thinking about your retirement years. It’s a sad disease to watch and you can feel very frustrated and emotional watching your loved ones go through it. The best thing to do is not get angry. Don’t argue with the patient with this illness. You will lose.
Give a donation and help find a cure.

 

 

Left Behind


It isn’t what we are doing today that makes us or breaks us. It is, however, some of our past decisions that molds us today.

Ever make a decision and it turned out to not be a good one and now we have to live with it for the rest of our lives? It happens; I’m sure.

Maybe we did and we don’t even think about it today. Perhaps we only think about that moment when we are reminded of something that connects back to that time.

What if the decision we made was done with the awareness we knew what we were doing? How do people go forward every day having to relive and relive that second?

I’m actually not talking about you and me. I am referring to those left behind. What do I mean by that? I am referring to those who can’t speak for themselves due to an illness.

Neglect is a huge, huge problem today. There is neglect due to ignorance. There is neglect due to greed for money. There is neglect due to just plain not wanting to take the time out of our own lives for someone else.

Nursing homes hold many patients that feel they are neglected. Families don’t visit. Sometimes a minister walks in the room for a few moments.

We see homeless on our streets. I used to never see that in my town; but I do now. It is sad. Sometimes I reach in my purse and help financially. Other times I just take the time to lend an ear or offer a safe haven place to go.

There are more patients remaining in their homes today than ever; for various reasons. Who’s responsibility does it fall back on to make sure that life is being cared for at least at the standard caring level?

Is the person being fed, bathed?  Are all measures of comfort being attended to? Are doctors involved?

It used to be when I moved into a new area, a neighbor or two came to visit and bring a small treat and a large welcome. You don’t see that very often today. People are more private than ever.

Maybe with all the pointed fingers, this could be one reason people stay to themselves. It really doesn’t matter what the reason is. We are living among these homes, our neighbors. We see things that are routine.

Do me and yourself a big, big favor. When you have seen so and so every day and you find yourself thinking, I haven’t seen them lately, go knock on the door. Don’t be a private investigator or cop, just say, “Hi, I was thinking about you and so decided to come over and say hello.”

How hard is that? Let someone know you are around and you are thinking about them. If your sixth sense is getting in an uproar, maybe you can get yourself an invitation to go inside the door. You will know in a few moments whether things seem to be alright or not.

Anyways, these are my thoughts for today. Decisions, good or bad and neglect happen every day and it happens right in our own back yard. Feel good about yourself, say hello.

 

heron 3

 

Those Three Little Words


I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I am a big dreamer now a days. Usually they are nightmares but last night it was an eye opener. Do you ever have those dead stop eye opening moments? I don’t know if it’s good or not but I have not had them and now that I have had one; it has changed my view and thoughts forever more.

 

It happened so smoothly, it inched its way into my brain so softly that I didn’t even feel it happening. One sentence stated at an earlier moment and now as I lay my head down to sleep for the night, comes to me, opens the window to the mind, and sits staring me right in the face.

 

There is no denying, no place to run, no more excuses. I have to accept. So this is what I dreamed of all night and it woke me several times. This morning I feel almost like a friend who has lost their best friend. I see you but I don’t know you.

 

I know all there is or I thought I did and now I look at you through a clean window and I see no streaks. The truth shines through and now I must relax within and quit all the foolish ideas that up until now I thought would always work if only I worked hard enough to make it happen.

 

It almost feels like the burden of guilt of over trying has been a weight lifted from my small shoulders. I can brush off the dead leaves and bare branches. I can smile and not feel guilt for not sharing in your thoughts. I can feel relief as I know where you and I truly stand in our small corner of the world.

 

I can flake off the responsibility of believing it is I who has to fix things that happen in life. This is not for me to do or decide. My whole being has but one thing I must still continue to do. I will continue to pray. Pray that God helps light the path you walk on and shows you that there is a better way to find what all seek in this world.  For me, I want to say thank-you God. I will now pick myself up and search for those three little words in life called; Live, love, laugh.

 

barn 2