Bring Back What Was Once Mine

The sun goes down. Music is turned from the streets and now plays in your head. Dancing fireflies, wickedly spinning from cell to cell, creating new ideas that could possibly change your mindset.

You feel no pain but the ache in your heart becomes active and the smile you knew through the shining sun; now disappears, entering questions of darkness that no one seems to understand or see the answers.

You remember the exact spot where the big, brown dusty box with the rusty lid rest. You go to it and you stare at it as if you are trying to burn holes in the skin so you don’t actually touch what is inside.

Seeing nothing happening, you touch the brass handle and with two delicate hands, you pry open the lid. You raise it and listen to the squeak of the aged hinges. Being able to lift it no higher, it stands proud, inviting you to revisit what was once alive.

You scan as if you are taking an x-ray until you see the off-white, stained material. You pick it up and gently place it in your hands. You nuzzle it and press it close to your bosom. You walk over to the rickety, wood rocker and sit down.

The rocker moves to the music you are humming.  The words dance happily in your head and you skip back in time remembering what once was yours. The hour passed and it was almost too dark to see to return back to the reality of today. She gently lay her friend back in the spot she had retrieved it. She quietly lowered the lid and made her way back to the chair by the window.

Two Short Stories in One

The joy for some comes easy. Growing old, pop sitting in the recliner, mom rocking in her rocker. The TV on, a show playing, lunch over.

Pop closing his eyes while mom watches him, thanking God for these many blessed years she has been given him to share life with. Rose closes her eyes. She opens them when she hears Pop coughing.

He clears his throat and continues on with his nap. The doorbell knocker is heard. She raises up from her rocker and quietly walks over to the door. Opening it up, there standing is the youngest daughter.

Mom invites her in but not without giving the hush sound, pointing at Pop sleeping. Sara goes into the kitchen and grabs two cups of hot coffee. Taking the lead, she goes out onto the sun room, where they both sit and enjoy a few sips.

Sara ask about Pop and how he is doing. She asks if there is anything the two need. The conversation bounces around from that point to how nice the weather is. Sara talks about her vacation coming up and how she is anxious to not set the alarm.

The two visit for about half-an-hour. Sara looks at her watch, stating she must be heading out, that she has one more errand to run before returning back to work. The two stand up and they hug each other. Sara plants a kiss on Mom’s cheek, telling her she loves her.

The two head for the living room. Looking at Pop, they both think how peaceful he looks. Sara holds her breath. She walks over to him and feels his hand. Cold to the touch. While the women were talking, Pop went to be with the Lord with a smile on his face.

Story 2

The joy for some comes hard. Ruth and Eddie had a good life, or so they thought. They both met during the war. He was a soldier and she was a nurse. After the war was over, the two got married.

Within a year, their first son was born. About six months later Eddie started having bad headaches. He had terrible nightmares that woke him up drenched in sweat or sometimes screaming.

By this time, they had also learned that baby two was on the way. Night after night, Eddie suffered. Memories of the war popping up constantly.

They went to the VA many times and were told the same thing. This is caused from the war. There is nothing that can be done. He was given prescriptions for pain and some narcotic pills to try to calm him down.

The job that he had at the local hardware store was put to a halt. He was told by the boss, they just couldn’t afford to keep having him show up late or go home early. They liked him and all, but this was life.

Eddie stayed home. Ruth tried some babysitting but Eddie couldn’t stand the noise. She then turned to doing some housecleaning for others, but only on a part-time basis, because Eddie’s symptoms worsened with time, and he needed her help.

Christmas was gloomy at times. They did the best they could, but it wasn’t much. There just wasn’t enough money. Winters were the worst. High heat bills, and beating down church doors for donations to help pay the bills and put enough food on the table.

When the kids were old enough; they wanted out. They knew they could have a better life away from home. Eddie and Ruth managed to do for themselves without the kids being there, but life was lonely and frustrating.

The two grew old together, clinging close to each other. Sometimes there was a visitor. A minister, or a girl scout knocking at the door selling cookies.

The streets were quiet. Snow was falling softly outside, covering everything. Eddie and Ruth laid in their bed together, using each other for extra warmth. Morning never returned for these two.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd.

photo taken by Terry Shepherd

lines 9

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




Living in Today’s World

My mind wanders back to the day of 9/11, 16 years ago. What was I doing? Where was I? I was going through my own hell on that day. I had split up with my ex. I was living on my own on minimum wages. I had lost my mother a year prior. I was lonely, miserable and sad, angry at everyone; including myself.

I remember having slept a restless night, probably from worrying too much, instead of leaving it in God’s hands. I woke up later than my normal time. I got my coffee made, sat down to drink it and flipped the television on.

Oh my gosh! What! What in the world is going on?

I listened and learned our country had been hit by mean and hateful people. Lives had been lost. Quickly, I forgot about my problems and thought about how my mother wasn’t here to see this.

I sat glued to the television. I didn’t get much accomplished that day. I grew quieter in thought and just watched the TV. Hour after hour, my heart sank. Before I knew it, I was beginning to pray.

I had been brought up in church. I did the weekly church thing, but this moment, I found myself drawing nearer to our God. I felt tears dripping as my heart tore more open from this world tragedy.

From that day forward, God and I became closer friends. He helped me get through my father’s illness and death. He helped keep me strong for my brother’s seven-year illness and his death.

He showed me I could make it on my own in almost any situation. He helped me draw closer to my children and to understand I was not only their mother, but I could let loose of the trying to guide them in their own lives, and just plain enjoy knowing they love me, no matter what.

Today, I thank God for awakening my need for him. I pray for all those lost in the terrible 9/11. I continue to pray for our world of disasters today; other countries in turmoil and hate, tornadoes, fires and hurricanes. I pray for our Congress and President Trump.

No matter what my opinions are of any goings on, the fact is; God is in charge and knows exactly what to do. Now, today, I am fighting my own health concerns. I try to give more to God and enjoy the little things in life; like waking up.

I try and succeed most times, to find the good in the negative in people and in my surrounding situations. God is good. I don’t know why he doesn’t stop some things from happening; but I know he has his reasons. Maybe, he wants us all to draw near to him, lean on him.

So many of us feel we are in charge of our lives. We have to make the decisions. We must make sure our children are happy, our spouses and partners are happy. Our job performances are noticed, our paychecks bigger each year.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter, none of it. God brought us into this world out of ashes. He will take us out of this world in a blink of an eye, and I promise, nothing is going with us, nothing.

All that matters is; we love God, praise his name, give thanks for everything we do  have, continue to love him when things don’t go right, and the biggest to me, is TRUST HIM, and don’t worry about what others are thinking or saying. We are God’s child. He made us perfect in his vision. He has us right where he wants us, each moment, each day, each year.

God bless our country. God bless our military. God bless you.


September 11th Terrorist Attacks

No Matter the Age; We Can Still Live Life

Regrets are what she lived with daily. Too many hours spent on what could have been. Sandra didn’t spend too much time on her future. She only knew for a fact, that future brought her to her end of life.

She had a complete page filled up from last evening and as she sat rocking in her chair; she went over her list.

  1. I wish I would have not made quick decisions
  2.  If only I would have fought harder for what I had
  3. I wish I would have listened to my  parents advice instead of others
  4. I wish I would have never met him
  5. I wish I would have said something different when raising my kids
  6. I wish I would never have started smoking
  7. I wish I would have completed college
  8. I wish I would have kept my mouth shut


On and an she read her list, all the time falling deeper and deeper into her depression. Part of her wishes she was at her end. Other days, she stood strong mentally, and hoped for a different turn-out for her remaining days.


She was stuck in a rut and couldn’t seem to move either way. She was alone now. She had nothing to look forward to and this is because she struggled to make the effort.

Depression is not a fun thing to live with. It isn’t a game. It is more like being caught in a glue trap. Others offer advice; some just plain don’t understand how depression works.

I believe a lot of people suffer through some sort of depression in their lives. We are a quick to judge country today. We move swiftly through life, not taking time to ask ourselves,; is this right for me?


The doctors couches are filled with patients trying to go back and start their thinking over. We are now taught to look more at ourselves than at others. We have to learn to start thinking of us sometimes. It can be a good thing.


I know for me; I was taught to obey my parents. Even if I had a different opinion, it was theirs I listened to. I believe for me I just went into my adult life thinking of others before myself. I don’t see that as a bad thing; I just needed to incorporate my own feelings into the topics also.


I still love doing for others. It makes me feel good inside. There are millions of people who wish someone just noticed they existed. There are tons of things we can do for each other, in the smallest of ways and with little time invested, for our busy schedules in life.


There are not that many decisions to make at this stage in my life, or maybe I should say it in another way, the decisions I make now aren’t as important as ones I made earlier in life.

Is this true? It depends on how it will affect me.  Will I be happy with my decision. Will I have made myself feel better about myself. Will I be hurting myself by deciding on this. Will I be better spirited.


These are questions we need to ask when ideas come upon us. There is a big part of me that has asked myself, “What do I have to lose at this point? This can only better my situation for today.”


For those of us who suffer from depression, whether clinical or light or caused from an illness; let’s think of us, just a little. I know it’s hard, but hey, we are the ones living with ourselves until our last breath. Let’s live a little, let’s smile, let’s laugh, let’s give up the worries. Let’s reach out of our comfort zone.



Our Babies, We Loved You So Much

Hello friends. Do you have a topic that you have interest in, that you would like to see in a poem or short story vision?
I am looking for new ideas to write about. Please take note that what I write will be made public to the world. I also will credit your name for idea creation.
Silver Blatt ;Another proud parent Relationship between a parent and adult child. Love, companionship, friendship. When that Parent looks back and doesn’t realize when that relationship changed, yet as all parents know, they are always our babies.
Growing up in a rural area is a good thing if you want to have a good chance of raising kids who appreciate our earth, but for some kids, this isn’t so cool.
This is what happened to Jill and Jason, a set of twins.
As kids; they were taught how to milk a cow, hoe the weeds, clean their rooms and not sass their elders. Life seemed good all around until the twins reached their teen years.
High school introduced Jill and her brother to different cultures.Their lives seemed so much more fun than what they were used to.
The twins parents noticed the changes immediately. Attitudes changed. The parents heard some words they had not heard before. They tried getting their children involved more with church; but the kids bucked at the idea.
Many a night, if you were a fly on the wall, you could see the tears flowing and hear the words being prayed. This set of parents wanted children so bad. They were never fortunate enough to have their own; so they sought out adoption, and that is how Jason and Jill came to live with the Owens family.
It was the twins 18th birthday. Mr. and Mrs. Owens had planned a small party of intimate friends and close family. Mom made the cake and together, mom and dad, had colorful envelopes filled with cash birthday gifts.
The party was at 3:00. The clock ticked at 2 and the twins has still not arrived home for their own party. 3 o’clock arrived and went. People were beginning to whisper. Some looked at their watches and wondered if they should leave or stay.
It was almost 4 p.m. when the knock came at the front door. Mr. Owens opened it to see a tall, thin man dressed in a navy blue uniform. On his shirt was a shiny, gold badge, which read police.
He let the cop in and everyone became quiet. All were staring at the officer.” Could we talk in the kitchen, Mr. and Mrs. Owens?”
The two showed him to a chair at the table. The officer took Mrs. Owens hands in his. “I’m sorry to have to come here on business; but I need to inform you that there was a terrible accident on Route 33. Your son and daughter were killed instantly.”
You could hear a pin drop. Not a word was said. The officer took back his hand and showed himself to the door after asking if he could be of any help. The two shook their heads.
The funeral was planned. Visitation was open. Flowers were delivered. The cars followed one another to the grave site. Everyone softly chatted at the funeral dinner. The rooms emptied. The silence was astounding.
Two weeks later, the parents went to their children’s grave site. So many flowers still sat, but wilting. Dad put his arm around his wife. The two wept. They looked at the tombstone which had been already placed.
It read; Our Babies, We Loved You So Much.
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
Silver Blatt
Photo taken by,
Terry Shepherd
art 2


I am a short-story writer and a poet. If you would have an interest that you would like me to write about, please let me know.
I am now going to write about a topic on “Angels”. This idea comes from

For months, Sherry was prayed for. She came down with an illness that not many doctors knew about. Sherry fought the diagnosis and continued to live her life on the wild side.

She drank and did drugs. She stayed out late at nights and often brought home strangers to keep her company during the nights.

Time flew by and so did the symptoms of her diagnosis. It got harder for Sherry to live the way she chose; but she continued the best she could.

There came a night when she left her familiar bar. It was late and had been raining for some time. When Sherry reached the wet pavement of the parking lot, her vision went blurry and she fell. She cracked her head hard.

While she lay there, three men came up and roughed her up and stole her purse and belongings. She couldn’t fight. Her mind was groggy. Her head was bleeding. She slipped in and out of alertness.

She sometimes thought she saw angels flying around her head. They were so beautiful, she thought. Light as air, huge, white, delicate wings. Then she would become alert and feel her pain.

What seemed hours, but less than a half-an-hour, the sirens were heard and soon she was lifted into the EMS. The ride was quick. The attendants were giving her oxygen, and had poked her arm with a needle. They were talking among each other and into speakers of some kind.

She was taken into the ER and placed on a clean, white table. She heard the men talking. “I don’t think she will make it, but let’s start a line on her. Check that blood pressure. How’s it doing?”

She closed her eyes and saw the most beautiful light. There were those angels again. She smiled to herself, as the angels swooped down and carried her home.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd



After the Storm

Hello friends. Do you have a topic that you have interest in, that you would like to see in a poem or short story vision?
I am looking for new ideas to write about. Please take note that what I write will be made public to the world. I also will credit your name for idea creation
Joseph Arnold wants something written about “After the storm.”
It had been an amazing day. Sally was able to wash some windows, hang her clothes out on the line and sit in her rocker on her front porch.
She loved sitting on the front porch. She watched the deer and birds. She saw the breeze moving the trees. It was as if they were waving at her. She raised her hand; waving back.
The sun was being replaced by clouds which had a tint of gray in them in the late afternoon. Sally decided to bring the clothes in; in case it decided to rain.
Her area needed rain. They hadn’t had much rain this summer in Nebraska. She didn’t much care for it. It kept her indoors when what she really loved, was breathing in the country air.
She grabbed the last few pieces from the line and a blast of wind tore at her skirt. It almost picked it up and whipped it over her head.
She finished quick and walked as fast as she could to reach inside. A storm surely was coming. She shut the windows and then turned her portable radio on.
She heard the announcement for a big thunderstorm coming her way. She collected her lantern and candles. She grabbed some matches.
She walked outdoors and checked the skies. About two miles north, she saw black, violent skies. It scared her and she went back inside and locked the doors. She made sure her cat, Sophie was safe.
The windows began to rattle. Inside, Sally was shaking. She walked over to her couch and carefully got down on her knees. She prayed,”Dear God, a storm is coming. I don’t want to lose what I have. You know dear Lord; I don’t have much of anything, but what’s here in this house. If you can grant me this; please keep me safe. Amen.”
She stood up and brushed her skirt down. She grabbed the blanket from the back of the couch. Walking towards her rocker which sat near the window; she sat down. She covered herself with her blanket and prayed and waited.
The windows were rattling with robust. The door was shaking as if someone was trying to enter. She heard the howling of the winds. It reminded her of a train roaring near by.
She continued to pray. “Dear Lord, keep me safe, keep me safe, if it be thy will.”
Her cat appeared and jumped onto her lap. She covered her up also and the two waited for what seemed hours. Within minutes the storm flew by. Life calmed, winds whispered, windows at peace.
She removed her blanket and the cat jumped down as if she was tired of the visit. She went back to her bed. Sally looked outside, then opened the door.
The fresh smell of rain; she inhaled. Some of her outdoor furniture was overturned. She scanned her land and the areas around her. Everything looked fine. She was safe. God granted her favor throughout and after the storm.
Written by,
Terry Shepherd

Softly She Said, Yes, I believe in God”

I had to run and get my glasses tonight. Afterwards, I stopped to get something to drink. I was sitting in a booth behind an elderly couple. She was petite and short. He was stockier and carried a cane.

I am naturally inquisitive and talkative so it was only for a few seconds that I hesitated talking to them. They lived about 20 miles from where we were sitting. I told her that I also use a cane, a walker and sometimes a scooter. I could tell they were both surprised because I didn’t have any aid with me.

I explained that I was receiving gifts from God. He looked at me, she gave me a look as if I was perhaps crazy. lol I went on to explain about my diagnosis and she told me that her husband’s legs give out on him frequently.

The first thing I did was ask if they owned a blood pressure kit in their home. Their reply was yes, so I suggested checking his BP right after a fall and calling to make a doctor’s appointment.

She then asked me about my gifts. I explained that I am stating out loud, “In Jesus name, I am  healed.” She looked at me and then said softly, “Yes, I believe in God too.” She turned to her husband and looked him square in the eyes. “Dear, we need to say the same words.”

I thanked them for the nice conversation and was finishing sipping on my drink. The waitress came up then and began talking to me. She started telling me that she had a gotten lucky  after our recent storm.

She explained how this big tree in their yard had split in two. When it fell, it hit one piece of wood on their balcony, leaving the house and windows in tact. I said,” How wonderful, God is good. He saved your house. He knew how much you loved it.” She looked at me and softly said, ” I guess he did. I believe in God.” We smiled, I stood up and we hugged each other. I then left for home.

When I got home and walked into the lobby, I ran into the lady who I had the conversation with the other day about her kids hurting her feelings. She knows how easily I get depressed and she wants me to go to a therapist to seek help.

She had given me the phone number on our last visit and so she asked me if I had called it yet. I said not yet. She shook her head back and forth, as if disappointed in my answer. I said, ” I have a different therapist, who has given me three good days of walking.”

She looked at me and said, “Who’s that”?

“God, I say out loud, In the name of Jesus, I am healed.” She looked down and softly said, “Yes, I believe in God.”

It was an interesting evening. I met some nice strangers and talked to a friend who usually makes me laugh. I was able to speak about my healer three different times.

My friends, I don’t know if God will allow me to walk for a few days or if he will heal me for good. I do know, that I am going in the right direction and for whatever time I can walk without help, I am grateful and when the time is up, if it is, I will be thankful for this time.

Sometimes our problems are big, even huger than life. I believe when we are down on our luck or have an illness or about anything that takes us away from our normal, God steps in and reminds us who is in control. We must thank him by spreading his name to anyone who will listen.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We aren’t even promised the next minute. Make the most of what we have been given, and remember to tell God thank-you.



The Hoarder

The winds  howled. The doors creaked. Unwanted guests arrived quick; trying to find refuge. Candles danced shadows upon the walls creating scary faces that blinked eyes at you.

It was an eerie night in the house on the hill. It rested back a long, curvy lane, made of stone and gravel. Ruts formed from pouring rains, making it almost impossible for automobiles to make their way to the front door.

Naked trees with long arms, scratched their nails against each other as if fighting for their rights to stand tall and strong. Branches which couldn’t hold their own, fell hard to the ground; crumbling and breaking into many pieces.

Souls who once rested in peace in the cemetery next door, now could be seen by the most naked of eyes. White wisps of matter floated through the air as each spirit fought for a new resting ground.

Inside the house, dressed in a dingy, white, floor-length sleeping gown, a man sat at the table. A small table which held one lit candle, a dead rose in a dirty vase, a pad and a feathered pen rested on the worn tablecloth.

He picked up the pen and stuck the tip on his tongue as if pulling ideas stirring in his brain may come out into the open. He wrinkled his brow and scratched at his chin. “Come on, damn you, come out. I know you are in there.”

In his day, he had written many a word and placed the sheets in order and had created several books. No one knew that he was famous in his own right. A magician of thought, a monkey made to come to life by tugging at the strings, now sat lifeless, waiting for the brain to kick into gear.

He had sat there for hours, for days, trying to think of the first word he wanted to write down. He was about to give up and decided instead a change of pace may stir life back into him.

He slipped on his grayed slippers. He placed his over-sized, black trench coat on. Reaching for his umbrella, he opened the big, black knob and went out into the night. He walked slowly down the gravel and stood looking towards the cemetery as if pleading for someone’s help.

He shivered and pulled his coat closer to him and walked towards the spiked fence. The iron was holding back the once lived, keeping them in place until a bigger soul came to take them home.

He gazed over the tombstones looking for answers.  He suddenly became cold. He could feel ice seeping into his nostrils, following the path into the lung cavities. His body became stiff and he knew someone or something had entered his body.

He fell to the ground, grabbing at his throat, squeezing as if trying to stop what ever was invading him. He became lifeless and fell to the ground. Each thought he had ever created took over and consumed him, choking him to death.

Whispers heard, words not understood became louder and louder as his own body was eaten alive from hoarding  His mind  shut down,  his brain swelled, and he died right there amongst the thousands of thoughts and words that he had never once shared with another human being.

Painting done by,

Terry Shepherd