Lessons In Every Situation, Roar Into 2014

2013 for me. I don’t remember a whole lot. Life seems quite a blur. Al was in the nursing home from January until June. I remember plowing through snow and cold to go see him. I never wanted him to think I didn’t care.

Groceries were not bought much. The bills remained the same most of the year. The TV shows got sillier. None of them really grabbed my attention except American Idol. Somehow looking forward to two nights a week to this show made the winter months go by faster.

June came and Al came home and then life was still not that bad. Life is never as bad as we think it is in the moment we are living it. When we move on down the road and are faced with different challenges, we sometimes look back and think, I wish I could go back to that time.

For a while I was still able to get Al in the car. We went to some antique shops. We went out to eat. I was even able to take him to one more big car show. We went places and Al was placed in an adult program where he could socialize with others. Life seemed pretty good.

Then it was like a blink in an eye life began to change for the worse. Al’s MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) seemed to really kick in. No longer was I able to get him in the car alone, and with no help we had to give up the outings. Life became a little more quiet for him and me.

In no time at all Hospice was involved. Al went from being able to shave himself to me shaving him. He no longer could brush his teeth, I did it for him. He went from finger foods to some help with eating to now; which I feed him all of his food and drinks.

He went from a being able to stand with assistance in his wheelchair to his legs no longer holding him up. Today, he is bed bound. He gets all of his baths in bed. Only a month ago he was still able with lots of help to get a shower.

Now he stares at the TV when his vision will focus. His eyes water, his fingers and hands are locked in a prayer position. His legs are curled in a fetal position, not bad, but getting there.

Instead of him and I decorating for Halloween and Christmas, I did it alone. Al was in the hospital during Thanksgiving and he slept through Christmas. Family came but Al remained in bed.

I have learned to lean on God more and more through this illness of Al’s. I have been angry at God, screamed at him, asked for forgiveness for not being as faithful as I could. I have learned to lean on others for help, such as Hospice, homemakers and ministers.

I have learned who my true friends are and who I can count on when in need. I have learned that I have a huge support system with many people on the internet. I have been shown how many care about Al by all the cards and gifts that have been sent.

I have been taught that to gain strength, all I have to do is pray about it. I have learned how to cook for one and puree for Al. My laundry has doubled, cleaning is still going strong. I am tired and now try to nap when I can. I have learned that the house will always be waiting here for me. The dirt is going anywhere.

I am glad that this year is ending tonight. I would not really want to relive it again. I am hopeful that things will be brighter in 2014. I pray that the Obama Healthcare works itself out.

I hope more lean on their own strength and realize they have more to offer this world than they think. I hope Al finds peace and is reunited with our parents. I pray that I will be able to move on and remember Al with smiles. I hope jobs pick-up and crime is less. Schools offer the basics and we have less drop-outs than ever.

My family will expand by two this new year. I wish for my own family good health and common sense, so that they can survive yet another year. Life isn’t easy, it won’t be from this day on. But with careful consideration and a loving Mom standing behind them, they too will find what they seek.

I hope that each of you stay safe tonight. If you are going to drink, please don’t drive. Beware of your surroundings. Don’t be too proud to take a taxi home if you need to. Tell you children you love them. Hug your parents. Stay positive. We are in this together no matter how many miles separate us. It is up to you and me my friends, to make or break this world.

So to each one of you, Happy New Year, 2014.

P.S. Don’t forget to change your calendars and write 2014 on your checks tomorrow.




Are You Wondering?


I bet you have wondered the helper and Al and I got along today. Well, it was freaking fantastic! She jumped right in. She has a great personality. Al and her got a long very well. She changed him. She helped with every thing I taught her today. She fed him breakfast and lunch. She changed his brief.

I actually cleaned the house with barely any interruptions. I did lay down but couldn’t sleep. I did watch Christmas Bride on the Hallmark movie station. I have no new aches.

Best thing that has happened in our lives in weeks. Help, someone to talk to Al, a loving soul who took her time and  showed Al she cared and all this on the first day. The next best thing is she is coming back tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed.crossed fingers

Wrinkles and Baggy Eyes

big+fireYesterday, slowly the day progressed from good to bad. By the time it came to rest, Al‘s tremors and internal furnace got worse. I sat in his room from 3:30 to 6am, covered in two blankets. A ceiling fan and box floor fan both on high and Al is yelling out ” I’m on fire! I’m on fire.”

The amount of medications I was giving him would let him just start to sleep and then we was wide awake again. From what I have learned there is no fix for his internal furnace and tremors.

I probably looked silly sitting there in my house coat, slippers and two blankets. The register is closed in Al’s room in order to keep it cool also.

This morning the Hospice nurse said it was his heart last night, throwing a fit from the tremors, causing something like women’s hot flashes.

He is a bit better today but not much. I am so darn tired. I just look outside as the world passes me by and tell the leaves I am so sorry to be ignoring them. Hopefully I can get my son to come down and at least mow them if nothing else.

Tomorrow I get out for four hours. A trip to the pharmacy for Al and to the grocery store. I sure hope this new gal relaxes and I can eventually get out of here or there will be no Thanksgiving Dinner or any Christmas gifts.

I learned last night my daughter won’t be here for Thanksgiving and maybe not for Christmas. Of course I am so disappointed, one because I love and miss her so much and two, she is the biggest help. She just picks up and kicks in and none of the other family members do this.

I think I will be glad when the holidays pass in some ways.

Making Memories

Last weekend on Hallmark station the Christmas movies began. I refused to watch any of them. After all it is weeks before Christmas morning. Even as I sit here staring at what I think is our beautiful tree.

This weekend has started out pretty good. Al hasn’t gotten out of bed but it’s alright. It is warm but windy outside. I keep seeing leaves fluttering outside the window, reminding me of winter coming.

It was almost like a silent rebel inside of me. I knew those movies were on. The feel good, family, love, everyone happy movies. I left my TV off most of the day, but this forced me to listen to Al’s TV which had football games on. Sorry friends I am not a football fan.

Then I did it. I flipped the TV on and turned it to the station, Hallmark. There it was staring me in the face. Pretty snow flakes, smiling faces, people getting engaged. Wow, I was starting to feel like a real Scrooge.

I didn’t like that conclusion but I didn’t like the sadness that ripped across my heart either. Tender memories of Mom and Dad. Hustle and bustle of trimming trees, sharing holidays with the entire family. Wow, once again I felt like I had went from a feeling of seven down to a two.

What nonsense I was doing to myself. Mom and Dad wouldn’t want me sulking and missing out on making more memories. I want to fall in love again and yet I refused to watch someone else experiencing that feeling.

Was I jealous? Maybe, not sure. I have a family of my own. My brother, and three kids, their kids and two new ones coming next year. Why am I wasting time on past memories that make me sad? Of course there is never a day I don’t think of our parents, but life moves forward and I need to try too.

I have not turned the TV off, I have watched from my cozy couch or from the stove while cooking Al and me supper movie after movie. A part of me feels lighter, happier. The holidays are coming whether we like it or not.

People will celebrate in what ever form they are accustomed to. I refuse to sit here and dwell on what was or worry about whether Al is going to be here at Christmas. I am working with all of my human power to enjoy today.

Today with Al, tomorrow with tossing leaves, cooler weather, snowflakes that will fall, Thanksgiving with which ever kids show up and Christmas, a time of making new and better memories and giving thanks for baby Jesus being born.




christmas tree3


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.