Chapter 15

The more ill Dad became the more I was at the home of the girlfriend. I tried my best to be smiling and talk about nothing but it was strained. Dad was fearful that he or I would say something wrong and he would be sent home packing.

Many times I heard B…

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Chapter 15

The more ill Dad became the more I was at the home of the girlfriend. I tried my best to be smiling and talk about nothing but it was strained. Dad was fearful that he or I would say something wrong and he would be sent home packing.

Many times I heard B threaten to send him home if he didn’t behave. I felt so sad for Dad. I always knew that he was not one of those take-charge men. Mom did everything. She paid the bills. She made the better money. She was very involved with the city of our home town.

Dad stayed in the background. He had plenty of friends himself. The guys he worked with, and there were some from his church that he hung around with, but Mom always seemed to outshine on most things.

I always believed Dad had issues with Mom making more money and I feel that this hindered him taking a front seat in their marriage. So seeing this woman bully Dad when he was dying broke my heart.

Many times I ate over at B’s house. She was an excellent cook. Her home was spotless. Her dog was cute, the property she lived on beautiful. But she lacked in humanity. Her life revolved around her and we were the tagged children, and Dad was her puppet.

The minister started dropping over at B’s house to see Dad more often. Dad made it a habit to read his Bible after breakfast each day. When the minister would stop by B made a fool out of herself my making rude comments to the Reverend. She would say, “he reads his Bible but he doesn’t follow a damn thing in it.”

I used to want to just walk over and slap her silly when she talked like that. I am sure both Dad and the minister were embarrassed, I know I was. After the visit was over she would pounce like a cat all over Dad. “How can you be such a hypocrite? Reading that damn book and then not living like it says. You ought to just put it a way somewhere and forget trying to look like something you aren’t”

I don’t care if she was right or wrong. She should have never voiced her thoughts to him. I have known our Dad much longer than she has. I remembered a time when he would not step foot inside a church door. He had changed. He needed and wanted to read his daily devotions. He counted on it. Dad did not want to die. He wanted to live. He did everything in his power to keep living. I think he clung very tightly to what he read each day.

Plus, she and I nor any of us have any right to judge another human’s thoughts. Who are we to throw stones when we have not looked in our own glass mirrors first?

I stayed with Dad pretty much through the week days. I went over in the mornings and stayed until after the supper dishes were done, then I would go home. On the weekends I had to trust that B would behave as I worked all weekend long.

Spring, summer had passed and now it was fall. Dad wanted to go to a flea market. B drove and I tagged a long in case Dad needed attention. When we arrived in the parking lot and we were ready to take off B let us know that she was going on ahead. She didn’t have time to wait for Dad who was slow and using a walker.

Dad and I went into one tent and looked around and then he could go no farther. He and I sat in the shade of a hot fall day and talked while we waited for B to have her fun. On the drive home I was very quiet. B talked and Dad listened.

That was the last time I went anywhere with Dad other than his doctor appointments. I am glad I had that time with him. While we waited on the bench our talks began to become on a more personal level. Dad and I both knew he was not going to make it.

Thanksgiving came and it was a nice fall day. Of course I was supposed to be there that day. Who else would give Dad his shots and medications? Who would help him to use the bathroom facilities?

I had a terrible time because I knew that my brother and half-sister were not with us. Thanksgiving Day to me means a day of being thankful. A day of being with family. My siblings were not allowed over. Oh how I hated her for this.

I got a hold of Al and made sure he was not going to be alone on this holiday. I discovered he had been invited by Dad’s sister to be at their home for dinner. For this I was very grateful. I explained to Al how I so wanted him to be with me, but because of B’s attitude it just wasn’t going to happen. I apologized to him over and over and I don’t think he understood or does to this day why he was left out.

The dinner table was filled and over-flowing with a turkey and all the trimmings. At this point in Dad’s life food was the last thing he wanted. He would rather be sitting in the pillow based recliner that we had designed for his body.

When you are dying from Bone Cancer, even a button on a recliner touching your skin can cause great pain. There were many times that I could no longer give Dad a hug. The cancer was eating holes in his bones making him in great pain and very delicate. But this didn’t matter, he had to be at the head of the table. He was to pretend that life was great and the food divine.

If I remember right he ate a small helping of  Turkey and a teaspoon of mashed potatoes. Dad ignoring the home-made chocolate pie told any of us that knew him well that he was very sick.

He didn’t want to stay at the table. He begged me to take him to the recliner. Although B was bitching about him leaving, I took him to his chair. On the way from point A to point B, Dad quietly asked me, “did you make sure Al is alright today?”

I said,” yes he is. He is at your sisters.”

It made me feel good that Dad inquired about Al. Things were changing inside Dad. He was beginning to take stock of what he had done in his life. What kind of father  he been to Al. I think it was eating him up about certain things that had been left undone or unsaid. He touched my hand and said, “thanks Terry for making sure he is alright.”

Ghost or Spirits or Imagination


I used to watch the big movie called Ghost Busters when it was popular, did you watch it also? It is cute and I loved the big Marshmallow Man.

With working in so many Nursing Homes throughout my years, I have heard numerous stories about ghosts and spirits remaining behind. I never heard of any stories where the spirit or ghost was out to scare people.

Many times I heard that spirits left something behind to warn staff of another soul getting ready to go to heaven. I do remember very well two things about one place I worked. It was a huge nursing home and very old.

In fact, the owners of the building are buried outside on the front lawn under a huge monument in their honor. But inside the building, were many wings. There is a tunnel going under ground that  used to be part of the original building. You can still see the undisturbed torches still hanging on the walls as you walk through.

When I worked there the tunnel led you to the laundry area. But to get there you had to pass the newly added church and bank for the residents. One time when I was going through here I was scared out of my pants.

I always worked third shifts at most places and of course if anything is going to happen third shift would be the one it would happen on. It was quiet in the tunnel. The only lights that were lit were the new electrical lights in the hallway.

As I passed the church, out of no where the giant organ began to play. I am not sure but I may have dribbled a little on myself, and I learned that when I am scared stiff I freeze in spot.organ

Somehow I unfroze my legs and scurried like a scared mouse to the laundry room. When I returned to my work floor I told the other aides about what had happened and they had a good laugh on me as they had also experienced this.

The other strange thing that happened was the smell of Cherry Tobacco. There was once a long-term gentleman who had resided there that smoked a pipe always filled with Cherry Tobacco. After he passed a way he would return. We always knew it as the strong odor of his pipe filled one particular room very heavily.

Within 24 hours the resident in that room passed a way. The story was that when ever you smelled the sweet smell of cherry, that resident would pass. I do know that this always seemed true, but was it? Or was it our own imaginations?

Now that Al has moved through his illness and is advancing thoughts of heaven, we hear strange things in our home. I found a blue feather in my bathroom one day last week. I know as well as I am sitting here, we have no birds in our house.

The baby monitor will pick up strange noises from Al’s room. Sometimes they are squelches like maybe picking up from other areas of outdoor noise. Sometimes I think I hear an actual voice like last week when something or someone said the word hush.

Other days I will hear nothing at all and then it will be very active for a couple of days. I have seen one pattern. When Al is having a really rough day with pain or the thoughts of why he can’t go to heaven yet, the noises sound once again.

Al swears it is Mom and I do remember also my daughter telling me sometimes that Mom was near her as she could smell her sweet perfume. Mom loved one perfume by Avon called Timeless.

If you have never smelled it before, in my opinion it is a very sweet smell. My daughter is never scared by this as she loved my Mom very much and I believe it brought her comfort. I have never had this experience with Mom, but the necklace I wore while I cared for our Dad, did appear in my hand, laid out nice and straight, during the middle of the night.

It didn’t scare me. I wondered how it got there but without thinking I knew it was some kind of sign from Dad and I just put it back on around my neck.

My question is this; are there spirits or ghost? Is our desire to see our past loved ones so strong that we visualize what isn’t there? If this is true, how did the necklace get out of the jewelry box and into my hand during the night? Is my daughter really smelling Mom’s perfume? Or does she miss her so much that she was imagined this?

What about Al? He tells me off and on that he speaks to Mom. He has told me that Mom tells him that she is saving a spot for him. One time when Al and I lived here in Indiana still, Al told me that he wanted to go to the cemetery to visit Mom.

I took him there. Now there is one thing I know that Al doesn’t. He has a spot reserved for him on the right side of Mom’s grave. Al doesn’t even know any of this. As we were standing in front of Mom and Dad paying our respects it is very quiet.

All of a sudden, Al looks at me and said, “Mom is patting the ground telling me that this is where I will be laying one day. She said this spot is mine.” I swear the hairs on my arms stood straight up as the place that Al pointed to on the empty grassy spot was exactly where Al will be laid to rest.

So what do you think? Is any of this real? Is there anywhere in the Bible that talks about humans and spirits? I tend to believe more in spirits myself verses ghosts. But yet, I don’t know what the Bible says all about this.

If any of you have experiences you would like to share with me, please feel free. If any of you have known scriptures of this topic in the Bible, please lead me to them. I guess I am asking because I know that Al is not going to get better, unless a miracle is performed. I just want to know what is going on inside our house.

Daily Prompt; Feed Your Senses

Daily Prompt; Feed Your Senses, DP, Daily Prompt

Write down the first sight, sound, smell, and sensation you experienced on waking up today. Pick the one you’re most drawn to, and write. (For a bigger challenge, pick the one you’re least drawn to.)


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Daily Prompt; Feed Your Senses, DP, Daily Prompt

Write down the first sight, sound, smell, and sensation you experienced on waking up today. Pick the one you’re most drawn to, and write. (For a bigger challenge, pick the one you’re least drawn to.)

Photographers, show us one of the five senses — bonus points for depicting a smell!

Oh boy can I have fun with this prompt. Alright imagination, get to work and let it fly.

Every morning is the same. I wake up to the sight of that darn old sun. What does it take to let it know that I went to bed late and I ain’t a ready to get up? But now that I am awake one more day, I guess I will give thanks to the one above who watches over me every night.

Thanks God for giving me one more day to go through what I have to deal with. Amen

You have to realize that I sleep with a big old grizzly bear. Not only is he a bear, and way too hairy for me, hence his nickname, he snores like an old freight train all night long. I just close my peepers and begin to drift off when out of the air comes his snoring.

My gosh, how does that man go to sleep so darn fast? Too bad there wasn’t a subtitle under “newlywed rules” that a person can add those extra touches; warning a body what he/she is in for.

I can remember back to our honeymoon. We shared some of the bottle, and I had went to the bathroom and put my softest flannel nightie on. Crawling into bed beside bear, I was now going to confirm what everyone said about the honeymoon night. I have to admit it was a bit better than what some had said.

After he was finished I had to push him clean off of me. I didn’t realize the weight of him until the after glow was over and I found myself not being able to breathe. All settled down, and the lights turned off he and I cuddled arm in arm to a nice restful night.

I swear it didn’t happen that way at all. I was startled. I tell you I almost peed myself as that first introduction to snoring shook the fear in me.  I looked at him and saw he wasn’t a paying any attention to me so I shook him and he didn’t budge. I grabbed a hold of his chest  hairs and gave a good tug and he sat up in bed like a rocket going off.

“What the devil are you doing to me darling? I ain’t a doing nothing. You just wore me out lady and I need my sleep.”

“I don’t like them sounds you are making. You need to shut off that noise so I can sleep.”

“What noise sweet pea? I don’t hear a thing. Do you need me to call the front desk? Do you think we have an intruder?”

“Nah you crazy fool. We ain’t got no intruder per say. Your snoring is the intruder.”

We both got a good laugh together and I must have done something right because we had another tornado develop in our bed again. Cuddled once again I learned pretty much to punch him in the gut or pull his chest hair until he rolled over.

Ever since that night I have never slept peaceful all night. And every morning when I get up out of bed, the first thing I do is get a whiff of stale farts when I toss the covers back.  Then there’s the cat. He is just meowing wanting his morning food. Good Lord, can’t a body take a morning pee first?

As I step down on the worn carpet my feet instantly step on crumbs where hubby and I had snacked the night before. I keep a telling him we need to stop this snacking in bed and you know what that old cuss says to me? But darling, snacking, you and me, that’s what night-time is all about.

Darn men, who needs them. You can’t live with them and you sure in the hell can’t live without them,(winks) if you get my drift.

Well, I peed, and I scrubbed my face and hands and brushed my false teeth. Scratching my belly I wobble out to the kitchen and feed that darn cat. Then I start the brew. I make my way to the living room and I plop my rear in my favorite squeaky rocker.

I look outside and see what is going on and then grab my Bible and read a chapter waiting for my coffee. I think of all the things I want to try to get done today, and I pray for all the souls that I know need help.

Well people, the coffee perking is done and there in the door way stands the big bear. Scratching his belly and farting, leaving space for his breakfast I am now going to get up and go make. I guess I can drink my coffee a few minutes later.

Daily Prompt; Ripped Into the Headline

Newspaper colour, DP, Daily Prompt

Write about something that happened over the weekend as thought it’s the top story on your local paper.

Photographers, artists, poets show us something from your WEEKEND.

Someone leaked my news I spoke of during the weekend. Normally I would be upset that a confidence was broken, but this was good news for me. I walked out to the edge of the drive way in my pink house coat and fluffy bunny slippers and picked up Saturday’s newspaper.

Well if the biggest smile ever didn’t get slapped across my face. For an instant I thought I was going to faint, but thought seconds about it and declined the inner offer. The old fart that lives across the street from me may try to come over and give me mouth to mouth and I was in my house coat for heaven sakes. Can you just imagine where that might have led to?

So I tucked the paper close to my heart and almost skipped back into the house. I did stop long enough on my way back to say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel. I promised I would step inside and get them an ear of corn. I said hello to Mr. Green bird, my cute little hummingbird.

Then I went on inside. I had to  have the setting perfect. So I grabbed a fresh cup of steaming hot coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. I carefully laid the newspaper down like it was a nice piece of fine linen.

I grabbed my magnifying light and flipped it on. An old lady has to squint to see  that fine print and this woman didn’t want to miss one word. Plus it would give me more wrinkles around my eyes, and I don’t need that.

Taking a deep breath I started by looking at the photo. It was a magnificent photo if I do say so myself. I have to stop and grin here for just a second. I know very well what ornery cuss had borrowed this photo.

I had just been bragging on this person and had been showing off my artistic works of photography. And right here was one of the photos.

alvin at facilityIsn’t is a beauty? Oh I am so proud. I couldn’t help myself. I touched my two fingers to my lips and then pressed them to the front page photo. Thinking to myself, I love you baby brother.

I then read the headlines over the photo: Warsaw Man Has Not Cried In Three Days.

Aww, what a headliner this is. I am going to cut this section out and press it in my Bible. When Al comes home I will show it to him. I just know he is going to smile so big reading about himself.

You know, it always makes a soul feel good when someone is saying good things about us. We all get tired of the negatives in this world. Al is no different. He wants to know he is loved too.

I read the article. It was short and sweet.

Warsaw area man who suffers from chronic pain on a daily basis has had relief for three days. He has learned he is going home next week. It is like looking at a different person, his sister says. Al lives with his sister here in town. She has been taking care of him for almost six years. For a short time he has been temporarily placed in a nursing home facility. The sister after close observations has decided he would be happier back home, and this picture shows. Just look at that smile. Way to go Al!!! Keep up the good work.

I had to read it and reread it three times. Then I touched the article gently with my hand, knowing it was the best news I had read for some time.

It won’t be long now baby brother, it won’t be long, and you will be home safe and sound with me.


A Veteran and Our Clocks

I forced myself to do something or not to do something today. I did not go see Al. You may banjo clockthink why would you force yourself that?

Well, I just needed the break. I had to take some time a way from the one thing that brings me down so quick. Not Al, of course, the facility itself.

Being in a facility can tend to take a way smiles and laughter. You walk in and immediately see elderly people sitting alone in wheelchairs. You may hear a few repeating the same sentence over and over. It seems they are talking to non-speaking walls.

Many sleep in their chairs or sit in their rooms waiting to eagerly go to bed or to a meal. So many sad faces. Lifeless bodies consuming a colorless chair with two big black ugly wheels.

Then I step into Al’s doorway. His roommate is quiet as usual, most likely sleeping with head tilted over in his wheelchair. Al is behind a divided curtain either picking his head, or crying or asleep in his bed.

I just couldn’t do it. I had to step back a way. I am struggling with the continuing of writing my two books. I wrote a new chapter to one of my books today, which by the way I have finally titled. I am on chapter 21, which I published today. It is now called A View Backwards.

It took me a large amount of time to write it. It isn’t that exciting of a chapter but my mind kept drifting elsewhere.When I completed the chapter, I made myself leave my four walls. I just got in my car and drove. I wound up going to some garage sales. I  found one thing in three sales. It was a bed tray or you may call it a food tray that will go over Al’s lap while he is in bed. He can use it to prop his Bible and read or eat snacks or a meal on it if he is not feeling well.

On my fourth and last trip to the sales I found two things for me. I found a Redwood chicken. I like to collect chickens and roosters. I don’t have many, but I don’t like the modern silly looking ones. I like the oldies. Then I also found a clock. This clock took me back to six years ago. I was caring for a man and wife. I took care of them for three years, or maybe it was five in total, I can’t remember.

Anyways, he had this clock that hung above his television. I always admired it and the Mr. and I used to talk about it quite often. I am sure his is much older than mine and I believe his is a little bigger. I assume one of his children have it now as both of these dear people passed a way.

I prayed like a silly school girl that it was in my price range and that it worked. I was like a kid in a candy store, slobbering all over myself. I walked up to it ever so slowly. Afraid that it was out of my reach.

I touched it. It was a nice heavy clock compared to today’s clocks. I picked it  up and ran my hands over the inlay and the mahogany. It felt so nice, like it belonged to me. He and I became friends instantly. I couldn’t put it down.

I asked the lady how much it was, and I thought my legs immediately turned to jelly. I could feel them wobbling as I knew I could afford it. I watched her gently take it in her arms and plug it in. Oh my, it worked also. I told her I would take it. I paid and smiled all the way to my car, like two old buddies had just reunited.

While I was sitting in the car admiring my prize I thought back to the man I had taken care of and how proud he was of this same clock. He had been in the war also. Each Memorial Day I took him to the cemetery to reunite with his friends.

He and I spent hours on those special weekends talking about his war days. I thought ahead to where Al is sitting right now and wondered  how many of those empty faces are also veterans.

The stories that are locked inside their head would give me goose bumps when I think of what they did to save us. Maybe if we just took the time and visited these lonely veterans, we could relive some of what they went through.

There are shelves of books and broken chapters hidden deep inside. Willing to come out if only given the chance. My first husband served in the last few years of the Vietnam War. It seemed to me that it was more like a party for him instead of a war. The bad days were over, and life settled down. He was a policeman over in Stuttgart Germany, where I had the opportunity to live many years ago.

My second husband had no heirs so he didn’t go. My father had us children so he was never called. Al had no heirs so he never received the letter either. But thanks to the elderly I cared for so many years, I had a front row seat and got to see the movie in full living color.

God bless our Veterans. They are our heroes. So why do so many people shove them to the back corners of life and watch while they slowly sit in their wheelchairs waiting to die. Waiting for someone to say hello. Waiting, just waiting.