The Gift


She was 90 years old. Up until three years ago, she lived an independent life in her one

My gift of LOvE for You...

bedroom apartment. She lived in a small village in Michigan. Every morning she would rise at six and start her coffee. After dressing she would pull open the blinds and wait for the first signs of day break. She would fix one slice of toast, and enjoy it with her freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Her husband had passed on to a better life ten years prior. Kathryn had no desires to seek out another relationship and instead went to the other apartments in her building to knock gently on doors, offering her assistance to whom ever needed it.

Sometimes she found herself walking to the market that was on the block that she lived. She would pick up eggs or maybe a jar of coffee for someone who could not get out. Other times she would help by reading the newspaper or maybe the bible to someone who didn’t feel well that day.

Kathryn was the kindest of souls. Her heart was committed to anything she did. But on one day she didn’t open her door to do her rounds. She instead lie on her kitchen floor, never buttering the toast that had popped up. Her empty coffee cup sat near the now ready coffee. She had fallen, turned to quickly and landed on the floor.

Her ankle was in pain and she knew that she had twisted it badly. Tears formed in her eyes and gently streaked her cheeks, as she prayed to God for someone to find her. She thought she must have been lying there about an hour, when a knock came at her door. She took in a deep breath, and cried out,” The door is open, please come in”. The neighbor next door to her, a gentle old soul by the name of Solomon, walked in and saw her.

He walked over to her and asked, ” What happened Kathryn? Are you alright? Can you stand with my help”?  Kathryn, shaking her head said, “I don’t know Solomon. I tripped over my own two feet, and down I went”. He replied,”Let me try to help you up, but first let me go get some more help. I don’t want to make this any harder on you or us than we need to”.

He told her he would be right back, and he took a throw off of the couch and placed it over her so she wouldn’t get chilled. He left and with minutes he came back with a helper. Together they were able to lift her up, and they helped her get to the recliner. She leaned on them as she could not stand on her one foot. After positioning her, Fred the helper, took a closer look at her ankle. He said, ” It is starting to swell a little.On a scale of one to ten how much pain do you feel Kathryn”? “It is about a five maybe. I feel more pressure than pain. I don’t think it is broken. Let’s try standing me up to see how I do”. The two neighbors said no to that idea.

Solomon suggested, ” I think you have sprained your ankle Kathryn. Do you have an ice pack? We can put it on here and then check it every so often for the swelling. I think it should  heal by itself, if you stay off of it”.

She told them where the ice pack was and Fred went to get it and then filled it with ice. After placing it on her ankle, they asked her if she needed anything and she asked for the morning paper. Upon giving it to her, they gave her the television remote and then promised that one of them would be back to check on her in an hour. She told them how grateful she was for their help and then the two gentlemen let themselves out her door.

Kathryn’s body was not as stable as it used to be, and the fall and the pain she had endured was too much for her heart. She was reading her newspaper, when softly it fell to her lap, and her eyes gently closed. When Fred and Solomon came back to check on her, they found her nodded off and sleeping.

Fred called out to her, and then Solomon shook her gently saying, “Kathryn, Kathryn, can you hear me”? When her head fell forward, Solomon said, ” You better call an ambulance Fred. I think something has happened to poor old Kathryn. Hurry Fred, the phone is over on that table”.

Within fifteen minutes, the sounds of sirens came closer, and soon two gentlemen stood at the open door. Solomon told them to come in and he moved out-of-the-way so the EMT’s could check Kathryn out. With the conversations between the EMT’s and the hospital, her two neighbors suspected she had a stroke.

After placing her on the four-wheeled cart, the professionals got as much information from the two neighbors and then whisked her off to the hospital. Fred and Solomon walked out her door closing the door behind them. They made arrangements on who would take them over to the hospital. The apartment manager, Herbert, told them to get ready and that he would be waiting in the front with his car.

Everyone bustled to get around and some neighbors knocked on doors to find out what had happened. It took a little longer than expected, but Herbert delivered Solomon and Fred safely at the hospital’s ER doors. Herbert told them as they were getting out of the car, “Just call when you are ready to be picked up guys. I will come back and get you”. The two neighbors said thanks and went through the glass doors to find out about their dear neighbor.

At the receptionist desk, they announced who they were, and then poured themselves  each a cup of coffee and sat down to wait  for news. They chatted among themselves and talked to others sitting near by. Fred stood up and walked over to where the pretty lady was sitting behind the desk. He was just getting ready to ask if there was any news when the doctor appeared.

The doctor went to both of them and said. ” Kathryn has suffered a stroke. Now it doesn’t look like a bad one. There doesn’t seem to be any long-term damages. She does have a little weakness on one side. I think with some therapy she can regain a little more strength. She will need help at home once we dismiss her. Does she have anyone at home to help her? We will be keeping her here for a few days”.

Fred and Solomon looked at each other and each wished they could fill the job but shaking their head, they both said, ” No, she lives alone, and she has no family left”. The doctor told them that he would make arrangements for her to be placed in a nursing home. She can not be left alone to care for herself”.

The two gentlemen hung their heads as they so badly wished they could help more. Before the doctor left them, Fred asked,” Can we see her doc? We both want her to know she is not alone, that we are here for her”. The doctor replied, Kathryn is a lucky lady to have such nice family like you. Of course you can see her. I am going to go back and check on her and then I will have the nurse come and get you”.

Solomon said, “We are not her family doc. We are just two neighbors who care about her. We have all been neighbors for a few years”. The doctor came closer to them and winked and said with a smile, ” In my eyes, you are her family. Family is defined as someone who is close, someone who cares. Now go have a seat and someone will let you know when you can come back”. With that, the doctor turned around and went back to Kathryn and the two guys went back and found their seats.

An hour and a half later a nurse came to them and said they could go back and see her now. Following the nurse they walked into Kathryn’s room, and she smiled when she saw them. This brought relief to her friends that she was going to be alright. They spent some time talking with her. Fred said, ” As soon as we know which nursing home you are going to, we will be out their to help you get settled in”.

Kathryn said, ” I would like that my friends. I feel blessed that I was able to stay at home as long as I have. I knew my time would come some day, but I was hoping it would not be this soon”.  Fred and Solomon took her hands in theirs and said, ” You may be living in another room, but you shall never lose our friendship. We will be here as much as we can. We shall let the neighbors know where you are at and soon you will have so many visitors, that you will be telling the nurse to close the door just to get some rest”. They all three laughed and then said their goodbyes.

Kathryn did not have any permanent damages but she did not argue when the nurse came to tell her it was time to transport her to the nursing home. She knew in her heart, that she needed the extra help. She realized it could have been so much worse. Her father in heaven had kept her protected.

The two gentlemen got some neighbors together, and they took several items from Kathryn’s apartment and placed them in a suitcase. Each friend gathered some things from their own apartments. Things they thought would make Kathryn feel more at home.

With the help of the apartment manager and the maintainance man and his truck, they all made their way over to the nursing home. By the time everyone had brought in the goodies, Kathryn’s new room looked more like home. It was the holidays, so when you walked by her door and peeked in you could see a small table with two chairs. On top of the table was a small Christmas tree that stood about two feet. It was decorated with tiny blinking lights.

In the opposite corner sat her recliner. Beside that was a table with a light attached. Newspapers stacked on the other side, waiting for her to come read them. A neighbor always seemed to be there, and the new coffee pot was always providing hot steamy coffee. There were three pictures that ordained the walls. Beside her bed sat a table, and it was filled with cards and flowers.

Christmas time is a beautiful time of the year. Friends and family gathering together to show love and support for each other. Some are not so lucky and spend time alone during the holiday, and for this, I am very sad. For others such as Kathryn, God blesses us with more than we can ever imagine. Love, friendship and support. Kathryn knew that she was truly a blessed woman. She had more now at her age, than she deserved. As she sat in her recliner, sharing coffee with friends, she thanked God for the gift of love.

Terry Shepherd

12/10/2012

A Week Of Blessings


English: Yellow and green Bell peppers, North ...

I don’t know what I did to deserve the extra icing on the cake this week, but I want to just sit here and cry, not over sadness but joy. I can be one of the biggest whiners, and I come to all of you for comfort and understanding. I believe in God but don’t show it when I am always stressing or worrying over Al, so I am not a very good example of a christian woman.

Wordpress on the back

But this week, I have been so blessed, and I just had to share with you my joy. I had given my camera to a family member, who accidentally dropped it and broke it. I thought to myself, it will be quite a while until I can take photos again for my friends at WP, but God used a friend here and I was blessed with a camera in my hand once again.!

I have been blessed for four days in a row with smiles and some laughter from Al. I don’t know where this came from, and at first

God the Father with Angels

I tried to analyze it to death, but then thought, don’t ruin it Terry, be thankful for this time from him. Keep it in your memory box!

Today, at the doctor’s office I received good news that my blood tests were all good, except the cholesterol, and that my weight gain is not causes so much from what I eat, but stress. Now I just have to pray very hard for that to lesson, and maybe I will lose a few pounds!

Today, I was waiting for the nurse to show up for Al, and about fifteen minutes before the nurse would arrive, the door bell rang, and when I opened it, there was not the nurse, but one of the employees of our favorite place to eat and get medications. She asked me if I loved home-grown tomatoes and green bell peppers, and I said with no hesitation a big yes! I have not had home-grown veggies for many years, and she said that she had thought of Al and me and had extras, and would I like to have some, and again, I said yes.  Once again, I was blessed!

Like I said, I don’t know why I am getting these extra blessings, but I am very thankful. To all who pray for us, cry and laugh with us, I want to thank you for bringing us into your hearts and lives. To God and the heavenly angels, thank you for bringing some extra love and sunshine to our home this week.

Prayers Are Always Answered


English: A painting of the three Brontë sister...

Can you be friends with someone you do not know? Can you fall in love with someone you have never met? How can you begin to know where the truth starts and ends when you write to a pen pal?

I am considered middle-aged now. I know, it is a nasty word to some of us, and to others, it means freedom. Freedom from pregnancies, freedom to retire, freedom to travel.
Being middle age should show others we have lived more than the younger generation, and yet have room for growth as our elders could tell and show us.

I have had the normal family, as it is sometimes called. Two parents, one step-parent, one full brother, one half-sister. With this brought real grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and also other half family members from other sides of far away families.

We had the reunion things each summer, with everyone driving or flying in to one location, that had been planned for a year. I have great memories of those reunions. The only thing that broke them apart was old age and death.

I grew up with friends and class mates just like you did. I got married, not once but twice, and I  have also been divorced twice. I made friends as an adult also, some leaving scars in my heart and others coming and going for reasons, only God knows.

The saying is, that if you have one good friend in your life, you are a lucky person. One of my blogger friends on here has had the same girlfriend for over sixty years. Now  I think this is incredible. I do feel lucky though, because I have had one girlfriend for over thirty years and we are still very close,although she does not live in my home town any longer. If we call each other, we pick right back up where we left off a month ago. These are great friends to have.

But, what about those friends you meet online, that you have never met. Do you think you can form a never-ending bond between them and you without ever seeing each others faces? Could you be so lucky to be included in their family as a true friend or better yet a sister or brother?

I do. I have made many friends on here, but there are two particular blogger friends, who have made me feel needed as a friend, and seem to know my thoughts before even I do. Isn’t this awesome? I was told that I was a part of their family. You will never completely know how this makes me feel.

To have my parents both in heaven, and a half-sister that is dead to me, and my brother who is so sick, being made a part of someone’s family, who I have never met, is a miracle in itself.

The only way I know how to explain it, is to admit, that it is a mystery, unless………you believe in God, which I do. I believe that God placed these two souls right in front of my nose. Right here on WordPress. God arranged for me to cross over to their blogs and he had the precise words that would light up my curiosity, and lead me to continue to read them, make comments and form these special friendships.

Many months ago I prayed as I have told most of you, for God to show me how to feel helpful to others, as I sat here at home caring for my brother and not working outside the home. It took several months, but he answered.

He told me to write. Yes, he sure did. Just as if someone was sitting right beside me and whispering in my ear. Write, my child. This is exactly what I heard, and so I did begin the journey of my life with my brother, even advancing my thoughts into fictional stories, books, and poetry.

People say that God just does not answer prayers, he floods you with blessings for loving him. He has blessed me with my one good friend of over thirty years. He has given me many good friends on WordPress. He has helped me to open my mind and become creative with my imagination and words. He has given me two special friends on here. He has provided another family to take me in as a part of their family, because God knew how alone I felt, and how much I was missing my own mom and dad, and missing the spirit of my brother, and the sister I used to have.

You two know who you are, and my dear friend of over thirty years, thank you. Thank you for listening to me cry, whine, laugh and stress. Thank you for taking me in and making me a part of a family again. I may be here in my four walls and live with tears and pain, sorrows and stress, but by God’s grace, I am with family and friends. Thank you.

Don’t Be Blinded


There is much to be thankful for

In this world we live in

But pain can blind us

And we can give in.

 

Not seeing what stands before our eyes

Blinded lies are looking down

Walking away from this that shines

With smiles that have been turned into frowns.

 

We need to get down on bended knee

Hands together, head bowing low

Thanking God for all he gives

Loving Jesus and letting all know.

Written by,

Terry

Prayer

Prayer (Photo credit: Chris Yarzab)

 

I Can Still Say Thank You


Staring at this screen, looking at the bright whiteness waiting for black to come over it with my words. Ashamed of myself for feelings that keep popping up in my mind. Memories of my earlier child hood. Taking for granted that these days would go on forever, never-ending. In one moment, thanking God for all that I have in my life, and the next moment, wishing for what I had before. I am just being silly, but not being able to get over myself, I have decided to write this down, maybe being able to lay this to rest, once and for all. We all have memories of our  childhood. Some of us are lucky to have wonderful memories, and others are struggling with thoughts from the past. Our parents, school teachers, leaders among us, all teach us how to become good, respectable adults in society. They mold us and help us form our opinions for when we are grown. Things that were not taught, I have learned on my own, through many trials and errors. Managing a checkbook, following a list of groceries needed, listing and following a budget for our finances. Knowing how to handle disappointments in life, understanding what follows from our first introduction to sex, understanding and dealing with the fact that not everything remains the same. I have had wonderful miracles in my life, including three children. I have had disappointments also, that only I could learn from. What I didn’t learn was to take each moment in life and treasure them enough. I didn’t learn to say thank you enough, or to embrace people who entered my life and then exited, as though, they were there for the moment, to help me learn something new. I took life for granted, thinking it would never change. I took for granted that people, acquaintances, friends, parents, family would always be there. Now it is too late, or is it? Do you believe that your loved ones are near you? Do you believe that they watch over us, even though they are not here with us physically? There are times that I do believe. I believe that my parents are together, with arms wrapped around each other, looking down on me with smiles on their faces, pride in their eyes, and sometimes tears when they see me going through sad or rough times. Their arms reach out and if I sit still long enough, I can almost feel the warmth touching my shoulder, whispering in my ear, that it will all be alright. Pray and give it to the Lord. What I regret, is that I didn’t thank them enough for what they did for me. My new bike, wonderful birthday parties, letting me have friends for sleep overs, putting a bandage on my knee or elbow. Wiping a tear from my eye. Buying me new clothes for school, paying for my education. Being at my silly school programs, knowing they had other important things to do that night.Speaking to their friends about helping me to get a foot in the door with my first job. Helping me buy my first car. I could go on and on with the wonderful ways my parents were a part of my life. I never said enough. So today is my birthday, and I am now older. My parents and family are no longer with me. I have learned that life doesn’t go on the way you remembered when you were young. I wish to go back in time, when mom was standing in the kitchen frosting my birthday cake, and dad was in the garage putting together a surprise birthday gift. Today, I am grown, and have matured through many teachings in my life. Today, I take nothing for granted. I thank God for all of my wonderful blessings I have. Today, I look up towards the sky, and with an open heart, and a tear in my eyes, I am telling my parents thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the sufferings that you went through to make me who I am today. Thank you for all the wonderful memories that you have provided me. I love you mom and dad. You were the best. I miss you both but soon we shall all see each other again.