The Fool

” Who are you? Get out of here”. I sat up on my bed. Teeth chattering from fear. I got up on my knees because it disappeared. Seeing nothing, I slipped my slippers on and carefully walked towards the end of the bed. It was gone. Whatever it was that I thought I saw; was no more. I got back in bed and laid back on my pillow. Sleep hiding from my mind. I lay there thinking how silly I must look if anyone had just witnessed what I thought I did. I turned and laid facing the window. Shadows bouncing from tree branches blowing in the breeze. I could make out many shapes as long as I let my imagination flow. I laughed out loud; willing my body to calm itself. I closed my eyes when suddenly it appeared once more. It wasn’t at the foot of my bed this time. It was staring me right in the face. Its shadow embracing the width of the window curtains. “Who are you? I say, who are you? You don’t fool me. I know you are only a figment of my imagination. Go away, and leave me alone”. ” Fool you? I fool you? You are the fool my child. You are the one trying to be other than whom I made you. I have come to warn you. Listen, and listen carefully. Your ways do not work. I see the clock where I sit and watch your activities daily. The hands are ticking quickly by. Your time is nearing. I come to warn you to change your ways. Live only as I  have commanded you to live. Say the words that were instilled in you while you lay resting in the womb”. My body froze. My breathing halted. Fear took over as I listened to the misty words being struck through the air I breathed. It disappeared. I touched myself and yes, I was still here, alive and breathing. It felt like a magnet was pulling my soul straight up out of the body. I reached out my hands and stretched up, fighting against the air to keep my soul where it belonged. Gasping I tugged. The harder I tugged, the stronger the gravity was against me. I lay down, willing my body to stop. Whispering words to myself, that whatever had just happened be swept away like a big, nasty cobweb. I commanded myself to breathe deeper and slower. Was this another nightmare? Could this have been real? I lay there in the dark, reliving each scene that had just played out. Be myself, who did he think he was to order me to do such a thing. Hadn’t I fought long and hard through thick trees and branches to get where I am today? Is it my fault, that boulders thrashed down on me, muddying my path before me? I had no choice. I had to do things in order to get ahead. I lay there thinking. I was tired of arguing with only myself. I willed myself to sleep once again, only to be pulled towards a pit. It is getting darker. I can’t see. ” Help me, help me please. I will listen. I  promise I will listen, if you only help me just this one time”. ”

The clock has chimed I threw you a dime You let it roll You dug your hole I warned you my child You chose being wild Now I can not rescue you You still play the part; the fool.

Written by, Terry Shepherd 4.9.2015


A Special Day


Today is a day full of clouds and drizzle. There will be no sun for a couple of days at least. After getting my doughnut tire put on my car yesterday I went to the tire shop this morning. For very little dollars they fixed the tire and put it back on the car.

I was set to go. Taking off I got about two miles down the road and put on my turn signal to turn and the blinker was going double time. I thought oh no now what. I turned into an Auto Zone and sure enough they found one of my turn signals had gone out. Is this my week or what?

I bought the new bulb and had to go next door to a gas station that works on cars and pay them a few more dollars to replace it. These newer cars are so packed under the hood, you have to take out a lot of things just to get to the blinker bulb. I remember the eighty models and prior, I could do myself.

Finally, all four tires were on and good, turn signal was working, I was ready to go about my drizzly day. I went to the business where I take my water classes. I went to tell the teacher that I probably won’t be able to return to class until this Friday. My eye is much better but still not completely healed.

They were glad to see me and asked me about Al. I left them to finish their class and as I was getting ready to leave the building I remembered I had a card in my purse. I received this card last week and it said it was good for this particular business.

I had changed insurance companies on January 1st, and then received this discount card. When I showed it to the lady at the desk, she said this is your lucky day. I thought well I need some luck because all I have been doing is spending dollars on the car.

Come to find out this card is a perk to go along with my new insurance. When she ran it through the system, good news. It entitled me to a free membership. Wow, no more paying monthly dues, I could do anything there for free. I wanted to do somersaults! I was so excited. Yes, I can handle this good news.

I thanked her and went on out the door. Last thing on the list. Go see Al. I walked in and his fingers were full of blood. I looked his face over but saw no new picked areas. I asked him about it and he said he had a nose bleed this morning. He told me his sugar levels were low at the morning check and they had to do it again.

I went and talked to the nurse and she said that he did have a nose bleed. They didn’t know from what. I suspected the dry air. Evidently Al did have a picking party somewhere in that morning. I asked the aid to please clean his nails.

She said his sugar was 87 and that was perfect. For me, that number is not perfect. All I want to do is sleep. I work better at the 120 number. I can’t figure out why his sugars are on the low side but will keep an eye on them along with the nurse. I don’t want him going into a coma through the night.

I asked Al if he wanted to go out to lunch since I didn’t get to take him yesterday. He first said no, it was too close to lunch time and his tray was probably already made. I told him I bet he could go. So off to the nurse again. Al and I ended up leaving and going to his favorite place to eat. Yesterday and today he was and is having good days. He is walking with his walker and no wheelchair. Yeah!

When he walked in, everyone said hi Al, how you doing? We have all missed you. Oh you should have seen Al’s face. The biggest smile just stretched from ear to ear. He talked to each of them. We sat down. Al couldn’t get his coat off so I helped. It took him quite a while to sit on the stool, and then we ordered. He ordered his favorite meal. A breaded cheeseburger, french fries, a medium diet cherry coke and sugar cream pie for dessert.

I ordered a tenderloin with no bun and some cottage cheese and a small diet coke.

He was so involved with talking to all the waitresses that I got a little lonely. So I looked to my side and an elderly man who looked just like my grandpa that has passed on was seated beside me. Even Al told this guy that he looked like our Grandpa. I will admit it was a little weird. Same height, same build, brown eyes bald on top, and age marks on his head almost identical to grandpa’s. Has he came back to visit? Gave me the shivers.

Anyways since Al was chatting, I picked up a conversation with the gentleman. We talked like we had known each other for years. I do seem to talk to elderly people with ease, so this made a plus. He was very interested in Al’s tremors he was seeing, so we talked about Al and what Parkinson’s does. This gentleman was probably in his 80’s. I had seen him in here eating before but had never had the chance to talk to him.

He was so nice. He asked what I did and I told him I am a caregiver and he asked how long I had been taking care of my husband, and I explained it was my brother. He said that I was a good sister.

We chatted for about a half an hour while Al ate and talked. He finished his pie and when Al was ready I helped him put his coat back on. I turned to pick up the check and the gentleman I had talked to said this is my treat. I said oh no you don’t need to do that. My brother is a big eater. He said I want to, so he paid for our meal. Can you believe that? I couldn’t. No one ever pays for my meal. It is usually me that pays for their meals.

I thanked him a couple of times and he patted my shoulder and said that I was such a nice young lady. AW that was so sweet. He called me young. We all said our fare wells to everyone and Al wanted to look around since they sell coke products. He was doing really well. I was so impressed and then he went down.

His legs just couldn’t take that much walking. I told him I was sorry. I told him that I should not have let him walk that much. He told me that his legs were just rotten and they didn’t want him to walk. We both laughed as I helped him stand back up. He wanted to go back to the nursing home, so I took him back.

He said thanks for taking him, and I said it was my pleasure. I told him I loved spending time with him and he smiled at me. He wanted to rest so I said good-bye and I came home. I made it home with no flats, no burnt out signals. I did good.

God is good. He gave Al and I a great day together. These are the days I will treasure for ever.

Daily Prompt; Apply Yourself/ The Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Apply Yourself

by Michelle w. on January 19, 2013

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

Accepting was my last attempt to learn but it still has not come. I guess I have always been a dreamer. I think I have always been filled with the hope of tomorrow.hope for tomorrow

Too much pain, too little time, and too tired. This is how I feel today. I am exhausted.

Some of us, especially me, believe that no matter what is thrown in our path, we can fix it. If we can not fix it we can work around it.

Actually my friends, today was or is not  the perfect day to be writing about this prompt. I actually laughed at it when I saw the title. I may feel entirely different tomorrow, but today I feel nothing more than a cat stretched out on the bed taking a nap.

The first sign I had, was I woke up in pain. Not physical, emotional. I had dream after dream last night about my family and my brother. It was emotional enough, that I didn’t jump up and make the coffee. Instead I went back to bed.

They say it is bad to go to sleep pondering on the problems in your life. I guess there is truth in this as I once again dreamed. Waking up the next time, I felt like I had been drug through the mud. This made my emotions even more intense.

The mud puddles that I keep stepping in instead of over are damaging my soul. I can not help myself. Believe me I have tried. I have plastered the smile on my face. I made the coffee. I have prayed over and over for me to see people in the right lighting.  I have played my favorite tunes, but I am still tired.

Tired of trying to believe that my family is  here. Tired of being alone. Tired of the silence. Tired of being ignored. It hurts so darn bad when you reach out to a loved one and all you get in return is silence.

It hurts so much when I see the changes going on in my life with my brother. My voice is scratchy from trying to explain to others what I stand for, what I believe and no one listens. You listen, don’t get me wrong, I know that I am blessed with the biggest support group here on WordPress. When I step a way from the computer and I have nothing else to say, I will once again see the hard truth of where I fit in.

I do not keep a journal but I am very aware of life that is around me. I am so sorry my friends. I am sorry for dumping on you. I am not being an inspiration to anyone today. I am not going to see Al today. I can’t take it, maybe I am a coward, I don’t know. I don’t want any added problems just for today.

Hopefully I will snap out of this and come flying back with some witty thing to say later. For now, I am going back to bed.

What Did I Do To This Old Lady!!!!

I had to do something. Too much stress going on, which I don’t seem to be able to rid myself of. So went to the beauty salon. Minus make-up, this is my new look. Gave myself a boost of pink for a change

Quaker State And Lube Surprise

Al, my brother, is suffering so much every day with shrinkage of his leg muscles from this nasty Parkinson’s Disease. Some days I wish I didn’t know how to spell it or say it! He is living on pain pills almost around the clock now. I am worried about the effects all of this will have on his stomach, so when I take him to the doctor Wednesday, I am going to bring this fact up and see if there is something else we can try that is more potent and less times per day. I am always hoping for Al, even though I know we are in the comfort care zone. I want each day to be as  pain-free as possible.

With his muscles not knowing any other choice at this time, the shrinkage is its goal. The less Al walks, the more the muscle shrinks. With this brings less stability also. When he arises from a bed or couch. If he has been sitting for a while outside, or in a car, or even on his scooter, it causes pain and freezing.  Al is strong-minded and he is teaching me to be more like him in strength. He fights this disease the best way he knows how, by crying, cursing, and telling his body what he thinks of it.

Al wants to die, because he wants to live so badly. As he sees in his own eyes, that he is fighting a losing battle, then he chooses to die, and as I watch him suffer more each day, I want the Lord to take him home.

Yesterday, I surprised him. He loves cars, vintage cars, race cars, not as much as Coca-Cola, but pretty darn close. I took him into a flea market, and he spotted the red right off the bat! He started to walk over there, but could not make it. He stood with tears in his eyes, looking at me, saying I can’t walk. We didn’t have his scooter at this time, because I thought they had them there for use, but I was wrong.

I saw another lady who was running a booth, and she was in a scooter of her own, and beside her booth was a wheel chair, and she had seen Al’s predicament, and brought it to him to use while he was in the building. I thanked her so much, and although Al said nothing, I knew that he appreciated it also, as he could now go to the red section, coke.

At this point of Al’s life, I can not help spoil him when I can. I am being a two-sided coin, as one part of me is teaching him I won’t tolerate too much whining and negativity, and the other side knows his condition, so if I have the means I will let him have what he wants.

I wheeled him over to a red box, that once opened, showed a beautiful Coca-Cola radio. The dealer of the booth plugged it in for him, and Al looked up at me with those baby blue eyes begging without saying a word. I said, if  you want it, you can have it. I received the biggest smile. I had made his day, and he had also forgot for that moment he had Parkinson’s. He purchased another trinket of coke items, and there was not much more in the store that he was interested in, so we left.

We drove to a new restaurant that neither of us had ever been to. The Quaker State and Lube Restaurant. I knew inside that Al would love this, and I think he did, but he was in pain again, from sitting and standing and being shuffled around. He looked around at the decorations, but didn’t say much. He didn’t cry, but he did ask for pain pills.

Although, I am not much into cars, only that I can drive them, I am glad that we went. The decorations on the walls, and suspending in air were pretty awesome. The menu was the cutest thing. They had changed the names of foods we recognize into terms that matched the decor.

The food was fabulous, especially the stack, onion rings. They were perfect. Al had chicken tenders, with french fries and coleslaw, and for his drink it was very similar to the fair’s Lemon Shake-Up. He ate every bite!

We finished our meal and I paid the bill. I stood up and exited the booth, and Al followed. When he stood up, he fell though. He started crying, not from pain, but from embarrassment. I helped him up, and saw no cuts or blood, so I helped him to the auto, and we went home.

I know that he had a good time, but the ending was not what I wanted nor expected. It was just getting to be too much for him anymore. He is getting too weak, and the more tired he gets the more the body freezes. I am so glad I got to take him, and wonder how many more times I am going to be able to place that big smile on his face with those baby blues looking up at me begging without saying any words.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water, Or Is It?

Does blood-line really mean anything? Blood thicker than water? In my early teen years, I discovered that I had about 20% blood line family, and the rest were by marriage.

Being a kid still, I thought I was probably special, because I had something in my family that most didn’t, but this isn’t true, and I realized it the more I matured in life.

There are many families that divorce today. Families of the same-sex marry or live together, grandparents raising kids, kids raising themselves.

When I think back to my childhood, it was fairly normal for the most parts compared to other families I have come to know. I had a real dad raising me and a step-mother, doing the best she could with two instant kids added to her marriage.

My grandpa was the best. He was my stepmother’s father. He had big floppy ears, like the character, Dumbo. He wore farmer over hauls and white t-shirts. In his young adult life he installed heating furnaces in people’s homes. This was back when a house call could be made at any time day or night. Sometimes he got so busy, that he would ask my dad to help him. This was a part-time job for him. His main job and love in life was his farm. He was not my blood line, but I didn’t know it for years, and even when I did find out, it made him more special in my eyes, because I loved him, and I knew that he loved me also.

My dad’s sister, was a person that I saw on Friday nights at supper time. We all drove to dad’s moms house and ate supper with the families. When ever I heard her speak directly to me, the conversations always ended up being about when I was very young. She was a teenager herself, and had been given the responsibility of bathing me. I was always reminded of the time she got the water too hot, and when she took me out of the bath tub, she was shocked at how red my skin had turned. Other than this conversation, I never bonded too much with her. As an adult, when I heard her speak it was always the accomplishments that her own children were doing in their lives. This person, was my blood line.

My stepmother’s mother, my step-grandma, was a home maker. She was a farmer’s wife. She loved life, was a firm believer of God and always made me feel so loved. I went to her house almost daily, and sometimes more than once a day. Each time I walked in her house, she welcomed me like she had not seen me for years. She was a wonderful baker, as most grandma’s are. She had a huge garden, and canned and froze most of their foods. She helped grandpa raise, cows, hogs, and chickens, and they always ate the meat from their own animals. None of that chemical stuff you don’t always know that is in meats today. She was not my blood line, but I loved her with all of my heart.

My dad’s mother was my blood line. I remember one summer only, that she and I bonded somewhat. I was getting married, and she lived in the same city that I did most of my wedding shopping from. I ended up staying there for two weeks at that time. I spent most of my time sitting in front of the TV with her, while she watched her soap operas. There was no talking aloud while these were on, and she watched one after another most of the afternoon. I would find myself alone, taking walks in the neighborhood, or going shopping, or napping. Grandma was about grandma. Her whole world revolved around her. If she wasn’t the topic of the conversation, then there was no speaking. When we were small kids, and we would go visit, we had to play with our toys in another room, and we had to play quietly. This was my blood line.

After reading back over what I have written, I realize, without a doubt, that in my eyes, blood line isn’t thicker than water. It isn’t who was your natural mom and dad, grandma and grandpa. It was who loved you. Who made you feel special, who did the littlest things in life for you. It was the way I felt about each one, the bonding that is the glue of the family.

It doesn’t matter to me anymore who was this or that in my life. What matters to me is who I remember, who I still have the fondest memories of, who was there when I skinned a knee, or was sick with a cold, who comforted me.

I have lost all of my family now except my brother, and I have aunts still alive, and my step-grandma has been in a nursing home now for some time. She is the ripe age of 96. She lives in another state, so I do not get to see her anymore, but I will never forget her fresh-baked cherry pies, or her big home-made sugar cookies, or the times she asked me to go with her to Dairy Queen.

Blood line means nothing to me, and I have now given up the phrase that blood is thicker than water.

Beauty At Dusk

Tonight, after supper, someone must have whispered in my son’s ear, because he got a hold of me and asked me if Al and I would like to take a walk. I almost hesitated because it wasn’t far from being dark, but I am trying hard to face my fears, and one of them is darkness.

When I see the beauty of these two photos I took at dusk, I wondered how I could be so afraid, when God is showing his splendor and aliveness.

Thank-you son for hearing the whisper, and giving Al and me a few moments away from our troubles.

His Job Is Complete

Matane cemetery

Matane cemetery (Photo credit: Bête à Bon-Dieu)

Today being Father’s Day my brother asked me to take him to the cemetery. I didn’t want to go, but I knew he deserved to go. Just the mention of Father’s Day places a large lump in my throat, and I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off without breaking up at the cemetery.

I took him out to eat, since he hadn’t been anywhere the entire weekend. Not that I didn’t try, but he just doesn’t feel good. After we ate we went to a local department store and I bought Al straws to drink from. He is having trouble raising his arms far enough to get a glass or pop can high enough to drink from. He has been dribbling most of his drink down his chin from the level being off-balance. I got him some more pain pills and some good-smelling shampoo and body wash. I picked up some flowers for him and for me so we could each place them at the grave. Now we were on our way.

We reached mom and dad’s area, and Al just started bawling right there on the spot. He was crying so hard, he could not even get out of the car. I got out and went to the other side and helped him out. I handed him his flowers, and he went ahead of me. I stayed in the background, giving him his privacy, and when he was finished, I made my way to pay my respects. I wished my daddy a wonderful Father’s Day, and told them both that I loved them and missed them.

Next Al wanted to see grandpa’s site, so we went over to the  next road and I waited while he paid his respect to all family members there. Then we walked back over to mom and dad and Al says to me. I am going to be right next to mom. I said huh?

He doesn’t say anything and turns towards the car. He gets back in and then I go over and get in my side. Before turning the car on, Al looks at me and says, God told me last night that I was going home sooner than he had thought. I asked what do you mean, what did he tell you? He says to me, God asked me if there was anything else I wanted to do before he took me home, and I said I wanted to forgive my dad. As usual, when I can not deal with something, I sit frozen and quiet.

Al tells me that he needed to see mom and dad today. He says that he asked dad to forgive him for anything he did, and then he said dad told me he did and also asked Al for his forgiveness. He then made the skin crawl on me and said to me, mom raised her arm and pointed to the side of her and said this is where you will be, right here with me. I asked, what does that mean? He tells me that he has a spot right there beside mom and that she patted it for him to come.

I don’t know if Al ever knew that he has a spot right beside mom waiting for him, or whether this really happened, but for my own well being, I choose to believe what he is saying. I never question what others say about God, because God shows himself to others in many ways. Al then speaks for the last time, and says God came to  him again at the spot, and says your time is very soon.

We both sat there. I cried because I was already grieving for my brother, and also because I miss my parents so badly. Al cried, because he had done what he needed to do, and now told me he was ready to go. Not home, to heaven.

I started the car, and we drove home in silence, each of us consumed in our own thoughts.