Christmas Day

Christmas Day


Christmas wishes

Tasty dishes

Gifts galore

Kids wanting more

Christmas lights

Twinkling bright

Santa came

Brought some games

Mom so pretty

Dad is witty

Grandpa sleeps

Grandma turns up the heat

All have bid their long goodbyes

I wipe my brow and then my eyes

Christmas over for one more year

Time to clean up and get out of here

Take a bath and soak my feet

Climb into bed for that nap I need

Closing my eyes I think I see

Santa leaving and winking at me.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd



The Best Day Ever, DP, Daily Prompt

You get to enjoy the best day ever — describe in detail what that means to you. Where are you? What will you do? What’s the weather like? What will you eat? Who will you see?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us INDULGENT.

Let’s forget reality for today. Let’s pretend that every wish I wanted does exist and come true.

Today is Christmas. The lights are twinkling on the seven-foot tree. Christmas music is playing in the background. The scented candles are lit. The scene is lit and I am standing calm in the doorway. I have my velvet red dress on with matching necklace and earrings. My shoes are the matching color of my dress.

I open the front door and welcome with a big smile my family and hug each one as they enter my home.

Everyone comments about the delicious smells that are drifting their way from the kitchen. They each place their wrapped gifts under the tree. There is no worry from me this year that all here will not walk a way without a few gifts and goodies of their own.

Al is in his recliner watching The Christmas Story. I call out to him and he comes out to the kitchen with the biggest smile. He hugs me and thanks me for making this such a wonderful Christmas for him.

Everyone is seated in their marked seats at the big dining room table. Candles glowing bouncing off the crystal glasses. Festive red and green napkins hug the bright red tablecloth.

The conversation is awesome. Everyone is on their best behavior. The food is delicious. The desserts are eaten. Afterwards all jump in to help clear the table and do the dishes as the kiddies are mingling around the Christmas tree with squeals of delight on opening their gifts.

I take lots of photos so that I may share them with my friends here on WP and FB. The day lingers and the memories I am building are that this is the best Christmas ever.

But the bubble is burst and I sit here in the silence on Christmas morning. I haven’t heard any stirring from my brother and I fear just a little to walk in his room. For he has repeatedly told me he will not be here for Christmas.

But hopefully I will walk in and wish him a Merry Christmas. I can hope that he smiles back at me in silence. I will bathe him in bed. Place him in a dry brief, position him on his side and turn the movie on which has to be The Christmas Story.

I will go to the kitchen and find some clear liquids for his breakfast since yesterday he vomited three times. Thick mucus is building up in him and he is choking. Swallowing as of yesterday has become a very difficult thing for him.

I will sit with him and feed him and give him his medicines so his pain is lessened. Afterwards I will swab his mouth and shave his face. I will go to the silent kitchen and begin the preparations for the noon meal. My memories will come alive as I relive past Christmas Days when Mom and Dad were not in heaven.

My son will arrive shortly before noon and they will  play with their children while I cook. Silent tears will fall for what once was. My children in our home. Al not in his bed dying. Laughter and music filling the air.

Dinner is served. Some conversation will be done. Al will be in his room and I will make the best of this situation with God‘s help. Gifts are opened and then they leave for another day of sharing with their extended family.

I look at the mess and I check on Al. I begin clean up duty as it won’t be long until the aunt I haven’t spoken to in six years comes to visit Al at his request. I pray that the visit is nothing less than good.

I ponder on what time my daughter will arrive on Thursday and begin to prepare for the new day.

Merry Christmas Al, Merry Christmas my children where ever you are. I miss you Mom and Dad. I wish things were different.

christmas tree 4

My Birthday Dream

birthday cake

I had a dream last night. It wasn’t scary for a change. It was wonderful and you were all involved. In my dream I was puttering around my house when the door bell rang. It was a friend of mine that I don’t see too often.

I let her in and she glanced around and made the comment how my house always looked like I was expecting company. We both laughed over this as I am a neat and tidy gal. She looked at my clothing I was wearing and said, “This isn’t going to do. You need to go change.”

“Why, I am not going anywhere. I am not going to see Al until tomorrow?”

“Well today is a special day. Today is your birthday isn’t it?”

“No silly, you know my birthday is not until April 21st.”

“Well, too late now. For today we are going to pretend that today is your birthday. It is only a couple of weeks early.”

She and I laughed and agreed we were just getting senile in our old age. She pushed me towards my bedroom and we picked out a cute little pair of pants and shirt. She did my hair and I added a touch of make-up.

I felt like I was Cinderella getting ready to go to the ball. After I was presentable in her eyes she led me by the hand and took me outside. When I looked out over my yard I was so shocked I about passed out.

Every one of my friends from here at WP were hooting and hollering  Happy Birthday Terry. Oh my gosh. I didn’t know what to say. I had been dreading my birthday. I hadn’t spoken to anyone in real life about it coming up soon.

Birthdays were always a thing that I couldn’t wait to happen. My parents would have the extended family over for a small party. Mom made me a cake. When times were extra good she would order me a cake. Those were good days. I don’t remember getting a cake since Mom died in 2000.

Mom and Dad gave the best presents of all. Birthdays and Christmas Day were one day that they would always splurge on for us kids. Ideas that we had brought up through the year and talked about often were usually unwrapped in bright-colored papers and bows.The biggest gift I ever remember getting just off the top of my head was my piano.

Of course that couldn’t be wrapped. I will never forget one Christmas morning  during gift opening my Dad asked me to go feed the dog. I didn’t want to do that right now and voiced my thoughts to him. He told me to go ahead and they would wait for us.

I went out in to the family room and fed the dog and came back in and sat in my spot. I can remember my parents looking at each other not knowing what to do next. Dad sent me to the family room one more time to get something for him.

This time when I came back in I am sure my eyes were popping out of my head. This time I noticed the piano. I was thrilled, so excited, jumping and screaming with joy. I took lessons for seven years and played that piano every day until the house fire happened and destroyed the piano.

Anyways, back to the moment of my dream. There were tables lined up and the food choices were to die for. There was every type of fruit variety you could imagine. Cheese and cracker spread throughout.

There was a crystal punch bowl with pink liquid in it. Did someone spike this punch? I taste something different. Everyone laughed as they saluted my birthday. In the middle of the table sat the most beautiful cake. It was a two layered cake. It was virgin white with pastel colors of thick flowers surrounding all the edges.

They gathered around the cake and one of my friends sliced it and I got a too big of piece. I didn’t complain though. I tossed out my diet for this one day. I ate the flower first.

After we ate until we were bursting at the seams we moved down to the huge gift pile. I was floating on air from this entire event. No one knew about me getting older. No one realized that I was now 59 years old, but yet here in my own backyard, everyone knew it was my big day.

There were gifts of pretty stationary, new pens and pencils so I could write down new ideas that floated in my head. There were two packages of printer paper so I could continue to print off my new books.

I had made a comment at one time about my computer being five years old. Together everyone had chipped in and bought me a new computer. I went to each and every friend. I didn’t care if you were male or female. I hugged and kissed you on the cheeks.

It was the best dream I have had in months. All of you mean so much to me. You all know this. Not only in bad, sad and good times but even in my dreams.

I Choose the Smaller One

Christmas is over. The stress is gone. My tree is down and I feel peace inside sitting here today. It is not too difficult to go back over the Christmas Day celebration with my kids and their kids and reflect. It was so nice to have most of the family here, and yet there was tension and not as much laughter as I had hoped for. It is alright. As I told you the other day, I have made a strict rule to let it go. I can’t change anyone. Only people can change if they want to.

Today I went to see Al. Al the one who felt threatened by his dad who never knew how to show any feelings. Al was a big guy. He still is but believe it or not, he is fifty pounds lighter due to the Parkinson’s Disease.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to go or not. The weather was predicting snow and I am a big baby to drive on it. My car is not meant for northern winters either. God closed up the skies and let me know that he was with me by keeping it dry outside with just a hint of a snowflake here and there.

When I walked in to his room, he was sound asleep. I tickled his foot and he opened those eyes and peered at me and I got the faintest of smiles. As he became more aware of my presence, I got an even bigger smile. He sat up and we chatted. He asked for more of his vintage cars and I said I would bring two the next time I came to visit. I told him I brought him more diet coke, and I got the biggest smile ever. He and his coca are best friends.

I take great care to not miss one tiny action that lets me know he is tolerating pain for the day. Today he was having a good day. Thank-you God. Before I realized it, time had ticked to noon and he got up to use the bathroom so he could go to lunch. I waited and walked with him down to the dining room. His eating buddy who also has Parkinson’s was sitting at a near by table trying to get the border of a new puzzle figured out.

I asked him if he wanted help and he said sure, so I helped him turn all the puzzle pieces right side up and we found all the straight-edge pieces. I think he was so glad for my help. He looked up at me and gave me the biggest grin.

Now tell me, which would you choose? A Christmas that was slightly strained, or a quiet visit with Al who gave me the most genuine smile he could muster. He was truly glad I was there. He may be middle-aged. He may be mentally-impaired. He may have PD, but he is sincere, honest, and open. It was a breath of fresh air. I will take those little smiles over anything else because they make me feel special, loved and needed. I love you bud.

Several have asked about Al here at WordPress, and so with Al’s permission I snapped some photos of him today and his room.

al at millersal standingal walkingal's roomal's room 2

My Christmas Wish

Christmas at home

My nerves are testy and they should not be

I am trying so hard to keep that smile on me

I am going to visit my brother today

I only hope he is having a good day

Here at home I hear silence and gloom

Hoping   I will see more when I enter his room

My wish for Christmas is that he smiles for me

Let his heart soar and his mouth full of glee

I know he is better and safer too

But the loss that I feel over not having you

Here at home with me makes me sad

I wish I could go back and have what we had

Christmas Day is nearing soon we know

I’m bringing you home in the drifting snow

I yearn for that day to be good for you

That I can spoil you so in all I do

You have come to feel at home in your new place

You have a routine set and you have set a pace

I am happy for you that you feel you fit in

I tried my best but Parkinson’s did win.

Terry Shepherd