Easter’s Ago


Easter Sunday was always a big day for our family. We kids would bathe the evening before. We were called to wake up very early as we had the early service to go to. I would put on my brand new frilly dress. It usually was a taffeta in colors of white, blue or pink. I had matching socks with new black  patent leather shoes that buckled. I also had white gloves and a matching hat.

We would all get in the car and then I would listen to Mom nit pick at Dad. I think back now and I am sure she was just frazzled. Getting up early and getting us all dressed and ready to leave was stressful for her.

On the way to church Dad would smoke his cigar in the car and Mom would tell him to roll that window down. He was choking her out. My brother and I would sit very quietly in the back seat ready for the drive to be over.

As soon as we arrived to church everything changed. We opened the double doors to be welcomed by the greeters. Mom and Dad had smiles on their faces. Everyone was fine once again.

We would go to the early service. I think maybe I drifted in and out of cat naps. After this service was over we would race down the steps to the church basement. There would be waiting pancakes and sausages. I could smell the aroma of the maple syrup. It smelled so good.

After the tables were cleaned we would go back upstairs to the regular Sunday morning service. By then I was getting fidgety. I remember many times being tapped on the shoulder to sit still.

After church we would drive home. Mom would tell us to change out of our Sunday clothes and put play clothes on. She would grab the home-made pies she had made the day before and then we would run over to Grandma’s house. She only made two kinds and they were more for Dad than us kids. They were Pecan and Chocolate pies.

There we would see everyone. Cousins, aunts and uncles. One big family with lots of kids to play with. Us kids would always go outside to run and play. I can remember playing a lot of tag and hide and seek.

Then the call came to come in for dinner. There would be Grandma’s home-made noodles and mashed potatoes. I remember the pickled eggs that were always bright pink.  There was always a big ham that my uncle would slice into pieces. There were deviled eggs too. There were always pies and pudding desserts. We never left the table hungry.

After putting our plates in the sink we would head back outside. Soon adults would come out and tell us it was time to find the eggs the Easter Bunny had hidden. It seems there must have been about six dozen eggs to find. But then again we had a lot of cousins.

We would bring all our eggs for the adults to check and if they didn’t count out to what was hidden we would continue to look. When they were all found we would take our wicker baskets back inside and then we were given our Easter baskets.

They were filled with chocolate bunnies and pink peeps. Brightly colored jelly beans and speckled eggs. All the candies were laying on top of fake green grass. We would divide the real eggs up and put them in each of our baskets.

We would go outside on the porch and crack an egg and eat it. We felt like big stuff as we guarded all of our goodies. I look at those plastic eggs they sell today and think back to the real ones we received. Mom would use vinegar and food colors and color each egg. She would use a wax crayon and write our names on them. It was fun cracking the egg open to see the outer edges colored in pink or blue or yellow.

Those sure were the days. Us kids would be tuckered out and we took Grandma’s bed or the spare bed and take a nap. Some of us kids rested our heads in our Mom’s lap and let the grown up conversation lull us to sleep.

What I wouldn’t give to share one more day like this together. I know I can not so I look to the heavens and tell them how much I miss them and love them.candle3

Sunday Morning


English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey

Sunday morning came today

Took my bath now going to pray

Getting my special dress laid out

Panty hose and undies about

It is the day we go to share

With others who do also care

A day to celebrate in God‘s house

Everyone will be quiet as a mouse

The preacher will preach about how we look

From the leather-bound gold-trimmed  Bible book

The choir will sing and we will follow

Then afterwards we’ll take a swallow

Of wine and taste the broken bread

Just as Jesus did when he had led

For people to do as he did say

To live a godly life each and every day

Do unto others as you wish them to do

Treat them with kindness and they’ll return it to you

So drink my coffee and eat my meal

Put on my clothes and my best high heels

It is Sunday morning and it is a special way

To share with Jesus and friends today.

Terry Shepherd

01/20/2013

Continuing Story Part 28


No one had anything to be said. All was said through tears and emotions pouring out from

A pink Dahlia

A pink Dahlia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

the inner souls. They all sat for a few moments, then one by one, each stood up and hugged each other and left the funeral home doors.

Ralph placed his arm around Rachel and Dahlia, and led them to the car and opening the doors, and letting them sit, he then went around to his side and got in and they started for home. Breathing could barely be heard and silence filled the inner space of the car. Within moments, it seemed, they arrived at the boarding house. All walked through the front door and went to their own rooms, each consumed in their own private thoughts.

Dahlia laid on her bed and relived the whole process of the funeral. Finding out that her mother and father had loved her after all these years was almost too much to digest in one day. She had placed the envelope under her pillow and soon found herself dreaming of her past life.

In the kitchen, there was glum. This home had turned from a happy laughter filled house to a stale quietness. The news of Drew and his cancer had spread quickly and the funeral added more doom. No one wanted to fix supper, in fact everyone just wanted to let this day pass, and not look back on it.

They each filtered away from the kitchen, no supper made, the table left untouched. Each went to the living room or went out to the porch to sit. The house became so silent, that it woke Ralph up from his nap. He walked out to the porch, and he saw instantly the sad faces. He had to change what was happening here and so he suggested they gather enough food and they all drive to the park a couple of miles away.

This perked up most faces as they also wanted to change the mood of this house. Everyone got up and pitched in. Blankets were placed in the car, jugs were filled with drinks, baskets were filled with foods, and soon everyone was in the car, and Ralph began to sing. He sang songs of inspiration and hope for the future. Soon one by one they joined in the chorus,and frowns were turned into smiles, and sad memories were replaced with the present.

They reached the park, and found a nice place to put the blankets. Food and drinks, plates were all taken out. Everyone joined hands and said a prayer of hope and they clung to each other for support and asked God to be with them in the coming months. They then ate, the conversation being nothing of value, talk about school, and dreams of the end of school coming up and plans that were being made for the wedding.

When they were all done, they cleaned up and some went to the swings, others were throwing frisbees. Laughter emerged and for today, they enjoyed just being in the open air, and being with each others company.

The sun was starting to set, so they gathered everything together and climbed back into the car, and headed home. Most went inside, but Drew, Rachel and Drake sat on the porch. Nothing was said for a time, but then Drake asked Drew how he was feeling and Drew said not bad, but he still had his headache that came and went. Drake continued with he had not had a chance to really speak to Drew about the news that he had received, but he wanted him to know that he had forgiven him, and that he was here for him if Drew needed him. Drew began to weep, hearing these words of forgiveness. He had been carrying this guilt of what he had done for so long and he needed Drake to know that he did not mean for this to happen.

Drake and Dahlia reached for each others hands and held them with Drake asking Drew if he would do the honor of being his best man at their wedding. Drew shook his head no, that he could not be a part of something so sacred, knowing what troubles he had created for the two of them, but Drake went to him and sat down and told him that God was the one healing all that happened, that he wanted and needed his brother to be standing there beside him. Drew looked up into Dahlia’s eyes and saw her smiling and she nodded her head in agreement of Drake. The two of them wanted him there, and Drew asked are you sure, are you certain that this episode can be overlooked, that it will not spoil the goodness of the wedding, and Drake said no, that what would spoil it, was if he said no, he would not be there for him, and then he sobbed again, but softly speaking that yes, he would stand up for him. All three of them stood in a circle and hugged each other, tears being shed for the miracle that God was able to create between the three, and with this, they left the porch and went inside for the evening.

The next morning at church, the service having ended, the minister announced that there was a special meeting, and he would appreciate everyone staying over, and that in the kitchen of the church, refreshments were being set up so that no one went home without eating.

No one was prepared or had heard of this special meeting, so out of curiosity and a follower of the minister, everyone sat back down in their seats. The minister went on to explain that someone had phoned him last evening and had asked if they could come to see him on short notice. The visitor then announced the sad news of Drew’s illness, and that he wanted all today to stand together and hold hands and  pray for Drew, that they place this illness in God’s hands, for God to heal this illness in the way he saw fit.

Eyes turned and looked at Drew, and instantly everyone was on their feet. The minister went to Drew and brought him to the center of the circle, and he and two deacons, laid their hands on Drew, and together the church prayed. After the minister finished, several of the worshipers said specific prayers for Drew and his family, then several moments passed in silence, as this news was sinking into their heads and hearts. When the time was over, almost all of them went to the kitchen, where sandwiches, and chips, and home-made cookies could be found. Juice and coffee were the drink of choice.

They all filled their plates and gathered around the tables with the minister saying grace for this food and then they began to eat and thoughts were voiced to Ralph and Rachel, that if they needed any help or support that they were all there for him.

Drew thought to himself how much easier going through this illness was going to be, now that Drake had forgiven him, and Dahlia also, that the church was supportive. It made the headaches tolerable, and lifted his heart, as he knew he was still loved.

Picture and Write It, August 19,2012


Come to mama, she whispers in the winds, that roll of the bare branches, into his heart and soul. He was fighting it. She was evil, and he didn’t want any part of this life.

She had tricked him before, breaking his heart, and stealing his virginity, only to leave him standing alone in the dark.

He had fought depression over a figure of his imagination, drawing the wildness out of him and pouring it into hidden desires. He had started out reading the books, and looking at magazines, and ventured farther into dreams of wild ecstasy. He had crossed paths between dreams and reality and let it take over his waking and sleeping hours.

He hadn’t realized it had gone too far, until the doctor announced that he was in a deep depression and he had to seek help to figure out why he had this obsession with bad girls. He realized something was wrong, when he had started to lose weight, and wanted to sleep more than his usual night-time hours. It had begun to affect his work performance and had been verbally reprimanded by his boss, to get his shit in order. This was no place to goof off, he was not going to pay him for no work.

He made an appointment with a doctor who would help him sort out his evil desires and to figure out why he felt this way and how to get help to lay it to rest. It took several months of meeting twice weekly to come to the realization that this was his imagination being worked, and none of this was real.

He went to his best friend, who he had confided as much as he knew to, and the friend asked him if he would like to go to church with him one Sunday. He didn’t jump up and say yes, but because it was his best friend, he did consent to go the following Sunday.

At church the sermon was on the devil’s work, and how Satan could wiggle his way into a human’s conscience and have his way with him. Convincing him that the only way to live in the world was through Satan himself.

He sat and listened, and after church was over, he and his best friend, talked to the minister about the problems he was having. The minister asked him if he had ever accepted Jesus Christ to be his savior, and the boy said no. The minister went on to explain how Christ was the only answer to fighting off the devil.

After much talk, the two boys thanked the minister and went out the doors of the church.The two didn’t speak much about what had been said inside the church doors and went on to talk about the following weeks activities.

That night, as the boy slept, she came to him once again, inviting him to be with her. She would feel his wildest fantasies, please come to her, follow her. He could hear her whispers in his ear, even as he was sleeping.

He woke up startled at the reality, and felt his clothes that were soaked with sweat. He was afraid and he wanted this to stop. He didn’t want to live like this anymore. He got out of bed and kneeled on his knees at the bed side, and asked the Lord to come live in his heart.

He poured out his fears and his need to be free of this evil over taking him. He cried as he called out to God to heal him, and stay with him and never let this evil speak to him again in any form.

He felt a quietness come over him, and his sweat was dried with God’s hands. He was picked up by the arms of Jesus, and cleansed with the blood of Christ. A heaviness was lifted, and he felt a peace flow through his veins. God gently laid him back down on  his bed, and covered him with his blessings and love. God took his fingers and closed the boy’s eye lids and sleep was brought upon him. After this night, the evil dreams never appeared again, and God had even made sure there were no memories left to arise ever again.

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I Curse The Day I Heard Your Name


Illustration of the Parkinson disease by Sir W...

Illustration of the Parkinson disease by Sir William Richard Gowers from A Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System in 1886 showing the characteristic posture of PD patients (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The church was packed, as I knew it would be. Everyone that doesn’t go to church on a regular basis always goes at Easter and Christmas. I am not judging, because, number one, who am I to judge, and number 2, it may be that one time, that those people hear the right words, that changes their lives forever. We left fairly early, wanting to get a handicapped parking spot, but even leaving early, we were forced to park quite a ways from the front doors. We walked in and two people said hi, one a greeter at the door, plus a stranger reaching out. We sat towards the back as we usually do, because my brother has to always use the restroom at church, even though he uses the restroom at home before we leave, he has an enlarged prostate. We sat in our regular seats, and I watched all the people walking by us to find their seats, some pausing to glance and wonder why there was a walker in the aisle. I did have it to one side, which left plenty of room, but still, it was not a regular thing to see a walker in the isle. Because it was Easter, there was plenty of uplifting songs sung by all and specials sung by the choir. I would glance over at my brother, and notice that he was leaning pretty far to the side. I didn’t want to humiliate him, by helping him to sit up straighter so he wouldn’t fall completely over, but yet, we were at church, and I didn’t want to cause a scene with him there, so I just kept my eye on him. He rubbed his hands, his forehead, scratched his head a lot. Several nervous habits he has. The sermon was fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a more heart-felt sermon. I had goose bumps several times from the words I was hearing. Next came the final song, a call to anyone who may want to step forward and accept Christ. Then, it was over. People walking by me, no one saying anything. We wait our turn to stand, since we had the walker, we didn’t want to hold anyone up in line. I stood up, and then my brother stood up, and collapsed into the chair behind him. He had lost his balance. Without thinking of where we were, I said to him, hang on to the chair for support buddy boy. That will help you until you can get to your walker. Mad, he got so mad at me. By this time, we were half way into the isle. He is standing there with voice raised, asking me” what did I do wrong?” I explained in a soft-spoken voice that I was just reminding him to use support so he would not fall and become injured. He started crying. Big, sobbing tears along with a raised voice stating he didn’t need support. I wanted to hide somewhere, but where? I was in God’s house, the best place I could be. A gentleman came up behind us, next a lady in a wheel chair, then a line of people from the front pews. They just looked at us and said nothing. I knew they were just waiting and watching to see what was going to happen next, and some, I am sure, were wanting to leave. I heard one of them mention they were supposed to be at family’s home for Easter dinner in half an hour. I tugged at my brother’s  shirt and said let’s go. He remained cemented in his spot, still crying, still yelling. No one came to my rescue. It was my job to get us out-of-the-way. I finally took a hold of his shirt and pulled him towards the back doors. He is saying let me go, let loose of my clothes. This was my experience in church today. I always wonder why God allows my brother to suffer like he does. I pray constantly that God will bring him some inner peace while  he is going through this. I love my brother very much, but I curse Parkinson’s and Dementia. I am not as strong as some, and I want to blame someone for this disease, but I have no one to blame. When my brother gets to heaven, I want to see him there with huge smiles on his face. I want him to know who I am. I want to see him walk, without the use of his wheel chair, cane and walker. I wish nothing but peace for him and no more pain