Al and Me

Thanksgiving 2009 at Isabella and Cris

Yesterday was Thanksgiving at our house. Like most Americans, we celebrated with a turkey, ham, and other goodies. There was a seven layer salad, deviled eggs, home-made macaroni and cheese,  home-made dressing, green beans, corn, home-made yeast rolls, a relish tray, apple, cherry and pumpkin pie, and an old-time favorite chocolate dessert that all went with the meat.

We smoked the turkey for the first time, and I was in awe at how the outdoors smelled the whole day while the bird was cooking, and the taste, oh my gosh, it was divine!

I picked up my brother in the early afternoon. I walked in and he was sleeping. I called his name a few times and finally he woke up with a smile on his face when he saw me standing there. It was wonderful to see the smile. I just knew he was so happy to be coming home for the day.

He didn’t stand very well without help and he needed a little help getting in the car and out of the car. He went inside the house, and then immediately turned around and went outside. The fresh air had to feel awesome to him as he was inside a building most of the time.

He stayed outside, sitting on the picnic bench quite awhile, until he got chilled and wanted to come in. When he came in, he didn’t take his jacket off for a couple of hours, saying he was cold.

He didn’t produce the usual chatter he does when family is usually here. He watched cartoons and laughed along side of my three-year old grandchild. He took smaller portions of food, but did make sure he ate a piece of cherry pie and the chocolate dessert.

His tremors were pretty active, so after he left the kitchen, I went behind him and cleaned up the floor where he had been sitting. I got the kitchen all cleaned up, and then he asked to go back to his new home.

I asked why, aren’t you having a nice time here? He said that he wanted to come here, but he just was so tired. Sadly, I took him back, and found the nurse to let her know we were back and then told her I thought he had a good time but he was complaining of pain while he was with me and how tired Al was and wanted to come back early.

She said that the Parkinson’s is progressing in Al’s heart, so she finds Al asleep a lot more. She said she has to wake him up often, just to give him his medications.

She said the facility was considering pushing Al down to the socializing room in a wheelchair,, so that he would get more involved. I told her he had also told me, that his legs hurt so bad, that it was too long of a trip to the socializing room. She said that they would just start pushing him and the rest of the times he could use his walker.

I had sent him a goody gift bag with him and he made sure to tell the nurse to mark his things so no one would take them from him. He had rolls, cookies, sodas, and a new car, and more newspapers to read now.

When I left the facility, I got in my car, and before I turned the key over, I looked up to the skies and thanked God for this wonderful Thanksgiving day. Although, only one out of three children showed up for the dinner, Al, my baby brother, had made a sacrifice. He sacrificed his pain, in order to spend it with his big sister.

Thank you Lord, for giving me this day with him, and my little family that spent the entire day and evening with me. I feel truly blessed.