Please Let Him Live in Peace


A jeweler's screwdriver

candle3

Yesterday after the result of finding or not finding the five dollars missing from Al‘s wallet it didn’t end. Not only did I have to leave him with big tears of non-understanding from where was his money and why did someone take it, but it got worse through the evening.

I received a phone call after hours from the Social Services Director. She had gotten wind of the missing money. I am not sure what promoted her to go through his entire room but she was calling me to let me know she played investigator.

In front of Al and I am sure he watched her every move she went through all of his drawers and his collections on his bed side table and in the window sill. She told me she picked up one of his coca cola cans that is vintage and shook it. Why? I don’t know. She heard a rattle so she tipped it and found three small screwdrivers inside.

I didn’t know they were there. She said these were weapons or could be used as weapons. She also saw that he had fingernail clippers and those could be dangerous.

I admit if he tried to clip his fingernails with his tremors he could hurt himself. She demanded that I remove these and the screwdrivers. Al always used the tiny screwdrivers to take backs off of his collection pieces that used batteries. They obviously had been there the entire time that Al has been there.

I will go and get them. I guess I see her point but it was the wrong day to be in his room after the money loss. Then she told him she didn’t want his Easter basket of candy sitting on the floor. I saw the basket sitting beside his recliner yesterday when I was there. It made it very convenient to lean down and grab a piece without having to get up out of the chair.

She said he had too much candy. That is when I started to become a little defensive. I know, I may be too protective of him. I look at him different from they do. I see that the only things Al enjoys in his life are his coca cola collection and food. I purposely made him an extra-large basket of candy because I knew he would enjoy it so much. At this point of his disease I don’t really care how much candy he eats.

Yes, I realize weight is an issue with us. I know he has heart problems, but he has Parkinson’s Disease and terrible pain 24/7 and awful tremors. When are we going to just say “Pick the Battles”. Do we need to nit pick him constantly? Invade his room for weapons? Tell him about how candy will make him fat or not good for him? I am past that point.

Maybe I shouldn’t be. Maybe I should be even more on him to keep him healthy but for what? He is not happy. He is miserable. He has dreams about God taking him home. He prays to die. I don’t give a rat’s ass anymore about petty rules. Let him eat his darn candy. Let him alone, please.

Mixed Emotions


Easter Day, a sunny, warm and a day of new hope. Easter bunnies, family gatherings and candle3plenty of food. This is what I see. Although in reality it isn’t always that way. Some go to Sunrise services and others don’t. Some celebrate with families and others are alone. Today it is not uncommon to have to work versus family time.

Some are all about the candy and others look out their front windows remembering the past holidays. I had a mixture this year. I had one of my children here with their kids. We had an Easter supper. I had my brother Al here. There was also plenty of chocolate and candies spread out through the house. Eggs to hide and find.

Plenty of laughter with stress and tears added in were parts of my day also. I took photos of the grandchildren finding the eggs. I did not take any photos of Al this holiday out of respect for his pain.

When I went to the facility to pick up Al he was asleep at the dining room table. I woke him up but I didn’t get a smile. Taking him back to his room to get his coat on the nurse stopped me and we talked while Al was using the restroom.

She told me “Al had a very bad night. He was up several times with stomach and side pains. He woke up again at 4:30am crying. He had a bad dream.”

Al’s dream was told to me by the nurse and it was short and simple. Al had told her,”This is my last Easter with my sister. God came to me in a dream and said I am now going to go home very soon. I will never see my sister again.”

I should add here that Al suffers from pains in his ribs and stomach from the new tremors in his chest wall muscles. I didn’t ask but I hope that which ever nurse was on duty that she consoled him as I would here at home.

When I first brought Al into the house he spoke non-stop to my son. He grinned many times at the grandchildren. This lasted about a half an hour and then it vanished quickly. I never saw it again.

I saw him looking at the cartoons with the kids and then doze.Through out the day if no one was speaking to Al he was dozing. He wanted to take a nap but from the moment of this request the legs no longer helped. Parkinson’s Disease had taken over his legs and arms. He couldn’t stand from his wheelchair. He couldn’t take one step.

It was very difficult to get him to my bed. Because he is not home yet I do not have a bed for him in his own room. I will be getting a hospital bed when I know when he is coming. If I could afford one or find one cheap or free I would have it now. Medicare won’t help as long as he isn’t here, so I have to wait for a miracle.

It took some time and work to get him to my bedroom but I did it. When he woke from his nap his body movement was worse than before. It took two of us to get him in his wheelchair.

I know what you are thinking right now because I have thought the same thing. But, things will be different when and if he comes home. His bedroom is an easy reach where mine is not. He will have his hospital bed and I will have help most of the time.

He didn’t smile anymore. He was lifeless in his seat. He didn’t eat much at supper. I finally convinced him to have some ice-cream but he turned down the other desserts. I felt so bad for him. He was tired from lack of sleep the night before. He was in pain from the new tremors in his chest cavity.

I am saddened by the news that his time is likely shortened. I have been told he may have six months to a year. The terrible Parkinson’s has now damaged his eyes, his heart and has now invaded the muscle lining the chest walls. His heart is going on triple speed. He is exhausted and I am standing here doing absolutely nothing.

I don’t know how to help. All I can do is keep being here for him and loving him. I am waiting on a call from the Heart Doctor as I write. I don’t know what is going to happen when she calls but the hospital said I had to notify his heart doctor within three days. I had to wait for the weekend to pass and did make the call this morning.

Yesterday before Al and the kids came over I was wishing for a good day for all. I watched outside my house as black birds or crows circled around the property. I wondered if they felt lost like I do.

So the day was Easter and I have my precious memories. Along for the ride was some laughter and some tears. It was a real day of mixed emotions.

austin and caiden egg huntcaiden and austin egg huntegg hunt 6egg hunt 7

Happy Easter


Easter Surprise 2007

Are you putting the ham in the oven

Are you peeling the potatoes too

Have you had your first cup of coffee

Did you fix breakfast for you?

Easter morning for mothers

Is a busy time indeed

If you are hosting the dinner

There is no time to sit and read.

You colored the eggs yesterday

With the help of the little ones

Today you must go and hide them

In the warmth of the Spring sun.

Baskets lined up in a row

Candies puffed up to see

Pretty bows adorning the tops

Can’t wait to pass them to my three.

Everything prepped and ready to go

A shower is what I need

Picking out my pretty pink dress

Now I will take the time to breathe.

I hear the doorbell sound its alarm

Familiar voices have entered now

I welcome my family with lots of love

The girls curtsy and the boys do the bow.

Eyes light up as they hold out arms

I give them their baskets and smile

I tell the parents to come and sit

Let’s just chat for a little while.

Finishing the meal is now the plan

Everyone lends a hand

Talk of smells and wanting to taste

My family together is oh so grand.

We sit at the table with candles lit

We hold each others hands

Grandfather says please bow your heads

We shall give thanks for all we have.

Dinner is over and dishes to do

The kids run off to play

My daughter stays near me to help me

To dry and put everything a way.

The men are snoring for afternoon naps

Their belts are loosened and neckties too

The rest of us talk about nothing major

But inside I am thanking God for all of you.

Terry Shepherd

03/31/2013

How Much Louder Should I Scream


A Renault Kangoo that is able to carry a wheel...

The facts are simple. I know more at times than staff. I have 23 years of care giving experience. I have schooling for Pharmacy Technician. Experience in working in the pharmacy. CNA training plus five years of Hospice work experience. I can give shots. I can use an aspirator. I can take all vitals. I can give temperatures orally and rectal.

I can bathe you in a tub or in your bed. I can wash your hair and never get your clothes wet if you are laying on a bed. I can do a complete bed change without you ever having to rise off the bed. I can help you transfer to the commode or I can get your butt all nice and clean from a dirty brief.

I can soothe your soul by brushing your hair. Promising you I won’t leave you alone. I can sing your favorite songs while you are going home to be with the Lord. I can wipe your brow and wipe your tears. I will hold you while you look into the bright light.

I will fix your meal and if need be I will gently spoon feed you. If you are on a Tube Feeder, I will make sure it is clean, refilled and flushed. I can push you in a wheel chair or hold onto you while you use your independence walking with your walker.

For all of this experience and love and comfort I bring to you, I am not a nurse nor a doctor.

I called into the facility a few minutes ago to let them know I would be picking up Al tomorrow at 1pm after his lunch. I explained I will not be bringing him back until after the supper hour.

I have cleaned and scrubbed and  have the house as germ free as possible for your arrival tomorrow my brother. I have filled an Easter Basket full of your favorite goodies. I am now tired and the thought of picking up that forty pound wheel chair tomorrow makes me more tired.

When I asked how Al was doing they said alright. She told me, “We are going in twice every 8 hours to check on him. We ask if he is in pain, and we tell him to put his light on if he needs us.”

One of my blogger friends suggested I ask for a transport chair to bring him home and take him back, so I thought I would ask while I have her on the phone. She asked,” What’s that?”

The reason I gave you all of my experience is to  not brag or boast. I don’t do that. I wanted to prove a point that not always do you need a license in your hand to know two things. Number one is, What is a transport chair? With your license behind you do you really not know what that is? Number 2, how many times have I said over and over that Al doesn’t use a call light? Not because he refuses, but because he has already forgotten what I taught him two days ago.

If and when Al gets to come home I am going to ask Medicare to help us to get a Transport Chair. It will be much easier for me to transport him and not take up so much room in the car. Believe me, if I could afford it, we would have a SUV or something like it as the regular wheelchair barely squeezes in the trunk even with the seats laying down.

What’s a Gal Supposed to do Next?


Rules of Dating

I slept in this morning and I think that helped me. I tried to stay busy and not think of Al as much. I spent the first three hours a wake trying to get rid of those squirrels. They are wanting the bird seed. I yelled at them through the kitchen window. I squirted them with my water bottle. This only worked twice and then they got smart.

I hit two of my pots and pans lid together. That worked great the first time but not after that. I finally broke down and took the contraption back to the store I bought it from yesterday and said, “Just give me my money back. I give up.”

They chuckled and said,” Now you are ready for the boss.” They showed me this bird feeder that when a squirrel tries to sit on it a spring drops down and the openings for the bird seed are shut. They can’t eat. Yeah, this has got to work!

Then I went to the eye doctor and had my eyes checked. My one eye had changed just enough to change the prescription. I picked out some new frames and I should be set to go one day next week.

Then I decided to think “me” for the next hour. I had to get groceries. I kept my head and eyes up and focused on the foods I was needing to get but also the people I passed. It was very interesting what I saw.

The first gentleman that I saw that was waving at me was the old guy from the tire store. Remember me telling you about him the other day? He asked me if I still remembered his name and I shook my head yes. He said, ” Call me Terry. Let’s get together.” I smiled at him and nodded. I looked his outfit over since my head and eyes were now at people level. He had dirty old holy tennis shoes on. Holes in his baggy jeans and a camouflage jacket on with a matching hat. I still can’t make myself get interested. His hair was all greasy. I am sorry. Maybe first looks are that important.

I told him to have a nice day and Easter and went about getting groceries. The store was pretty packed, but I kept moving through the aisles. Of all the people I noticed and passed three guys smiled at me.

I do have to be honest here and admit I was tuning in on the hotties in the store, no women or kids need to apply. One guy particular held my eyes and smile. This stayed this way until we passed each other. He was younger than me, I could tell, but boy oh boy was he a cutie. Two other guys smiled and one of them said hi to me. The last one that smiled was when I was walking to my car to unload the cart. He was right across from me doing the same thing in his car.

I spotted him first and he looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and then we did our own things. When I took the empty cart back to the rack, I could feel him watching me. When I turned around facing him again, he smiled again.

Now I am not gorgeous dame but these three guys smiled and I knew they were being friendly. But I am so out of date on the dating scene, I didn’t know what to do next. So I lost out on three hotties at the grocery store because I am too dumb to know the next move.

Amazing


It is Finished!

It is Finished!

I heard this from my good friend, Whatwereyathinkin.  http://deepthinker52.wordpress.com

With the days of Easter nearing each minute, let us take time to be ever so thankful for all we have. I try so hard to look at the tiniest of things in my and Al’s life and give all thanks to God.

If I waited for the big things I would sorely be disappointed.

Please listen to this talented 7-year-old sing Amazing Grace. God bless you all through this Easter Holiday.

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

Daily Prompt; Fantasy / The Daily Post


OsterhaseNikolaus

OsterhaseNikolaus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com

DP, Daily Prompt, Daily Post

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Nice choices but for me it will be Santa. The reason I chose this is because the Tooth Fairy happens while I am asleep. Aside from me waking up in the morning to discover fifty cents,(back in my day) life moved along as normal.

Easter Bunny just doesn’t cut it for me any longer. Not only because I haven’t received an Easter basket for God knows how many years, it is too contradicting against what Easter represents. I don’t ever remember hearing or seeing pictures of Jesus carrying a basket of candy.

Santa the only choice left involves more than the over-stated and commercialized symbol of the Lord’s birth. It also involves the whole ball of wax. The kiddies are excited. I can imagine that for some kids this is the one time of the year where attention is sprinkled on them.

Smiles erupt like active volcanoes. Good spirits and anticipation for living are heightened taller than the Sears Tower. For the homeless it is a chance to have maybe more than that one meal each day. It probably makes their mouth water just thinking about turkey or ham and mashed potatoes along with dinner rolls. Dessert must be added to this fine meal.

This can give some much more hope for this  short season. Twinkles are brought to their eyes. Stopping to take time to spruce up themselves is done without nudging. Food banks, bell ringers, Adopt-A-Trees and Angel Missions are brought to life to the point of seams busting. Monies and wrapped gifts find their way to children who may have not had a Christmas other wise. Food in abundance rests upon plastic holiday scenery table cloths.

Milk over water will fill little tummies. Families come together during this time of year. Maybe they have not seen each other since the last holiday. Laughter fills the spaces within the home. Everyone forgets about the daily problems in their lives and also the world.

For others who never forget that the reason of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus birthday it is a double reason to smile. Extra activities being performed at local churches. Kiddies involved in plays. Families driving through cities to see Christmas Lights. Families coming together for the noon meal.

As I sit here typing I can go back in time very easily and hear the echos of joy. I can remember faces that were once again introduced and hear comments of my how much I have grown since last year.

I cherish the memories of families holding hands while Dad or Grandpa said grace giving thanks to our heavenly Father for all we have been blessed with. The preparations for this holiday and changing of hearts last for maybe a month or longer.

Then it is over. Poof, like a wand being drizzled over our heads. The trees go down, all brightly decorated pretties are placed in the boxes saving them for the next year. Kids go back to school. Parents go back to work. Or maybe the homeless go back to the cold and weary lives of lost hope.

I have chosen Santa because he is the one fantasy that can bring hope, faith, love, smiles, laughter, filled bellies,  presents, singing, churches  and families together longer than any other holiday. Easter is a close second to me but without the Easter Bunny and the excitement may only last a day up to a week.

For my brother’s sake I did get him a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup four-inch tall chocolate bunny. I have it sitting here waiting for the day to arrive. I can’t be mean or rude. My personal feelings about this blessed event are mine alone. For Al who is more child-like he will enjoy the fantasy part about receiving candy and so I will place this special bunny in his hands and watch him smile.

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

Remembering Through A Child’s Eyes


A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.

A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wearing my little, white bonnet with the big bow on top, held under my chin with a white piece of elastic. The frilliest dress you have ever seen. White, lacy anklets, with new, black patent leather shoes with gold buckles. White cotton gloves. Black suit,white shirt, with black, clip on tie. Shiny new black shoes.This was the picture of my brother and me on Easter Day, April 1964. After going to sunrise service, followed by breakfast, you could find the two of us nearly asleep during the main service. Leaving  the services with a little cut out milk carton, with a paper handle, green grass holding little speckled eggs, colorful jelly beans and a chocolate Easter bunny. We could hardly hold our fingers back from trying a piece. Mom said we had to wait until after lunch. We weren’t to spoil our meal with sugary treats. We pulled in the drive way and went in to our house, hearing the phone ring. Mom answered it. I  can hear her today saying, we just got home, yes, I saw them there. They are doing well. We are on our way. Our grandparents lived on the same property as us, so it was a hop and a skip to their house. We walked in their house, and I can still remember the smells of ham and turkey that drifted through  my nose. The tables were filled with foods. Deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, yuck, green beans and green salads, turkey dressings, pickles, and black olives. On the other table, was a big, white bunny cake with piece of coconut all over it with pink paper ears on top, and black gum drops for the eyes and nose. Pies, cherry, and apple, and my all time favorite, black raspberry. Everywhere you looked, there were people. People I had not seen like in a year or so. After dinner was over, all of our cousins and us went outside to the small, tiny, red barn. Our grandpa opened the big wide doors, and inside was gobs of yellow fluff. He told us to walk slowly, and talk softly. We each crept up to the tiny wire fence holding them in. We each reached down and picked up a yellow fluff ball. So cuddly, so soft. They chirped and chirped, and made us all giggle, as we gently held them and tried not to let them jump out of our hands. Soon these baby chicks would find their way to mom and dad’s freezer. After visiting with the baby chicks. We could hear our names being called, telling us they were ready for us. We ran to where the voices were coming from and were handed an empty, brown lunch bag. It was time. We were all so excited and eager to find all the goodies to fill up our bags. At the call of 1,2,3, we all ran as fast as we could, stopping and looking at anything that had color. We found lots of eggs. Pink, yellow, blue and lavender ones. We each came back to where our parents were standing watching us and showed them how much we had. They seemed as excited for as we were finding them. We all went back in to grandma’s house and had a piece of the bunny cake. The next thing I remember is  waking up in our own beds. Dad had found us napping and had carried us home. It was the best Easter we ever had. I am so thankful that I still have my memories as Easter Day approaches again this year.