I Know This Kid

She sat behind the chair hiding. Messy blonde curls, thumb in her mouth. Listening to the two of them arguing. Frightened and not understanding she began to weep but no one heard her.

Someone was going to take her away. Sally was afraid. She didn’t want to leave her TigerAngelmommy. But, why were they both saying they were her mommy? She moved a way and hid in the shadows fearing the two women would know she was there.

” She is my child and you can’t have her.”

” You don’t have custody of her anymore. You gave her up. Now get a way from here before I call the police.”

Why was that lady talking to my mommy like that? Why can’t I go have my mommy hold me? I want my mommy.

” I am her new mother now, please remove yourself from my property.”

Sally wept harder. This lady was being bad to my mommy. Too afraid to move she huddled even deeper into the dark. Soon the door slammed and the new mommy was yelling at my daddy.

” What in the world did you ever see in that bitch? You must have been drunk when you slept with her. You produced not one but two kids from a woman like that. Were you out of your freaking mind?”

” Tone your voice down. Do you want the kids to hear you?”

” Not the kids, your kids. I married you, not your kids.”

I saw daddy hanging his head down. I saw him get his hanky out of his pocket and wipe his eyes. Mommy is sitting down at the table. She is drinking her coffee and looking out the window.

My mommy wants me but they don’t want me to be with her. My new mommy doesn’t want me and yet I have to stay here.

Sally came out from her hiding place when the room became quiet. She crept up the stairs and laid down on her bed. Sticking her thumb in her mouth she cried herself to sleep.

This my friends is something that happens so often in lives of children today. Marriages ripped apart. New marriages glued together in hopes of lasting a long time. Children not understanding grown-up things get very confused. Some feel like they are to blame for what ever is wrong. Some kids go into themselves and others escape by what ever means they can find.  A child can feel this pain and carry it deep within their hearts for years to come. I know, because I am this kid.


My Angels

No one understood me

Like you did Mom

You knew when

I was hurting

You knew when

I needed to talk

No one understood me

Like you did Daddy

When I followed

You where ever

You went

When we

Talked about nothing

I would give

Anything for just

One moment

If I could talk

To you again

I would say

All the things

I never said

When I did

So many things wrong

You looked the other way

You were the best

Parents a girl

Could ever have

I love and miss you both.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

09/16/13angel child                                             http://youtu.be/5KPu7QhYY_0




Chapter 16

From the point of Thanksgiving until December 1 life spun in circles. I didn’t see Al in this time frame. In fact I didn’t see anyone. I worked my job and when I wasn’t there I was with Dad.

Dad and I  had quite a few talks about things kids don’t usually…

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Chapter 16

From the point of Thanksgiving until December 1 life spun in circles. I didn’t see Al in this time frame. In fact I didn’t see anyone. I worked my job and when I wasn’t there I was with Dad.

Dad and I  had quite a few talks about things kids don’t usually discuss with their parents, but Dad knew he was dying. He talked to me about Al and he discussed his personal will with me.

We didn’t do anything when I was with him. I talked and he was quiet. I gave medications and the only time he would eat is when I brought him egg drop soup. His sister dropped by more often. She and B would spend time chatting and I stayed by my Dad’s side.

On December 1, Dad was in so much pain. He couldn’t sit still. I was constantly changing him from the chair to the bed. There wasn’t a position that was remotely comfortable for him.

He finally laid down on the bed. I didn’t even think for one second if it looked bad or not. I laid down on the bed beside him and placed his hand in mine. He quieted down and for about fifteen minutes we lay there with me telling him how much I loved him.

His eyes were closed but I knew he could hear my words. Then he opened his eyes and they became wide and then they closed and he took his last breath. Oh Lord, I will never forget that moment and  five years later, I still re-live that moment over and over.

I got off the bed and went to tell his sister and B that he had passed. They had not been in the room with Dad and me. They were in the bedroom across the hall chatting. When I told them they  both said,”really?”

They got up and went to where he was and told him they loved him. I never felt so alone as I did at that moment. It was up to me to call the funeral home. I made that dreaded call and went outside and sat in the swing and smoked. Crows filled the trees. Their chatter was so loud and when I looked up at the trees they were black in color from so many birds.

As quickly as they had come, they left. The funeral home came and I could not go inside. I stayed out until Dad was removed from the home. I was so thankful to the parlor as they helped me decide things. Who was there to call was one thing.

Dad’s sister’s husband, my uncle volunteered to tell Al and our half-sister. While the attendant and me were making decisions I don’t know what happened to B and the sister, but suddenly they appeared with Dad’s wallet and they had emptied it.

I was in too much pain to notice or think twice about what they had been up to. I didn’t even mind that Uncle was going to tell my siblings. The dust settles though and you learn of what was happening around you once your mind becomes clear.

Considering Al is disabled with mental challenges I would have made the effort to go to him in person and tell him the sad news about Dad, but instead the Uncle called Al. This had to be the coldest move ever. I can only imagine how Al felt getting a phone call stating, your Dad is dead.

Through the years of caring for Al he has told me how awful he felt. He didn’t know what to do. My heart still aches at the crappy way in which he was  dealt the news. What was worse or just as bad as that the month prior to Dad’s death Al and our half-sister were not allowed in B’s house. Neither of my siblings were given the chance to say goodbye or settle any last thoughts with  him.

I try real hard not to dwell on this topic today as the pain is instantly resurfaced and I find myself becoming depressed for a few days. That afternoon of his death I went to the funeral home and tried to make plans with the attendant. My Uncle kept trying to take over and make the decisions. Finally the owner of the home asked my Uncle to please remain quiet. It was time for the eldest child to take care of matters.

I can remember the looks on their faces as this task was taken out of their hands. They were not very happy. I did my job. I let the owner walk me through the steps. I went to my daughter’s home for a few days.

I wish today that I had handled things differently. All I can think of was my brain was fogged. I was moving out of habit but not thinking. Poor Al and the sister didn’t have me around or my support. I am so ashamed of not being there for them. I  was being led around hand over hand and questioned nothing.

The funeral came and the burial was over. I was made Executor over the estate and had plenty of work to do with this. I checked in on Al daily. I saw our half-sister much more often.

One week after we had buried Dad, I received a phone call from Al’s family doctor. He was letting me know that Al had left his job and driven himself to the doctor. Al was having a heart attack.

Up to that point my mind was on the continuing path of how life was before Dad’s death. I was going to get Al an apartment where disabled adults lived. He would continue with his job and routine that he was used to.

This caused a knife into a bubble effect. Our lives changed at that moment and never went back. We were creating a new path in life, with gravel instead of paved. Big pot holes and rather large bumps.

Chapter 15

The more ill Dad became the more I was at the home of the girlfriend. I tried my best to be smiling and talk about nothing but it was strained. Dad was fearful that he or I would say something wrong and he would be sent home packing.

Many times I heard B…

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Chapter 15

The more ill Dad became the more I was at the home of the girlfriend. I tried my best to be smiling and talk about nothing but it was strained. Dad was fearful that he or I would say something wrong and he would be sent home packing.

Many times I heard B threaten to send him home if he didn’t behave. I felt so sad for Dad. I always knew that he was not one of those take-charge men. Mom did everything. She paid the bills. She made the better money. She was very involved with the city of our home town.

Dad stayed in the background. He had plenty of friends himself. The guys he worked with, and there were some from his church that he hung around with, but Mom always seemed to outshine on most things.

I always believed Dad had issues with Mom making more money and I feel that this hindered him taking a front seat in their marriage. So seeing this woman bully Dad when he was dying broke my heart.

Many times I ate over at B’s house. She was an excellent cook. Her home was spotless. Her dog was cute, the property she lived on beautiful. But she lacked in humanity. Her life revolved around her and we were the tagged children, and Dad was her puppet.

The minister started dropping over at B’s house to see Dad more often. Dad made it a habit to read his Bible after breakfast each day. When the minister would stop by B made a fool out of herself my making rude comments to the Reverend. She would say, “he reads his Bible but he doesn’t follow a damn thing in it.”

I used to want to just walk over and slap her silly when she talked like that. I am sure both Dad and the minister were embarrassed, I know I was. After the visit was over she would pounce like a cat all over Dad. “How can you be such a hypocrite? Reading that damn book and then not living like it says. You ought to just put it a way somewhere and forget trying to look like something you aren’t”

I don’t care if she was right or wrong. She should have never voiced her thoughts to him. I have known our Dad much longer than she has. I remembered a time when he would not step foot inside a church door. He had changed. He needed and wanted to read his daily devotions. He counted on it. Dad did not want to die. He wanted to live. He did everything in his power to keep living. I think he clung very tightly to what he read each day.

Plus, she and I nor any of us have any right to judge another human’s thoughts. Who are we to throw stones when we have not looked in our own glass mirrors first?

I stayed with Dad pretty much through the week days. I went over in the mornings and stayed until after the supper dishes were done, then I would go home. On the weekends I had to trust that B would behave as I worked all weekend long.

Spring, summer had passed and now it was fall. Dad wanted to go to a flea market. B drove and I tagged a long in case Dad needed attention. When we arrived in the parking lot and we were ready to take off B let us know that she was going on ahead. She didn’t have time to wait for Dad who was slow and using a walker.

Dad and I went into one tent and looked around and then he could go no farther. He and I sat in the shade of a hot fall day and talked while we waited for B to have her fun. On the drive home I was very quiet. B talked and Dad listened.

That was the last time I went anywhere with Dad other than his doctor appointments. I am glad I had that time with him. While we waited on the bench our talks began to become on a more personal level. Dad and I both knew he was not going to make it.

Thanksgiving came and it was a nice fall day. Of course I was supposed to be there that day. Who else would give Dad his shots and medications? Who would help him to use the bathroom facilities?

I had a terrible time because I knew that my brother and half-sister were not with us. Thanksgiving Day to me means a day of being thankful. A day of being with family. My siblings were not allowed over. Oh how I hated her for this.

I got a hold of Al and made sure he was not going to be alone on this holiday. I discovered he had been invited by Dad’s sister to be at their home for dinner. For this I was very grateful. I explained to Al how I so wanted him to be with me, but because of B’s attitude it just wasn’t going to happen. I apologized to him over and over and I don’t think he understood or does to this day why he was left out.

The dinner table was filled and over-flowing with a turkey and all the trimmings. At this point in Dad’s life food was the last thing he wanted. He would rather be sitting in the pillow based recliner that we had designed for his body.

When you are dying from Bone Cancer, even a button on a recliner touching your skin can cause great pain. There were many times that I could no longer give Dad a hug. The cancer was eating holes in his bones making him in great pain and very delicate. But this didn’t matter, he had to be at the head of the table. He was to pretend that life was great and the food divine.

If I remember right he ate a small helping of  Turkey and a teaspoon of mashed potatoes. Dad ignoring the home-made chocolate pie told any of us that knew him well that he was very sick.

He didn’t want to stay at the table. He begged me to take him to the recliner. Although B was bitching about him leaving, I took him to his chair. On the way from point A to point B, Dad quietly asked me, “did you make sure Al is alright today?”

I said,” yes he is. He is at your sisters.”

It made me feel good that Dad inquired about Al. Things were changing inside Dad. He was beginning to take stock of what he had done in his life. What kind of father  he been to Al. I think it was eating him up about certain things that had been left undone or unsaid. He touched my hand and said, “thanks Terry for making sure he is alright.”

Chapter 14

As Dad got worse, Al became farther back in the picture. I liked it better when he was fore most in my mind because he needed looking after. But B. felt that Dad was just a big burden and demanded more and more of my time.

One of the last visits Dad payed…

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Chapter 14

As Dad got worse, Al became farther back in the picture. I liked it better when he was fore most in my mind because he needed looking after. But B. felt that Dad was just a big burden and demanded more and more of my time.

One of the last visits Dad payed to his own home, it was in October. He had the urge to sit on his tractor one more time. B. came along and I met Dad out at the house, Al was home also.

Dad made me go get Al as he wanted to talk to him. It ended up not being talking, it was screeching about how things were not done the way Dad wanted them done. Our half-sister happened to stop by and my Grandma still lived on the property.

We were all getting things arranged in Grandma’s house as she was planning on  moving permanently to Florida to live with her daughter. It was still pretty warm outside and the woods were in full color.

I didn’t know how we were going to get the tractor out of the barn. Dad had tried to climb on top of it but he was too weak. Just then my son pulled in the drive way and I asked him to bring the tractor out.

While my son was doing this B. was in the background bitching at Al because of this or that. I told her, “Stop it right now. You have no right to be speaking to him this way.Leave him alone and remember this is not your son nor your home.”

She gave me a dirty look and then proceeded to start in on our half-sister. It escalated very quickly and soon there was an arguing match in full force. I am so thankful my parents lived in the country. If we were in town the cops would definitely have been called.

Yelling and accusing was going on so long. When I glanced at Dad to see how he was dealing with this he was sitting in a summer chair and his body was trembling. He was so weak and also too afraid to interfere with this fighting.

I probably didn’t handle it the right way, but I told Al to go ahead and go back in the house where he would be safe. Al didn’t hesitate, he left right a way. I walked up between the sister and B. and stuck my hands out in between them. I probably looked like a traffic cop. I told them,” You are destroying Dad. Look at him trembling. You two should be ashamed of yourselves. If you want to argue and bitch, go somewhere else and do it in private. I want this shit stopped now. I will not sit here and watch you all destroy yourselves.”

Voices hushed and the air became quiet. B. was beginning to mumble under her breath and I gave her the look. She changed her train of thought and went to Dad and told him she couldn’t help herself. She just wanted to protect him. In my opinion she could just shove it and go to hell.

After the boxing ring became quiet, Dad went back to the issue of wanting to get on the tractor. My son and I tried and tried to hoist him up but to no avail. Finally I saw a five-gallon container. I went and grabbed it and placed it as a stepping stone for him.

He was able to get on and he sat there smiling. He tried to start the tractor but his legs were too weak to  clamp down on any pedals. Getting him off was even harder. My son and I balanced him and sort of pulled him off.

There was no  more arguing that day. B. had said what she wanted. Our half-sister was done defending herself and inside Grandma’s house. My son left, so all that was left outside was B., me and Dad.

I grabbed Dad’s mail and we all went back to the girlfriend’s home where I helped Dad inside. The day before when I had visited Dad I had brought  over a   toilet commode. He could barely get down on the seat to sit or stand to be wiped.

I had the leverage to grab him this and a walker. When we got inside her house and I had Dad seated and comfortable in his recliner, she called me into her kitchen. When I went to see what she wanted she had the commode in her hands. She made me watch as she tossed it out the back door. She commented or hissed, “No one is going to pretend they are sick in my house. There will be nothing here that represents sick.”

I watched her with intent as she tossed that and the walker outside. I went outdoors and grabbed the walker and brought it back inside. With Dad within hearing distance I played out a short clip of a silent movie.

I raised the walker and pretended I was going to slam her with it. She covered her head with her hands and inside I was having the time of my life. On the outside I was firm-faced and I mouthed to her, “He needs this, dammit, now get your shit together.”

She left the walker alone but put it on the back  porch. I had to look at B. for the first time with sadness. Although I never met her husband who had passed I could imagine the memories of having another man you cared about dying in your home once again. That feeling of sadness didn’t really stay that long, as I knew that someone in her sixties should very well know better to take it out on another human being, no matter how bad it hurts emotionally.