Who Is This Man

Holding Hands shadow on sand

I heard one day a man conversing with another that when you are in a situation you feel you can’t get out of all you have to do is call upon his name. Who’s name? Who is this man you were speaking of?

I am sitting here on this park bench watching people walk by. Some are holding hands. Others I see are walking with minds far a way. Kids running and skipping. Bikes whizzing by.

No one stops near me. No one cares do they? Does this man care about me? I really doubt it. I have not been a good person. I fell off the way side years ago. I don’t think this person I heard them talk about would want to bother with me.

You see I laid my life aside to have what my body craved. I chose the bottle over my own wife and kids. I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t help myself. It called to me, the pull of pouring one more drink down my gullet was the driving factor for which I traded places with commitments for desires.

A man with such authority and power surely doesn’t touch the likes of me. My life is void. I was found in a gutter one day by a man in a uniform. I was taken in and placed behind metal bars. When I was finally released by my own empty promises that I would get help, I walked into an empty frame that was once my home.

The kids toys were no longer on the floor. The smell of my wife’s perfume had vanished. All I could inhale of memories reminding me that I once lived here was my two suitcases standing tall by the living room door.

They had left me. The woman I had fallen in love with during my college days had no more hope to cling to. She had taken my two precious babies and ran. I can still remember the days of yesterday. I bowed and kissed my wife’s brow. Resting in her arms were two precious lives that I had helped create. I felt more love in me at that moment than I had every experienced my entire life.

Now that I stood here hearing my children’s voices echoing in my mind I lay down and wept. I had screwed up. I had become what the town called the “town drunk.” Was this really me? Had I let that first drink turn into another? How could one person make such a mess of his own life with only the help of one lonely  bottle?

I stood and walked through the empty house, reaching out and touching where picture frames once hung. I could see where the Christmas Tree had sat so many times. Walking up the stairs, the same path as my children ran day after day, now holding only ghosts who stand back and wickedly laugh at me.

I stand in the door way of the room of my wife. I can see her walking towards me with tears in her eyes as I came home one more time too late. I always promised her I would never do it again and she would comfort me with kisses and I would wipe her tears with my lips.

Movie clips running through my mind of the times when we came together in this room. Promising to love no other, I had broken the golden rule and had become a slave to another. I walked back down the stairs running my hands on the rail. Trying to touch any remnants of my children that may still be lingering.

I opened the front door and picked up my two bags and I looked back once again hoping that I am only having a bad dream. But alas, no one answers. No one looks my way. I close the door behind me and I walk to the park.

Who is this man who you were speaking of? Can he talk to me too? For I am empty in heart and my mind is cracked. I need help. I bury my head in my hands and I try to cry only unto myself. The tears flow and my body is shaking. I can not stop it for it feels as though I am losing all control over my own thoughts and feelings.

A gentle hand is touching my shoulder. I look up and over my quivering fingers. My eyes covered with mist look into the eyes of the one man I heard speaking. He sits down beside me and I find myself being coddled by him.

I look up into his face and I ask, “Who is the man who I over heard you talking about to your friend? Do you think you could ask him to help me too? I have messed up my life so bad. I have lost my wife and my kids. I have nothing now but these two suitcases. Do you think he can help me? Can you take me to him?”

This kind stranger stands up and takes one suitcase in his hand. I pick up the other one. He takes a step forward asking me to follow. I do not ask questions but do as he requests. In but a few short minutes I find myself kneeling with this man beside a long bench.

I look at him with his kind eyes and he gazes up towards the colorful big window. I follow his gaze and there I find the most beautiful window I have ever seen. There is a man standing in the middle. He has a staff he is holding. He has a halo surrounding his hair. Dressed in a white garment and leather sandals I feel a hint of peace come over me.

The man looks back at me and with the most gentle voice speaks, “Here is the man who can help you. All you have to do is ask. His name is Jesus Christ. He wants to help you.” I bring my hands together and the man places his hands over mine. At this moment, at this precise second, I am about to change my entire life by only asking.

(16) The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

(16) The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Please go to the page and vote for Al and me………….

Please go to View Entries. Al is in a red coca cola shirt. My name is under the photo

I Exploded Then Froze

Yesterday, I took one of my exercise classes and then because it was half off days at the local Dairy Queen, I went and bought Al and my meal and surprised him with junk food. When I went there, he was lying in the therapy room. Although there is no more therapy, Al believes that therapy will cure him, so the staff lets him lie on the therapy bed.

I told him that I had brought him a surprise lunch, but he didn’t seem eager to see it or eat. With some convincing we did go to lunch in the dining room. After eating I told him I would be back. I explained I had to take care of his bill.

I went to the office and found as I usually do each month, extra charges they have tacked on. We argued and discussed. In the end, his amount he owed was higher than the amount of disability that he gets. I was ready to pull my hair out.

I feel like these places are out to drain your pockets. I take everything for Al’s bathing that a king could possibly want. Instead of looking through one of the three drawers of his bathing tub, they go get something out of their own inventory and charge it to Al. I requested when I placed him there that there was to be no more therapy, as it had been determined that therapy was no longer helping his legs, but they did what they wanted and we have to pay the 20%. The next month I saw more therapy bills and threw a fit, but they ignored. Now this month again.

On top of the bad episodes in there, I found out that earlier therapy charges had been placed on Al from back in November. His current bill was showing I was late paying it by almost two hundred dollars. Although I had receipts showing Paid in Full, they had every excuse that led back to the same thing. We are the ones caring for Al.

I was so sick and tired of this that I exploded when I once again found out the barber had cut Al’s hair again. He has been in this new home for two months and has had three hair cuts at 10.75 each. Now you may be saying that isn’t a big deal, but it is.

Al is only allowed to have fifty dollars to his name in this place. They charge these hair cuts to his bank account within the facility. The other left over money is for him to spend on his desires, plus he likes to go on the van rides when he is lucky enough to get picked. They eat out and he has to pay for his own meal.

When February comes Al will start the new program that was funded in Indiana. A company will bring a van to him equipped with wheelchairs and ramps and he will get to get outside of these four walls twice a week. The catch is the funding is sort of for Al and sort of not. The funding pays for the gas and insurance of the van plus the pay of the company taking Al out. Al has to pay for each meal or anything he may want to buy. With forty dollars being left for him, I am forced to either tell him he can not go, or foot the bills myself.

I wish there was a magic fairy out there that was replenishing this fund so that he could go each time. I am struggling to find a job since he is no longer living here. So far I have had no luck. I pay for the gas that takes me to see him. I pay for his soda that although he doesn’t need, he has had one each night at bedtime for as long as I have known him.

Should I tell him he can’t have his soda anymore? I can’t do that, so I buy all of his pop too. Now I have to either add to his account so  he can go to these bi-weekly outings, which I think are good for him. Plus the fact that the funding program is to get disabled adults out of the nursing homes a couple of days a week. If I don’t add money myself they will not come get him any longer.

So when the office says we take care of him, so if you have to dip into his emergency funds to pay his bill here, we are sorry. I exploded yesterday. I really did! I told them that if they did one more therapy for Al without my permission, I was not paying it on Al’s behalf. I told them you can not do anything for Al without my prior permission unless it is life saving or from a fall. I told them no more hair cuts except every six weeks, and if they did, it was at their loss.

I was crying so hard and shaking from two months of watching them drain Al’s monies and then going into the funds that Medicaid allows him to keep which isn’t much considering Al’s young age.

As I left the meeting I went to the bathroom and cleaned myself up. I didn’t want Al to see me this way. He stresses over money anyways. The meeting lasted too long and his noon chat was over. I saw him in the middle of the dining room crying. I stood back in the shadows and watched the movie scene playing out.

Al’s legs were not working. He was sitting on the seat of his walker, and through tears I could hear him asking kitchen staff and CNA’s walking by for a push down to his room. His room is a long ways from the dining room considering his legs are in constant pain.

I actually observed staff ignoring his pleas, or saying when they had time. Al was sitting on the seat but it isn’t stable seating. It is the small seat on those portable walkers? Know which ones I am talking about? His tears were breaking my heart and yet the calmness that I had mustered up was again roaring its  head like a lion. I listened and watched for about three more minutes, then I walked up to Al.

I asked him what was going on. Why are you crying? He explains his legs are throbbing and won’t move and he just wants to go back to his room. I asked him if he wanted me to get his wheel chair and he said yes. I went down the hall and got it and brought it back. While I was helping get him into it, no one offered their help. A 240 pound man I was trying to transfer from a portable seat to a stable wheel chair and they all walked by. I asked him, why didn’t you ask someone for help bud? He says through his tears, I did, but no one was helping.

I pushed him back to his room and helped him to lie down. My brain was fuming as I smiled at Al and told him I loved him. I told him I would be back on Thursday and he looked up at me and said good.

I left exhausted. Worn out from the arguing over bills that I have begged in the past two months to be informed of before doing. Worn from watching the scene of no one coming to his help. I am not mean, not at all. I understand the nursing homes as I have worked in them for many years. But, when someone is unstable in a seat you work with that situation immediately, not pass it off to someone else, especially the family member me.

I came home and felt awful. By six pm my body was freezing. I ate my supper but kept getting colder. My sugars were good and so it wasn’t that. The colder I got the more my feet froze.I felt like my soul was being lifted out of a cold body. ALVIN CHRISTMAS 12 I took a rice bag that I heated in the microwave and took it to bed. I placed the heated bag over a towel then on my feet and was laying in flannel sheets. It took some time but I finally started to warm up. By 7:30 I was asleep and never woke up until 7am this morning.

Now I am getting ready to go to a class and need to eat breakfast. I pray that my day and Al’s goes alright. I am not going out there today.

Reality At My Door

My Circle of Friends

Not all of us, but plenty of us, including myself, never truly appreciate our very own unique lives that our creator has given to us, until we are almost on death’s row. How can we move through out each day, giving our best, drawing from the naturals of life, and yet not truly understand how precious a gift life is.

As I said above, I am so guilty of this myself, and I wonder at how I can drift through each day, observing the days turning into weeks then month and finally years. What is it in each of us, that we hate, but we constantly place it on the back part of our mind, shoving it so far back, that we can go for long periods of living without thinking twice about the real issue.

For me, smoking and my weight are my personal triggers. I know it is unhealthy, but do I really understand how unhealthy it is. Is some of our ideas brought on from our society, or do we know for a fact, that all that we hear and see is true. Is it not true, that we are all created uniquely? We have different bone formations, different genes, our bodies are not all slim in structure. Can this play a role in whether we are healthy or not, or is it a game from within our brains that we must conform to what society believes.

My weight, has been on my mind for the past month or so. Now let me state, that although, I shove my weight in the back part of my mind, the front part remembers it socially. When I see the new swimsuit line come out, or the cute little winter dresses for the holidays, there is a part of me, that kicks myself, because I have too much weight on me to be able to feel comfortable and to look my best in an outfit like that.

I could have done something about this, but I didn’t. Now in less than a month away, I am meeting a blogging friend for the first time, and I am not so much nervous, I will save that for the day this person arrives, but I am kicking myself for not taking my looks more seriously.

I have allowed my environment to get the best of me. I stay in the house 80% of the time. I have fooled myself with explanations of who cares, who is going to see me, I have no one to impress, but I have realized, for me, these are excuses. Don’t I want my own body to be a place that is the best it can be for Jesus to want to live in? Don’t I want my body to be the best it can be for those unexpected times of meeting that new friend, or how about running accidentally into a gorgeous looking man at the store? Would I really want him to see me with rollers in my hair and wearing those cute sleeper pants, that can pass for public wear, no one realizing that I slept in them last night? Or would I rather take the five minutes to get dressed, wear that bra, put a dash of blush and mascara, and at least run a brush and comb through my hair?

Why does it take a near death episode of a family member, or a close friend, or maybe a co-worker, to snap us into reality. You know what I mean. You or I or someone you know, loses a parent to lung cancer, and all of a sudden, no matter how hard it is, we throw that partial pack of cigarettes away in the trash. We were snapped into reality, quicker than you can say blink! We realize at that precise moment, that we all live on borrowed time. It is not ours to choose our ending date, but Gods.

I am so guilty of not laying down the rotten, addicting smokes. I am the first to say that I am highly addicted. If I accidentally leave them at home, my heart starts racing, I can feel the beat coming through my clothes. I will sometimes race back home to retrieve them, or maybe I will just stop at a gas station and grab a pack. I must have them with me, I may need them.

It sounds so utterly ridiculous, but this is my addiction. The same goes for my weight. I know it is hard on my heart to pump harder. Hearts are only made to work properly for so many years, before it begins to show signs of wear and tear.  I know the statistics are that over weight and smoking can and may cause early deaths, so why do I choose to ignore it.

Why does it take a near death to make me change my ways. Are any of you with me here on this topic? You may be able to replace the words weight and smoking with your own personal struggles. This may be a better way to relate better. Ask yourself why you put off what you do.

What can we do to change this pattern that we have let ourselves slip into. Can God help us to better our vision? Must we wait until we see death at our neighbor’s door? Let any of you join me in prayer, praying for God’s blessings and asking him to help us to realize that we belong to him and him alone. That we want our temple to become the best home it can be for Jesus to live in. Let us come together as a group of people, acknowledging our own faults, and knowing we are humans, and that with the help and guidance from God and each other, we can learn to conquer what we have hidden in the back of our minds. We can not make miracles happen over night, but we can take the back burner where simmer is on, and turn it off, bringing it to the front burner, and force ourselves to bring it into reality of now. With our own faith, and desires, and the help of each other and God, we can at least make a start to even better lives. We can show God in this way how much we truly love and respect him, and we can set examples for our youth so that they do not follow in the same patterns.

I wish I was smarter, because if I was, I would create some type of web page, that all can come to for support. To be able to talk without fear of ridicule, to open our hearts sharing our frustrations, to be able to bond with another human that is suffering in the same way. Together, we could make a change, a difference, a start.

Please Pass This Prayer to All You Know


Our God who hears our words

Please watch over even the tiny birds

Be with all who face the fears

Of the hurricane as it comes so near

Keep your people safe from harm

Let them reach for your arms

If it be thy will today

Hear their prayers and what they say

Save their pets and children too

Keep their homes as good as new

Let this storm pass by today

Let it go another way

Out to sea never to be seen

I ask you this on bended knee

You answer every prayer you say

Each one who reads this, please also pray

For all who feel the fear of this

That God keeps them safe is our big wish.

August 28/2012

Terry Shepherd

Thank You

God, the Father watches us all everywhere.

What am I thankful for today

That I was able to work and play.

That I could see where others are blind

That I could think with my own mind.

I saw tears and I saw pain

But I saw sun, no clouds, no rain.

I was able to use my feet

As others had to sit in their seat.

I used my hands to pull the weeds

I touched the ground and planted seeds.

I thank you Lord for watching over me

I thank you Lord for tranquility.

The tears were spotty  here and there

Thank you for the time that  we could share.

I ask you God for peace to flow

Through Al’s mind and body til he does go.

I thank you God for my Cali cat

Who brings me love while sitting in my lap.

I ask for silence as we do sleep

For no bad dreams for him to keep.

I am thankful Lord for all you do

For watching over Al and me too.

Life would be so hard today

If you were not guiding all the way.

I will give thanks to the one above

For forgiving my sin, and continued love.



Your Advice And Help Would Be Appreciated

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Satan as Antichrist

English: Satan as Antichrist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t spoken lately of my journey with my brother’s illness. Not much has gone on as there has been much peace.This all ended last evening.

I took him to eat at his favorite buffet restaurant. He enjoyed the company of strangers sitting next to us. I don’t say anything anymore to him, trying to stop him so that the others can eat. I figure I have tried several times, and he seems to love socializing, so I let it alone.

We got home, and the light bulb switched off inside his head, and he went from the opposite of peace to troubled. He and I spent two hours, chatting back and forth, me trying to explain that he is looked at by me as a valued human on this earth. His comeback was that he is useless. His comments that he runs into things, that he can barely walk, that his tremors are out of control bothers me greatly. He and I have this same conversation at least weekly. The same points are made by each of us each time. I have explained to him many times, in the most simple terms I can think of, that God is good, and Satan is bad.

I believe that Satan is playing my brother. I believe that Satan may believe that Al’s time may be not so many months or years away, and that he wants to do everything in his power to try to take Al’s soul. I believe this, because Al spends many hours in his Bible. I can’t tell you how much he understands of what he reads, but I believe that his memory is still sharp as a tack of all the years that he went to church, so his memory may be understood more than his actual reading.

I have tried so many things to help Al with this difficult time in his life. I have sat with him and we go over Bible verses. I have explained to him many times that God is with him and will take care of him. I take him many places to get his mind off of his illness. I have had our minister here and an anointing was done for Al, and also his room anointed. I ask from my readers many prayers, along with my own prayers.

Is the mental challenge that he carries within himself, keeping him from understanding what I am saying? Is it the fear that he carries about his illness and dying that is stronger than anything I could possibly say to him? Is Satan working overtime?

I do not know where to go anymore. I feel very frustrated but most likely not as frustrated as he is. My heart bleeds when I hear him say such negativity about himself. When I see his tears fall, and his voice rising to me, wanting me to desperately believe him when he says he is bad, I want to walk away from him, in order to not have to lie and say what he wants to hear. I can not agree with him, when he wants me so badly, to say that he is bad, that he deserves this, that he is being punished, and that he is useless.

What can I do my friends? What can I say? Do I bother the minister with another anointing? Do I pretend not to hear Al, in order to not start another argument or discussion?

Do any of you take care of a family member, or are you a professional caregiver for a person who also believes as Al does? If, so what do you do, how do you handle this?

Is this something that I need to accept, that this depression is a part of his illness? The professionals have tried many depression drugs, and so far not one has worked. This makes me believe it may be partly due to his mental challenges. I don’t know, but I do know that I feel for him. I love him, and I am reaching out, yet another time for your help.