The Brightest Star


The lonely soldier boy looked up at the stars. It was Christmas night. He was cold and had nowhere to go. He had served his country well. He had stripes on his sleeves and was proud.

His intention was to come home and marry his girl. He had been planning on marrying her and then the letter arrived. His country needed him. But while he was gone, she got bored and found the companionship of another.

When he knocked on her door the day before he learned from her mother that she had up and moved in with some guy. Through tears she expressed how sorry she was. The lonely soldier boy walked a way with his head hung low and his hands in his pockets.

He went back to his home but when the door opened the only welcome he received was the squeaky door. You see while he was gone, his parents had been killed in a car accident.

Something went a miss and he didn’t learn about it until way after the funeral was over. When he finally read the letter that was given to him all it said was that his parents had been killed and the home he grew up in was his.

Silence rang throughout his head. He put his hands over his ears. He didn’t want to hear anymore. He wanted it to stop, but it kept ringing and getting louder and louder. He buried his head in his hands and he wept.

How could this have happened? He lost his girl, he lost his parents, and yet he had done what was right and served his country well. He walked from room to room touching trinkets and remembering back to earlier times.

He got his duffel bag and started placing ever so carefully pieces that reminded him of happier times. He packed some clothes. He walked out into the night air. Pulling his coat closer to his body he walked.

No where in particular, just walked. He ended up at the cemetery where his parents had two markers staring at him. He sat down on the snowy ground and pulling the shiny star out of his bag, he placed it in front of his parents names.

He cried out to his parents begging them for answers. He thought how easy it would be to kill his own self so he could be closer to those he loved. He stared down at the cold ground waiting for some kind of signal that they had heard him.

Hearing nothing he stared off into the distance. Far ahead he saw a beam of light shining down towards the earth. His eyes followed the path and when he looked up in the skies he saw the brightest star he had ever seen.

Like the shepherds followed the star when Jesus was born, the lonely soldier boy followed the beam of light. He walked for what was ever and soon he was standing in the most beautiful house he had ever seen.

When his eyes adjusted and he was able to make out objects, he saw his parents. Beside them were members of his extended family. They came to him and enveloped him with love and hugs.

God had heard his cries, and now he was not the lonely soldier boy any longer. He was in the haven of love, the kingdom of all heavens and he smiled once again.

animationStar

Christmas Smiles


Christmas, just mouthing the word, hopefully brings a smile to your face.

 

Christmas

Snowy hills

Red cheeks

Runny noses

Lots of shrieks

 

Eating snowflakes

Angels made

Sledding down hill

Ice-skate blades.

 

Warm hot chocolate

Christmas tree

Glittering lights

For all to see.

 

Christmas vacation

Means no school

Sleeping late

Breaking all the rules.

 

Pitter patter on the roof

Waiting for the fat man

Can’t sleep I’m so excited

Open gifts, oh come on la la land.

 

Christmas morning

Jumping out of bed

Getting mommy and daddy

Up and running a head.

 

Oh my stars look at all those gifts

Sliding on slippers I fall to my knees

Squeals of delight as I open each one

Begging my mamma to open hers from me.

 

Memories of Christmas for me as a child

Brings wide-eyed eyes and beautiful smiles

And now I am standing here at the door

Greeting my family who will stay for a while.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

12.17.2013

 

christmas tree 4

 

The Two Dollar Christmas Gift


I was commenting on a dear friend’s post tonight and suddenly a few happy tears fell. Remembering Christmas‘s long ago when children squealed with delight. Hands clapping wildly and smiles from ear to ear.

We learned about baby Jesus in Sunday School but if I am honest, it was more exciting to wake up on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad were the best Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause all around. We didn’t get hoards of gifts but what we got is exactly what we told Santa we wanted.

Each Christmas was like that until the year I got married. When Christmas morning came there was no one to celebrate it with first thing in the morning. Although I had my husband, it was different.

I still could not wait to go to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve. Every year it remained the same at my parents. Christmas Eve was an unspoken saved time where we knew we were going there for dinner, treats, and gifts.

Spending the time with my entire family back in those days was a true joy. What a gift it would be today if I could have a peek and relive just one of those wonderful years. Both of my parents are deceased. My half-sister has pretty much disowned me. So it is definitely not the same now, but I do celebrate with my children and grandchildren.

New traditions to try out and add to many years to come. New memories are added but deep, deep within my heart is that little void and those silent tears for what once was.

My Dad had a little thing he would do for us three kids every year. He would wait until all the gifts were opened and then he would rise from his chair look at me and smile and slowly walk a way going to  his bedroom.

When he returned he would have three brown paper lunch bag sacks. In each sack was a giant Hershey chocolate candy bar and a two liter bottle of coke. He would grin from ear to ear as he handed it to me.

My dad got a big kick out of Christmas. Of the entire year, this was the only time he truly enjoyed shopping. He didn’t care or he didn’t voice it what he got in return. I remember I used to buy him long john underwear a lot. Dad worked for the County Highway. He drove a truck and during the winter plowing, sometimes he would get stuck outside more than inside the truck.

But for me, I will be thinking this year about Christmas. It will only be Al and me sitting here, but my thoughts will be looking up to heaven and seeing Dad smiling down at me holding that brown paper lunch bag sack. He will be handing me my chocolate bar and coke. But this time I will not just say thank-you Daddy. I will jump up and wrap my arms around him so tight and squeeze him crying out how much I miss him and how much I still love him.

My Daddy, my hero of my world died six years ago Dec.1. I love you Daddy. I can’t wait to see you again. We will share that candy bar and that big coke. Hugs, your daughter, Terry.

This is my Daddy when I was caring for him while he was dying from Leukemia and Myaloma. I am the blonde next to him with my head tilted.

dad, bev, me and theda

The Secret Place


beautiful_blue_lake_cave_in_brazil1

The Secret Place

Is this where Al lives when he leaves

A place I don’t know but can only grieve?

Is he seeing a place filled with smiles

That I can only wish for a little while?

Is he floating above his pain so great

Is he standing close to the golden gates?

Does he dream of when he was a child

When life was smooth and very mild?

Is  he sitting with our Mom and Dad

Is he speaking of all the plans he had?

Has he seen a glimpse of Jesus too

Will he come back and tell us, me and you?

Is there a spot within his heart

That he really does want to part?

I hope with all I have to dare

That he always remembers I did care.

I wish for him to have some peace

You know he was here on a life-time lease.

I told him last night that he should go

That I understand his pain and this I know.

His eyes were dazed but I know he heard

My voice, my love in every word.

When the time does come and he must go

I know I will miss him and my tears will show.

For he is the best brother no doubt

He holds my heart with a heavy clout.

So dear God I said it for real

I told him to go I made no deal.

Now when you come and lift him high

And in a blink he is in the skies.

Please keep telling him he is the best

Remember Lord he needs to rest.

I made him promise he would save me a spot

He smiled at me and took all I got.

My heart, my soul and my memories too

Will be here waiting to see him and you.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

12.05.2013

 

 

Living is for the Breathing


castle 4Floating on the surface, waves gently passing me by. Fish tickling me as they swim by, life is good. Sun peeking out from foggy skies. I am alone. Only God is with me. I am forced to accept me for what I am able to do. I have to say hello, to hear my voice, but the only one who answers is me. Hearing the sound echo from the depth of my soul I recognize myself but never knew me before.

A tiny sperm helped mold me into the form I take today. Years of learning, hearing voices, recognizing right from wrong. Yet today I wonder if the decisions I make are right for me. While God is holding me above sinking ground I have no choice but to live or die.

Is one better than the other? Is death more beautiful than life? I have the opportunity to find out now, but no, I am not ready. Although many speak of glorious lights, golden paths, love being the air we breathe, how can that compare to what I see in my view today?

Would it make a difference if I could fly to heaven and see if it is what I have heard? Would it make living easier if I knew for sure something better was waiting at the end of the rainbow?rainbow 3

Could we live with our bad choices knowing the consequences will be short?

We live in the moment, we hope for the best. We error, we win, some times we weep in our pillow.

I have come to the conclusion that although there is fear of tomorrow and heaven is golden, we need what we are dealt with each moment here on earth. We would never appreciate the here after if our lives were not filled with tests.

One day my work will be done and God will call me home.  I will look back in my own book and smile as I know I gave all I had to give. The mistakes that I made will have been done without vicious intention. Desires that I dreamed of, wishes that went unanswered were meant to be.

Life is good. Heaven is wonderful. I am here for a purpose and I will decide to enjoy the rocks in the road. The valleys I will climb out of. The choices I make I will accept.

Living is for the breathing, looking back we won’t see our footprints. We have no choice, we either live or we die. Hold on to your hope, follow your dreams, one day you will close the last page of your book and you will smile.