Daily Prompt; Community Service

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/daily-prompt-community/, DP, Daily Post

Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COMMUNITY.

I have waited for the perfect time and it seems like it is finally here to write my sincere feelings about a topic very dear to my heart.

To The Community I Reside In

I have lived in this community for my entire life, minus a few years of making some decisions to live else where. I know so many of you here. Not only in my own neighborhood, but in Public Relations, and including the Political side.

Churches I have attended, two in my life.  Most,everyone would recognize me when I walked in the front doors. Don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about using your head to think back to whether you remember me or not. I will not be attending your services again.

You see from the time I was a little girl I learned Jesus loves me. I was taught that love was the foundation along with our wonderful God. Once inside the sacred doors you could put to rest all of your fears. You knew you were in the depth of people who cared.

As I grew up and ran into problems in my life and I began to care for Al, my brother; I was given a rude awakening. Churches aren’t like this at all. I can’t attack all churches, I can only speak of the ones I have attended.

I realized by experience that if I didn’t have the right last name, or enough money was going into the plate that was passed I didn’t count. If I didn’t get involved with enough programs I became quietly pushed aside.

When I asked, and eventually lowered my pride and begged for help in trying to reach out for volunteers or paid companions I was let down. My parents told me there were two groups of people you could count on in life. Number one was your parents and number two was your church.

Wrong, so wrong in my case. When Al fell at church not one of you offered to help me pick him up. In fact a few of you complained to me that his walker was in their way. This hurt and along with whispers and slowly emitting myself from the choir I have walked through the last doors of church.

For me it has been a blessing. I have been forced to go to God on my own, in my home. My brother and I listen daily to Dr. Charles Stanley on the computer radio. We talk together about what we got out of each sermon. Afterwards I play different church songs that Al and I recognize.

The time that we spend each morning brings Al and I  closer than ever to God. He is a constant topic in our home.

I also wish to let it be known that I agree that schools and functions are very important to a child. It helps shape them for adulthood, introducing them to team efforts, the art of winning and losing gracefully.

My point is other than politics and school sports have you realized the hundreds of people left here in our own community to fend for themselves? Where does a person go to when they are in need?

I have lived in a time here where I ended up on the streets with no shelter and no food. No matter where I went, the offices were open for only a short time, or there was no food  pantry. Here food pantries are found inside the churches and if you don’t attend the church, then good luck. The couple of places I did fine, there were more rules and documents to be filled out. The humiliation that I went through because I was hungry or homeless made me feel like I should just stay under my big rock and hide.

For the most part when people are searching for a bite of bread or a roof over their head; they are sincere. They gulp hard  and lower their pride and after having tried every other means they seek the streets for help.

The programs are set up so that even if you have nothing but one can of soup left in your cupboards, your income is too high. Not everyone is out wasting valuable dollars. There are reasons such as medications that are so costly. After emptying your pockets to fill them and getting any help you can, you don’t have enough for food. Electric and gas bills are out of this world in price to  heat or cool your home.

I would like to see people in this community come together and give. Yes give, give a sack full of groceries. Take a bag to your elderly neighbor. Offer one hour of your busy schedule to help someone who has less.

Why is it so hard to do this? I have to state once again I am not speaking about everyone. There are wonderful people who help every day. There are those who abuse the systems who choose  not to work. I am speaking of the sincere ones who desperately need the help.

Here in our community we are the Orthopedic Capital of the world. When downsizing occurs and our work is sent over seas so the company can stick more change in their pockets who pays the price?

The head of the household of course. The one who worked even when they didn’t feel well so they could give to their families, have a retirement and pension. Release the fear of growing old and poor.

Letting these long-term employees go is devastating. How can they start over when they are shy only a few years of retiring? Who is going to hire them now? These people need help and where are we and what are we doing about it?

What you see in activity at Christmas is what we should see all year-long. The spirit of Christmas comes in season only. This needs to be changed and changed now. When we give to the Adopt-A-Families, or help the Salvation Army, or bake extra goodies for our shut-ins, lets continue to make at least a small effort the rest of the year.

Thankfully for me I have my daughter who loves me very much. If it weren’t for her and her big heart Lord only knows where I would be today. It wouldn’t be inside my nice, warm home with a roof over Al and my head. The cupboards would not be filled with food. I may have done drastic things in order to survive. I will always be grateful to  her for her help in my life.

So in closing, let’s put maybe, lets say, a fourth of the effort we do in sports and politics and place that into helping others. Remember, it is not what you have that is making you stand out. I swear you can’t take your three cars and your fancy home, your name brand clothes and your  money to heaven. God won’t let material things in. But giving of yourself, your heart will make God happy and you a better person. Come on community, let’s hold tight and make our city proud.helping-hands2                                                                       http://youtu.be/eBpYgpF1bqQ








Al’s Words In My Writing To His Family

English: Two angels

English: Two angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight after supper, I sat down with Al and told him that I would rather write a letter to his two aunts, telling them what he wants to say. I told him that since my visit with Julie did not go as planned, that this may be the best way to go.

He started to cry. A lot of feelings came to the surface as the first thing that was stated from him, was they do not care about him.

Here is the short note, that I will now place in envelopes and mail tomorrow at his request.



I am writing this on behalf of Alvin Jr.  I have asked him to tell me what he wished for me to say in this letter. This is what he requested. He wanted me to reach out to you. He wanted me to speak on his behalf as he believes he may be nearing death.  Alvin is in the comfort care part of Parkinson’s.  Alvin is afraid you will be surprised when you find out that he has passed on, and this is the reason for this short note. He says,

Tell them that I am sick. Tell them that I have Parkinson’s and I don’t think I have much time left. God has told me my life is almost over.

Tell them that I love them.

Ask them if they still love me


This is what he wanted me to say, and so I have honored his wishes.

Alvin has been making last-minute preparations for his death. He had me take him to the cemetery so that he could speak to mom and dad.

He has had several conversations with God and he believes that God told him that his time is near.

Contrary to what people are saying, thinking, choosing truths or non truths is none of my concern.

Each birthday and holiday that came and went Alvin always cried because he feels no one loves him from the family.

I am not God, but thankfully God has taken me through this journey of caring for Al these past four years. I would not have traded this for anything that is available in this world.

Well, I have stated what he wanted me to state.

Thank you,

Terry Shepherd



As soon as I mail them, I will feel that I have honored Al’s wishes. I don’t know what else I can do for him, but if there is anything else he requests, I will try my best to honor it.

It will be an honor, joy, and privilege, to go to heaven and see Al there walking, running, and smiling, pain-free. We will both never remember these days of struggles, tremors, crying, tears and pain. Even if I go first, I know that I will recognize him immediately upon his arrival, and we shall embrace each other with loving hugs.