Free Write Friday, August 4th, 2012

When I was a small child, my brother and I were taken from our mother and placed with our father, and his mother and father to live. We lived here for what it seems for about one year.

We lived in a two-story house, which is white and had a wrap-a-round porch on the front. It had very little yard space to play in, and an alley ran on the side of the house, so for children it was not a safe play area. I believe when my mind goes back in time, we must have been between three and four years of age.

The upstairs of the house was where the bedrooms were placed, and although, I do know I was the age of being out of a baby bed, I can still have visions of sleeping in the same room where my father slept, in some form of a baby bed or maybe it was a toddlers bed.

I can remember waking up in the mornings and my father holding my hand as we walked safely down the long flight of stairs. It is strange how we can remember bits of pieces of our young days, but even today, all the pieces are not connected. The puzzle looks put together, and the cardboard waiting for the missing puzzle pieces has turned brown from old age and sitting empty.

It was at this house that I remember much chaos. I can remember a lot of yelling and fighting. I can remember getting strange feelings that I was in the way. It seems like there was words of I am doing what I have to do, not because I want to, but you put me in a position of being a mother again, said by my grandmother.

My father worked the evening shift at the local bowling ally, and his parents cared for us while he was at work. We were not allowed to make sounds, and we could only play with one toy at a time, but very quietly. I can remember seeing my brother laying on the floor, and rolling some sort of car, maybe the size of a hot wheels, back and forth on the floor, never making a noise.

My brother and I never had any bonding when we were young. One reason was for the lack of using our voices. Another was my brother didn’t talk much. His vocabulary was very limited due to  lack of being  taught, or communicated with in any other way than was necessary.

My brother was kept captured in a high chair for a good part of each day, so he would not get in to anything, and I can remember tears and crying from him. I don’t know what I did with myself for most of my days, but I can see now where I am in my own life and Al’s life, that how we were treated as young children definitely helped mold us into what we are today.

I still cling to being accepted. I go over board to try to please others, even when I know I am being used. I hear my brother’s words when he is upset,  saying no one has ever cared about him.

This is not true, but the molding that was formed when very small remains in his mind today. Our stepmother did her best to raise us, and I am pretty sure she loved us in the best way she could. There was never bonding between mom and us kids, in the times that are most important, but there was a love.

I do remember when we lived in the white house by the alley, there was an elementary school that sat right across from our house, and if I was very good, or our father was sleeping  later than usual, or our grandparents felt they needed more quiet time, they would tell me to go to the school ground across the street and swing on the swings. They showed they cared somewhat, because they would always point to the yellow warning sign with the children on the front, this is where you play and this is where you stay. If I look out my front window, and I don’t see you, you will get a licking when we find you.

I would go over and sit on the swings and swing alone. My brother would not be allowed to go with me, because of his age, I think. Sometimes, a little girl about my age would come to the school grounds and swing with me. I am sure we chatted or laughed or maybe we swung in silence, I can’t remember.

One day many years later, when I was grown, or thought I was grown, I worked at a local restaurant burger joint. There was lots of teenagers who worked there. A quiet, taller than most girls, worked there also, and mainly worked my shifts in the evenings. Eventually, she and I became friends, and we got close enough that we even started to stay over at each others houses on the weekends. Remember those slumber parties? This is what we had. Sue, her name, introduced me to one of her friends, and so the three of us formed our little circle of friends.

One night on one of these over night stays, conversations drifted to when we were young. I have no idea of what was really transpired, probably silly things, like cute boys! I do remember one thing though, and will never forget it.

Sue talked about where she lived when she was little and how she used to go to the school-house near her home and she would swing with a little lonely girl. Her mother would see the young child sitting all by herself, and would ask Sue to go over and keep her company.

Sue and I discovered we were each the little girls that swung together when we were very small. She lived one block from the school. I find it amazing how God brought us together once again, after all these years. We were like lost sisters come together once again.

Now, even years later, she lives in a town near by, and I see her once in a while, and we always stop for a moment or two to hurriedly catch up with what is happening in our lives now.

So many times when I go by a school today, and I see the yellow sign warning children at play, I go back to my youth, and try to choose the memories of the little girl on the swing who sat with me, and turn my back on the sad memories of confusion of wondering whether I was wanted or not.


Thank you Kellie for offering me another chance to write for your writing exercise prompts!

Give Me The Strength Of Two


Is it time to think of alternatives?  I don’t know how much more I can take of not being able to physically help Al anymore.

Here is what happened just now.  I hadn’t had Al out of the house today, although he decided to go out by himself. He said he was going to ride his scooter, and I saw him leave, but in five minutes he was back. I then saw him sit on the outdoor couch, and it took him great effort to lift his legs upon the couch, but I held my cool. I didn’t rush out to help him like I usually do, I wanted him to do it himself, if at all possible.

Al also decided, without telling me, that he was going to shave with his electric razor. Now I don’t think this is a bad thing, EXCEPT, he shaves in one spot over and over, until the skin becomes raised, raw, and red. It takes a lot of medicating from me to get the skin back to normal. I just wish he would let me do it, but I  understand his wanting to complete a task for himself, but today, he went one step further. He decided to eject the short trimmer piece on the razor, and proceed to clip his mustache. When he came out to show me, I didn’t know whether to flip out, smile and say nothing, or let my eyeballs pop out! I chose door number two. I said GREAT JOB AT TRYING BUD!. He lets me know that he didn’t get it exactly right because he messed up. I had no choice but to agree on this, so now when I look at Al, I try very hard not to cock my head to the side, in order to see a straight mustache.

Tonight, for supper we went to Wal-Mart, because each of us needed a set of sheets for our beds, so we got two pairs, that we could each interchange on the beds, in colors that we both liked. I also know there is a Subway inside the store, and to save Al’s strength, we did the all-in-one thing, one store, one shopping.

After we ate, which I should say we did first, then shopped, and we got the sheets, we lazily went over to the grocery aisle. Now most of you know what the super center Wal-Mart look like. It is like looking over to the other side of grand canyon. It never ends, and we were at the back of the store, by the eggs and milk area.

All of a sudden Al is crying, and he is saying my back, my back! I look back at him and  he is leaning like the leaning tower, so far over, I can not see the steering column of the scooter any longer. I do a quick assessment, and decide his back is hurting from being bent over too far. I ask him to please try to sit up, and he listens and sits up, but only for a couple of seconds and back down he goes.

I mentally take note of what I absolutely have to have from the grocery part, so I do not  have to take Al back out for a while, and with my prompting over and over for him to sit up straight, he and I make it through the necessary aisles, while Al is crying and this time everyone is watching that is near by, because Al is out of control totally.

There is no going back and no going forth, we are stuck right there a third of the way from the registers.  He has lost all interests of listening and understanding, so I get behind Al and I hold his body upright, while he manuevers the scooter towards the registers.

Don’t ask me why, but I am getting darn sick and tired of rude people!! People will not move out-of-the-way, if they are talking, kids running all over the store, me almost running one of them down tonight! I don’t expect special rules to be taken towards us, but if you see a grown man crying, and an older woman hanging on to the back of his shirt, trying to hold him up in a scooter, don’t you think they would get the hell out-of-the-way???

We make it to the registers, and I place all of our goodies on the counter, and we pay and we finally make it through the doors of the all for one and one for all store. Awww, peace and quiet. no, wait, hang on a minute, not another disaster, what?

At the car, as I am placing all the groceries and non-edibles in the trunk, Al takes it upon himself to get off of the scooter and make his way to the passenger side of the car. Now, if I was watching this scene from another car, I would call the police, complaining of a drunk man walking the parking lot. Al is bouncing off the car, back into the car, and then trips and falls. He is in his frozen mode!

I throw my keys and my purse into the trunk, no wait stupid, don’t put your keys in the trunk, so I grab them and go to Al, and check him over. No, God watched over him, no scrapes, or blood. I get him into the car and get him buckled up and his tears turn into storms. I could do nothing more, or I didn’t have the energy to stand their and watch the rain inside the car, and I had nothing to say. I walked back to the trunk, and finished loading the gold, oh, sorry, I mean the pricey bags into the trunk, and we left and came home. He went to his bedroom and pulled out of his closet, the lift, the fat gadget, that you sit on top of the toilet, so you can sit easier? Yes, you know what I mean, the high-rise seat! Between Al’s enlarged prostate issues he has had for a couple of years, and the Parkinson’s not letting him go number one, he ends up bent in a half curtsey position, waiting for the process to start. I guess he got tired of his knees bending, so he is using the lift I bought him with no arguments anymore.

He just came out, as I am finishing this story up, and said to me, why is this Parkinson’s wanting to kill me.

My time is up on here, and now I need to go sit on his bed and listen to more of why he and I can’t fix it.

Our Trip to Wal-Mart

Muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral r...

Muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to take this moment and share my thoughts and concerns with you.

Yesterday, my son asked me if I wanted to go to Wal-Mart. A way to get out of the house and to get Al’s mind on something other than  his pains. I said sure, why not.

We got to the store and the first place we headed was for the big bin of Hot Wheel Toys. In my mind I was smiling, as I see my son and my brother, both adult men, rummaging through each car package. They were like children in a candy store! Their dreams becoming a slight reality as each of them picked out cars that they wished they owned.

Al picked out five cars, and then he decided that there was no better car than a Johnny Lightening car. I have to admit, I had no idea what this was, but I didn’t let on. I said that this was a great idea! I wish I had thought of this myself for him! He just smiled at me and took his scooter over to the boys toy aisle, and began his search. We did find a few of them, and I learned quickly, that they are not only a better looking car, they are also more than eighty-eight cents. These cars were over five dollars each. When I looked into his eyes, and saw the stars shining through, I could not resist telling him he could choose one. In the end he had acquired six new cars. To me it was worth it just to see he had forgotten his pains and he was smiling.

I picked up a flash drive for myself, and my candy I am addicted to, Wintergreen life savors. It may sound disgusting to you, but I love to have one in my mouth, as I am drinking my morning coffee. It does something to the coffee flavor, sometimes I splurge and will have a total of three of them, with my two cups of morning coffee! Try it, you’ll like it! Isn’t that the old common phrase?

After we all had gotten what we came for, we decided to go to the restaurant inside of Wal-Mart, Subway, and grab some lunch. We all walked in that direction, and when we arrived, we all got in line to place our order, except Al.

Al was stuck in his scooter. His leg was frozen, and his knee would not bend. When I glanced back to see if he was getting out of the scooter, I saw his familiar tears running down his cheeks. I left the others in the ordering line and went over to help him get out of his seat. I couldn’t get him out. I tried bending his leg, no good. I tried scooting him to the opposite side, but the steering column was in his way, and there was no moving his body.

I blanked everyone out in the restaurant. I did not care who was looking, or if anyone was talking about this scene anymore. I had finally reached the point in my life, that I had to overlook my emotional drama about what people think anymore. This was about Al, and I needed to be his hero and get him out of this chair!

After much struggling, which probably was only seconds, but seemed minutes, I stood there and tuned everyone out, including Al, and closed my eyes in prayer. Asking God to use his strength through me, and to place a thought inside of my head, on how to complete this task.

It was like feeling a miracle happening, not seeing, but actually feeling it. I had Al’s leg in my hand, and it had felt like a block of cement until now. His leg became instantly putty. I was able to bend it with little effort, and I was able to place it in the perfect position, where it came right out. God wiped his tears away, and we were able to make our way, the two of us, over to the ordering line. All of us ordered, and our lunch continued as if we had never encountered a problem. Thank you God.

Last evening I suggested to Al that we go give him  his shower. It took him quite a few seconds to be able to rise out of the chair, but he did it himself. As we walked through the house, I noticed that his leg was reminding me of a pirate’s leg. It was stiff as a board, not wanting to bend at the knee. He was without trying to , throwing his leg somewhat to the outer side of his body as he walked.

He cried once again. He is so frustrated with his life. I know I sound like a broken record here, but this is what he feels every day. Frustrations, a sense of declining in his body, the pains in his legs.

I cry out so many times to God, to please help him. I remember once a few years back that someone had told me, that I only needed to pray once for what it was I thought I needed. If I prayed more than once, than I was showing God, that I didn’t trust that he heard me, or I was being too impatient, not waiting for his perfect moment. Whether there is truth in this statement or not, I do not know for sure, but I do know, that today, I need God to hear my prayers. Prayers asking for help in Al’s healing, removing his pains and emotional sufferings. I will and do pray many times a day for Al. It feels right to me, and it is comforting to me, as I know the only true miracle worker is God. This alone brings me comfort.

Today, is a brand new day. Al is not up yet, but I have already ask God to help us through this day. I know that this is all due to the Parkinson’s. I have read the writings on this terrible disease. I know the toll it is taking on his body, and what lies ahead for the two of us, but I don’t deal with it well, the final results of this chapter in our lives.

May today God will be looking down on Al, soothing him, comforting him, as not even I can comfort enough. May I see peace in one smile or a twinkle from his eyes. It is Sunday God, a day of rest. Let Al have rest today.