When I  look forward 
I instantly  go back
I bring to mind
All I have done 
All those  I hurt
All my mistakes
When I am faced
With a rock in my path
I stumble ; I almost fall
For my past
Comes running to me
It holds me prisoner 
It holds me in place
Forbids  me to be new
Still afraid  of myself 
The feelings  I  carry
Turn and churn
Never  escape  my mouth
I realize  I  hurt not you; but me
But here I remain, frozen.

Written  by , 
Terry  Shepherd 
December   2015




The fence line

The tree trunk

Even the horizons

Mattered to Milly

Each morning she rose

Five minutes to stand

Ten to the bathroom

Pain written on face

She had made it

The kitchen stood

As it did the day before

Standing firm, tall, strong

The goal within Milly’s heart

Just as the fence line

The tree trunk

The horizons

Determination rose from within

Milly would make it one more day.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd




I Am Opening a New Page

Well, me moving is a reality as of today. I no longer own my home. The new buyers do and have allowed me to stay here until next Friday. It feels strange, giving up a home where there are so many memories. The memories aren’t wonderful though and for this I am grateful to be out of here very soon.

Memories of seeing Al walk through here with his cane. The day he fell into the Christmas tree. Remembering back to last year around this time when Al told me he would not be here at Christmas, so I brought Christmas to him by putting the tree up very early. My heart is breaking as I realize the things that I remember are not pretty.

Caregivers, hospital beds, Hospice, many hours of little sleep and the worst, going in and discovering he was gone. For these memories I weep. Leaving the sadness behind will be a major step in my healing process. I don’t like being sad all the time. It really brings me down and helps me to remain in bed much longer.

With me, I shall take every good memory of him and all the fun times we had in those years when he was feeling better. Last night I gathered all of my paperwork so it would be in easy reach this morning. I picked out my clothes and then I laid down to sleep only to discover that wasn’t going to be an easy task. Now I am tired and after I finish this writing I am laying down. As tonight I will need to be wide awake for this will be my last time with the girls going to the Moose.

I was to meet the new owners at the courthouse. When I began to walk the long steps to the front door I noticed some beautiful Russian Sage flowers. Upon entering I stood for a moment and admired like I always have the floors of the interior. I love checkered floors. I decided to take some photos of my last trip.

We finished our business and now I am a visitor in my own home until next Friday. Another chapter of my book of life is complete. Now I am opening a new page that is blank but with pen in hand, I am ready to fill the pages.

sage 2sage 3




A Letter to My Brother

Dear Al,   What makes it happen? I am going about my day and then you enter my mind out of nowhere. Suddenly I sit down on the floor, feeling exhausted. I wasn’t tired before so now why? Am I living over that terrible day?

I can see your face crystal clear. The house is quiet. I made myself get out and visit a friend today. I thought the day went rather well, considering it is Sunday. Sundays are still hard for me.

You and I used to climb in the car and just go. You would chatter and I would drive. You wanted to hunt things that you liked. You loved to eat out. Yes, Sundays are very difficult for me still.

I came home and fixed supper. I didn’t care for it at all. I tried a new canned food. asparagus, yuck, terrible. I had tried it once before, fresh and grilled outdoors. I loved it. I had a terrible time swallowing it, but food is limited so I made myself eat it.

I was walking through each room, looking for anything I could pack in a box. The truth is most everything is wrapped and packed now. I am down to what I use every day. I walked into your room and looked at all the boxes, then it happened.

I can still smell you. Your scent lingers in this room. I can picture the air mattress and hear the motor running. I look at the now invisible head of the bed and I know exactly where your head rested. I can see you so clear. I can still hear your voice, pleading me to tell God to take you home.

My gut starts aching, and my eyes feel warm with tears. Oh how I still miss you. If anyone thinks for one second that my moving will aid in me forgetting about my brother, they don’t know me at all. I will take him with me, I will never forget my dear brother. I can see the over head table at your side. I see your cars lined up on your bed as you requested.

I see myself feeding you sherbet. I remember you liked the rainbow sherbet the most and how sad it was for you and me when you could no longer swallow it. I remember how I sneaked baby food into a grown-up bowl and how many times you looked at me. I knew that you wondered what in the world I was feeding you, but you and I pretended that it was better than it smelled and you knew in your heart I had no choice but to feed you this type of food.

I can see you at your funeral. You were dressed in your favorite coca-cola pants and shirt. You were holding your favorite car and you were wearing your favorite coca-cola hat. You weren’t smiling at me though. The flag with the Coca-Cola emblem, which Al Forbes got for you cascades over you.  You looked peaceful and yet I felt you weren’t with me. Maybe you were standing above me, holding me up so I didn’t fall apart. You knew when you left you would leave a huge void in my heart which remains still today.

How many times will I repeat myself dear brother? How many times will the words, I miss you so much bud, I miss you so much, come out of my mouth. Do you hear me? Can you feel my heart busting at the seams out of pain for you not being here with me? I know, I realize you are happy now. MSA is out of your system, but I am selfish, if I could only see you one more time. I hate MSA with a passion. I have written a book about you bud. It is about you and Multiple System Atrophy. I want to share it with others so they won’t be as fearful as I was going through the many stages you went through.

I got up from the floor and stand looking around, tears still forming. I turn the lights off and shut the door once again. I miss you bud. I can’t wait to see you again. Love, sis.








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One Month Since Al Passed, And I Walked a Forward Step Today

One Month Since Al Passed, And I Walked a Forward Step Today

Although a week after Al passed I painted two complete rooms and had my ceilings in the living room and kitchen repainted, I must move on. Today is a day I have no plans. These type of days are my hardest.

So, I didn’t want to cry. I have been in his room and even though it makes me so sad and gives me a pair of wet eyes, I need to talk to him by looking at his personal stuff. Shoes, pictures,…

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One Month Since Al Passed, And I Walked a Forward Step Today

Although a week after Al passed I painted two complete rooms and had my ceilings in the living room and kitchen repainted, I must move on. Today is a day I have no plans. These type of days are my hardest.

So, I didn’t want to cry. I have been in his room and even though it makes me so sad and gives me a pair of wet eyes, I need to talk to him by looking at his personal stuff. Shoes, pictures, all his cars, coca cola. It just speaks of who Al was.

I cooked down some chicken and when it was cool, I de-boned it. To this I added mushrooms, small potatoes, carrots, celery, a few apple slices, some frozen mixed veggies. Along with tons of spices I smell an aroma that makes my mouth water.

Then I went to my desk. Under the cubby hole of it were papers galore having to do with Al. I just dug in and started going through all of it. Sorting what I thought I may still need and others placing in different piles.

This led to a cleaning out of my desk drawers. Now it looks so empty. All I see is my things. I boxed his up and filed them and dated them and placed them in their proper storage area.

I don’t mean to hide you away dear brother, but I have to move on. Don’t worry, there are plenty of things I can’t even touch yet as my heart still breaks when I look at certain things. I could never forget you brother.

When Mom passed a way, Dad was still living. I used to go to my phone and dial her number wanting to tell her something and then stopped, realizing I couldn’t. When Dad died, and I lived in the house with Al, I used to play the answering machine for a long time just so I could hear his voice.

Now with Al being gone I have gotten a little smarter. I made a little video of you a week before you died. It not only has your face; it also has your voice. I have it placed ever so gently in a special file on my computer. Any time I think I am going to forget your voice I can play it.

I can not hear my Mom’s voice any longer. I can barely hear Dad’s, but yours, I have forever. So you never have to worry buddy boy, I have you with me in my heart and spirit, even with your room looking so different.

I watered Al’s plants and I now have four open Peace Lilies open. You are alive brother dear. Whether I go into your room, or into your bathroom or even here in the living room, I see you everywhere.

So all paper work is properly filed. Soup is finishing cooking. It is dreary outside with a little chill. Only in the fifties today. It is going to rain. Spring flowers are blooming and the trees are budding.

Life is becoming new but for today, some things never change, and I am remembering you.

al-july-11-2Just looking at this photo brings a mass of tears. So this must end this post. I need to get up and find something else to do. Love you buddy.