Christmas and Our Loved Ones

I am sure some of you can relate to my post today. Christmas and our loved ones.

Christmas this year is certainly different for me. A new area to live in, strangers living all around me. The biggest thing though for me personally is Al, my brother is not here this year.

Last year he was there but he wasn’t. Mentally he wasn’t with me. Drugs were keeping him going. The lungs moved, the eyes fluttered, but he wasn’t there.

The selfish part of me wants that back. I could still go in his bedroom and hold his hand. I could read the Bible to him. I could decorate his room with his Christmas coke items. I could sit and watch TV with him. I could chatter away mindlessly. I could take care of every need he had.

This year, I have none of that. I have tried working with other patients but I just can’t do it. My insides want to roar from pain. I want to run in a corner and hide. I don’t want to deal with those volcano feelings, so caring for other patients isn’t for me, nor may it ever be again.

When I spent eight years either caring for my father or my brother, it is so hard to look at someone else and try to pretend your heart is in it.

My two sons and their families live back home in Indiana. My grandchildren are mainly back there also. I have a daughter here in town where I live now and along with her husband and their daughter, they help keep my smiles alive.

I told my daughter a couple of weeks ago there was no way I was going to be decorating this year. My heart is not into it. My son-in-law, who is so good to me piped up with some words, that I basically ignored; but the next time I went over to their home to visit, there were those words hanging on their living room wall. Those words were something to the tune of let the spirit of Christmas live within you. I have a pretty smart son-in-law. He knew what I needed, even though I didn’t get it at first.

I looked at it and my heart felt stabbed from the loss of Al. The words were beautiful, but my inner soul was not. Memories of my brother’s passing almost eight months ago come flooding back at Christmas.

No matter how hard I try to push them down, they rise to meet the tears in my eyes. Time marches on and for those of us who have lost loved ones, pain comes along with holidays.

I knew in my heart that although I miss my brother and my parents so much, I have, not had, I have children. Children with their own children. Giggles and smiles, babies taking their first crawl, proud parents, accomplishments that parents show by the gleam in their eye.

Living must continue. If for no other reason, then for my grown kids. I owe it to them. Life can’t stand still, which it has for me these past several months. The ache in my heart as I write this post is fresh, but I will get through this. I will laugh at the grandkids when they laugh.

I will listen to what my children and their children say. I will use my camera and make my own memories. I have to, what choice do I really have? I can sit here inside my home and cry and become more depressed, or I can live in the moment, in the season, and I know in my heart, Al will be in heaven smiling down upon me, for the fact I am trying to move on.

So for the end of this post I will show you that I am really trying. I drug my Christmas boxes out. I decorated my fireplace mantle. I stood back and looked at what I had done, and I quietly asked Al what he thought. I felt a peace inside. I know that I am doing the right thing for me, for Al and for my family.





What did you dream of

When you were little

A fireman, a doctor

A ballerina, a judge

As you grew did

You keep that dream

Were you encouraged

Or did it fall behind

Drop to the floor

When you grew old

Did you look back

Was your past

What you wished

Or did you find

Something better

Or worse are you

Happy or sad

If you could

Would you change

Something you did

Or are you content

As you sit in your

Rocker and you

Look out the window

Are you smiling

Or are there tears

Falling gently

Down your face.

Life is what it is

We all aren’t perfect

We are actually

Right where we

Are supposed to be.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

Terry’s Thoughts in Poetry

(Facebook page I manage)



Weekly Writing Challenge; The Difference DP Challenge

In today’s challenge, you’ll tell the same story from two or more unique perspectives. You can choose from the prompts below, or create your own prompt.

My Story Challenge

It was about 10:30 at night. Russell, my husband was in bed, but I just couldn’t sleep. I was restless and wasn’t sure why. I had sure worked hard enough at the plant today. It just always seems the better I do, the more parts they want put out. There is no rest for the wicked, I guess.

Russell and I had been married for about 20 years. He rescued me when I made a big mistake years ago. I don’t know if Russell really loved me or if he  just plain felt sorry for me. Back in my day it was improper to do what I had done. I could have paid a higher price than I did. He was a good man. He takes good care of me.

There isn’t a lot of romance but just enough to keep the nerves calm. He works at the same factory I do. In fact he is the one who got me in. He introduced me to his boss and I got work real easy.

I finished drinking my cup of warm milk but still wasn’t tired. I looked towards the window. It was dark as dark could be. This was a quiet neighborhood. We lived on a dead-end street. Not much traffic round here.

I wandered over to the window and pulled the desk chair close. I opened the window a bit to get some fresh air. It is a good thing for sleep, getting fresh air. As I thought, no one stirring.

I sat there for a while just letting the chill go in my nostrils. Instead of making me tired it sort of refreshed me and I was more a wake now than ever. I propped my arm up and rested  my chin on it just staring out over the tops of the trees, gazing at the stars.

I heard a noise and as I looked over in the direction of where it was coming from I spotted two people. They were standing under the only street lamp. He had his arms around her waist and she had her arms around his shoulders.

I squinted so I could get a better look at the two. They looked like maybe they were young high-school kids. I instantly went back in time to the moment I was standing just like they are.

Oh those were the days. The golden days of love and romance. Stars in my eyes. I never did hear anything but the words he whispered in my ear. I wonder where he is today. It has been over twenty years since the last time I saw him.

I watched the two and they were kissing. I know I should turn a way, put my chair back and leave the window, but my own memories were playing on the phonograph and I was sort of scared for these two.

I can still hear his words. Oh baby, I just love you so much. You know how much I want you and besides this just isn’t fair; you turning me down. We both know I have to leave for the military next week. How can I go knowing I never got to prove my love to you.

I watched as they dropped their hands and moved over to the grass. I could still see them but not as good. He took off his jacket and laid it on the grass.

I didn’t want to do what I did, but I loved him so much. How could I turn him down?

Oh young lady, you better be real careful. Don’t fall for any of his cute words. He is just trying to have his way with you. He is thinking of his own needs and nothing about you. I couldn’t see exactly what they were doing but by the stirring I knew they were about to do the same things I did.

He talked me into laying down on the grass where he was already sitting. He took my face and turned it towards him and he kissed me real quick. I can remember looking into his eyes. I must have set off some sort of stupid signal because the next thing I knew he had sort of pushed me down to the ground and he was kissing me real hard on the mouth. He parted my lips apart with his tongue and he was feeling everywhere inside.

Oh girlie, I hope you aren’t letting him do that to you. Neither of you look old enough to be getting married. From here you both look like you’re still wet behind the ears. Be careful honey. Don’t listen to anything he says. Get up, walk a way, I promise you won’t regret it. Sure it will hurt for a few days, but you could be ruining the rest of your life.

Oh baby, I love you so much. I can remember as he was sweet talking me his fingers were fumbling with buttons. His hands were finding places I had never even explored myself.

Mr., Mr. please don’t do this. Don’t ruin her for the rest of her life. Have some decency. Get up and go home and take a cold shower. Tears started to stream from my eyes. I didn’t even know I was beginning to cry until my hand started to feel wet. Oh how I wish I would have made different choices. I was too young.

He placed his hand in a very private area. Against my words my body rose to the attention it was getting. In no time at all he was standing up, zipping up his pants. He lit a cigarette and looked down at me. I felt warm all over and when I touched myself and looked at my hand I saw blood. All he could do was laugh and say, oh that’s the way all virgins look the first time, but don’t worry, you won’t ever see that again. I was so ashamed. I had done something that I knew inside was wrong.

I stared through the window barely breathing. Soon I saw that man standing up. He was looking down at her like mind did with me. He helped her up and the two walked off.

When he got done with me he didn’t help me up. He just smoked while I tried to paste myself back together. Once I was standing up he gave me a quick peck on the cheek and we walked towards our homes. At the corner he waved goodbye and we parted.

As I watched the two walk hand in hand I wept. I blew my nose on the hankie tucked inside my sleeve. I was weeping for that girl and the girl I once was. I prayed a silent prayer that her life had not just been ruined.

You know, I never saw him again after that night. I did write him a letter months later when I had our baby boy, but he never answered back. I was alone. I had made a big mistake. I had believed in a dream full of words. It changed everything. My parents did the best they knew for me. I kept my baby and learned to be a mommy. Life was rough until I met Russell. Now, years later, my son is a grown man, married and has a family of his own. I got a good man who I am  pretty sure loves me. I was one of the lucky ones.eye crying