Memorial Day; A Day to Remember, a Day to Celebrate

Yesterday, I did my laundry in the morning and then went to visit my parents and Al at the cemetery. It was very quiet all throughout the day. It seemed as if I was being protected from everything else but my memories I relived at the cemetery.

Today, I went to a picnic, cookout at some friend’s home. Friends I had not seen since I returned to Indiana. I was able to visit with some special gals who were once good friends with my brother.

I have to say, that the word normal should be taken out of the dictionary. Normal is what each person thinks is normal to them. For me, being around all types of friends today, hearing the laughter and the singing made me feel about as normal as I could possibly hope to ever be.

Every problem I face each day was laid to rest. My pain was placed on the back burner for a couple of hours. The only thing that reminded me of my health; was my cane. I felt embarrassed because I couldn’t pour my own pop out of the 2 liter bottle, but no one made any jokes about it; in fact, friends helped me with no questions asked and even carried my plate and cup for me to my seat. What better friends could I possibly ask for?

I took plenty of photos. One of my brother yesterday, a Robin I saw perched on a chimney stack, and of course my friends at the cookout today. I hope you enjoy the picture show as much as I enjoyed this weekend.

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My Heart Belongs To You

He thought of it all

Bottle of wine

Two glasses

Two red roses

Soft blanket



Twinkling stars

A lovers delight

Basking in eyes

Eyes locked

Fingers touching                                                                          kissing-love

Two hearts beating as one

As he laid her down

And bent down to her.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd




Continuing Story Part 38

Dahlia remained in the hospital for two more days, getting better and stronger. Everyone went back to school and doing what they did best, and in between, went to the hospital to


visit Dahlia.

On the day that Dahlia was to be released, Drake was the one who was there waiting with open arms to walk her to the car and drive her home. All paper work filled out and signed, she was released and Drake and her walked arm in arm out the double doors.

Dahlia blinked several times as her eyes were adjusting to the light that she had not seen for some time. Then she noticed everything around her. Trees, dogs running, people walking to and fro from the parking lot. She was taking everything in and Drake smiled down at her and gave her a big hug and squeeze right there. He did not care who saw this, he was in love.

They walked slowly to the car, letting everything sink in that Dahlia was seeing as if for the first time. Getting into the car, she snuggled close to Drake and they drove home. When they entered the front door, they were welcomed home with cheers and bright home-made banners that said Welcome Home Dahlia. Everyone went to her and hugged her and told her how happy they were to have her back home, and to be able to see, what a miracle God had performed. Rachel led them all to the kitchen, where the girls had baked a welcome home cake and there was iced-tea and punch. They all filled their plates and sat around the table talking about all that had happened the past week.

Then the conversation pointed towards the menu that should have been started a few weeks ago. Dahlia and Drake looked at each other and gave each others hand a squeeze, and Drake commented that he was so happy right now, he didn’t care what they had to eat that day, as long as he was pronounced married. They all laughed but Rachel brought it back to reality and said the guests would be disappointed if they came to a wedding and had nothing to eat, so we need to start planning

It was going to be a small wedding, and held outdoors, and so they were going to have more of a festive buffet style, comfortable and easy. So together with everyone’s talents being included, they decided on ham sandwiches, but on bread with the crust cut off, to make them a bit more festive. Some were going to make salads, including potato salad, a pea salad, and coleslaw. Others were going to make their special deviled eggs. There was going to be fresh strawberries, and slices of watermelon. Sue offered to make her famous whipped salad, that  had pieces of apples, grapes, and pineapple, with tiny nuts, all wrapped around a whipping cream. The neighbor, whose specialty was baking beautiful cakes, had offered to make their wedding cake as a gift. There would be punch with ice-cream floating in it, iced-teas, and coffee served.

Dahlia said that she wanted to speak and everyone hushed for a short time. Dahlia went on to explain how thankful she was for the day that Rachel and Ralph took her in, and helped give her a start of fulfilling her dream of becoming a teacher. She told them all that she felt so close to each of them, and she was so happy she was a part of this family. Dahlia continued to say a big thank-you to each of them for being there with her and for her while she was in the hospital, and everyone smiled as they agreed with all she was saying. Ralph spoke up and said that they were so happy that she was going to be an official part of their family, and that Drake had made an excellent choice. With all of the cheering and thanking and praising God for sight, the welcome home party dwindled down, and they all stood up, with each having their list of duties they would perform for the food at the wedding.

One month to go and the big day would be here. School was starting to wind down with the hard labor of learning and home work. Spring was in the air and trees were starting to show buds on their naked branches. The smell of spring was to be admired by all who walked the sidewalks of town.

Dahlia returned to school and the miracle of Dahlia’s eye sight coming back was the whispers of the school. Each class she went to , everyone clapped and hugged her, and the talk of her was what started each class off.

When she entered the dance class, the teacher was waiting for her as she entered the door. The teacher gave her the biggest hug of all, Dahlia thought. The teacher had tears of joy in her eyes, as she welcomed Dahlia back. Dahlia was able for the first time to see the big dance room, with all the bars and the shiny floor. She was introduced to the student she had been working with , and Dahlia leaned in and gave her a big hug and told her how beautiful she was.

That day flew by and Dahlia felt like she was Cinderella for the entire day. Classes continued and soon one day slipped into the next, and the days ticked by quickly, with school coming closer to an end, graduation coming, and then the wedding.

Exams were starting to be put together by all of the teachers. Students were going into the office to make final plans for further studies or new jobs. Everyone seemed to be in a great humor as one door was beginning to close and another one starting to open.

On weekends, families started going to the parks, picnics were being seen. People could be seen walking more and more as people were coming out of their cocoons of winter.  Dahlia and Drake spent every free moment together. They wrote their wedding vows and practiced saying them to each other, until each of them had them memorized.  The rings were picked up and the flowers were checked on to make sure of the date they would be delivered. Dahlia went into the dress shop and took a last peek at her wedding dress, that was hanging in the back waiting for her to come get it. Drake made sure that his suit was still waiting for him.

One afternoon Drake and Dahlia walked over to the neighbor’s house and checked in to see if all was going as planned with the cake. They were told that it would be a white cake, two tiers high, with lots of red roses surrounding the edges. It sounded beautiful. As they left her house and walked down the street,  Drake stopped Dahlia and took her in his arms and gave her a big kiss. Dahlia  interrupted and said not here, Drake, out in the open for all to see? Drake answered back, he didn’t care, he wanted everyone to know how he felt about her. He hugged her  and kissed her again,  and then let her go and together, the two walked hand in hand back home.


Continuing Story Part 19

Everyone did their part to get the picnic supplies needed together, and after it was all done,


each went about their own ways to make themselves presentable for the picnic. On the way to her bedroom, Dahlia bumped into Drew, and saying she was sorry, as she wasn’t sure who it was that she ran into, Drew’s silky voice, looked at her and smiled, and he took her hand and placed his other hand on her arm, rubbing it, asking at the same time if she was alright.

Dahlia, jerked her hand close to her, and quickly commented that it was just a bump, no injury transpired, and she thanked him for his help, and moved quickly past him, leaving him to stand in place and watch her walk by.

She opened her wardrobe and felt each of her dresses, and picked the prettiest one out, hoping to keep Drake’s eyes upon her. She slipped her own clothes off and slid the dress over her head. She was trying to button the buttons in the back of her dress, and she heard a knock come at her door.

Knowing it was Drake asking her if she was ready to walk to the kitchen, she hurried over to the door, and opened it without asking. The voice said, that he was just checking to make sure she was alright. It had been  his fault that he had not been concentrating on where he was walking, and he was so apologizing.

He noticed that she was opened in the back of her dress and he took a quick sneak peek at her dress, and taking her by the shoulders, he spun her around, and said it was the least he could do, to help her by buttoning her dress.

She fumbled and stuttered and said that she could do it herself, and she needed no help. She told him that she had been dressing herself for years, and that he needed to leave her room at once. She pointed her finger towards the door, and he, Drew, replied, that he was so sorry, he just wanted to make amends, and as  he turned around to walk out, he quickly grabbed her and kissed her straight on the lips.

In shock, her hand raised and she slapped him right across the face. She yelled, get out, now! She heard Drew’s snicker, as he turned and walked out the door, slamming the door behind him.

She listened at the door as she heard his steps get farther and farther away. She found her way to the bathroom across the hall, and with great vigor, washed her face and mouth and her hands, scrubbing his touch from her skin and mind. Tears slipped down her face, as she kicked herself mentally, for allowing her bedroom door to be opened without asking who it was first.

She may have feelings for Drake, but she also needed to make wise decisions, and she vowed that she would be the one in charge of her life and not her heart. After cleaning her memories, she went back to her bedroom and continued to button the back of her dress up. She touched each hair pin and decided on the perfect one that would match her dress, and she sat down to comb her hair, and place the pin, finishing the final touches to her outfit.

She took some deep breaths, and stood up and smoothed her dress with her hands, and with her chin up, she went to her door and opened it up and made her way to the kitchen, where others were waiting so they could all leave together.

As they arrived at the picnic, Dahlia remained fairly quiet, but others were taking note of the music playing. The sounds of banjos and violins echoed through the air, drawing laughter and good times into people arriving, in hopes that all would have a good time.

All of their foods were placed on the main tables, and they separated and mingled with all the other people who were already there. The atmosphere was informal. Picnic tables were placed in no certain orders. Straight chairs had been brought in and were lined up on the outside of the tables, and a dance floor had been made in the middle of the setting. allowing plenty of room for anyone to dance.

It was not long before a familiar arm rested on her arm and the deep words were heard to be asking for this dance. She smiled up at Drake and took his arm, as he led her to the dance floor. Dahlia had never danced in her life, and felt like she had two left feet.

He sensed this stiffness from her body, and told her to relax, to wrap her arms around him and just feel the steps that he was making. Slowly she picked up what his feet were doing and before long they were dancing in each others arms, and soon the whole room disappeared, as the only breathing that could be heard was his and hers.

So lost were they in the music, that they both jumped when another voice asked for an interruption, and Dahlia recognized it immediately as Drew. Drake had no reason to say no, and he let Dahlia go into the arms of his brother. Drake left and went to make himself a plate of food, but his eyes followed the steps on the dance floor of his brother and the beautiful lady in his arms.

Drew drew her closer to him, holding her tighter than he need be, and she forced herself to move back a step. She told him that she did not like this and he had no right even asking for a dance, after barging in to her bedroom. He argued the point, stating that she had freely opened it for him. Silence fell between the two, him holding her close, and she not wanting to cause a scene or wanting to explain the earlier details, let him finish this dance with her, but this was the final dance, he would get.

Continuing Story Part 18

Dahlia continued to work  hard with her studies. She exercised regularly, and when she


had the chances, she worked on her dancing in the dance studio. She and her dance teacher, Miss Trump, worked together, perfecting each exercise. Miss Trump, knew that Dahlia wanted to become a dance instructor, so she was often harder on Dahlia, demanding perfection. She had one year to study and then if she did well, she could go to an area and teach dance herself. Dahlia was taught the moves of the Pirouette, and the Arabesque, the Rond de Jambe, and the Eleve. She also learned the Grand Plie, the Demi Plie, and many different steps.

The teacher took notice of the strong form and the slender legs that were shaped with muscles. The standing on the toes was becoming quite nicely done. She was pleased with her student. She knew that there was a class waiting for her at the end of her hard work.

Miss Trump cracked the stick against the bar, and in a firm voice, said no, not that way, the word, what does it mean, what did your book teach you? Remember the book!, now focus the correct way. Slowly Dahlia would place her feet in the correct position and the teacher would announce, very good, keep practicing, you have far ways to go!

At the end of the next two weeks, was a recital, for all parents and friends to come see the progression of the students. While Dahlia went to school, back at home Rachel was working on a costume for Dahlia. Frills and sequins was what this costume was all about. Dahlia was the lead dancer in the ballet coming up for recital.

Three times a week Dahlia met Drake after school, and helped him by grading papers. When this ended, they found themselves staying later to talk, and sometimes they stopped by the soda fountain on the way home for a quick soda.

Love was in the air. The air brought with it the senses of rose buds opening up on the dewy bushes in the early spring. Flowers of lavender could be smelled when you looked and admired the two together. Sometimes at the dinner table, conversation would all stop, when a question was giving to Drake or Dahlia about how they were enjoying this school year. Everyone waited for a hint in the words of the feelings that were growing between the two, but never a word was spoken out loud.

It was Saturday, and Dahlia had some free time, and so she was going out back in the yard to practice on her home-made bar, when Rachel came to the back door and called her to come in. She had something for her, that had come in the mail.

Dahlia, using her cane, made her way up the path to the back door, and entered in and sitting down on the kitchen chair, she opened her hand to receive what Rachel was handing her. It felt like a letter, but it was written in non-braille, so Dahlia handing it back, asked Rachel to read it to her.

Taking the letter out of the envelope, Rachel,  paused, as she read ahead what the letter was saying. Rachel looked at Dahlia and said it was from her mother. The room became silent for a moment, as Dahlia had not heard from her parents since she had left home. She didn’t even realize that they knew where she lived. She asked Rachel to go on, and read what it said.

The letter stated that her father was ill, and it was too much for her to handle alone, and she needed Dahlia to come home and to help take care of him. There was nothing in the letter asking how Dahlia was, no signs of missing her or loving her, just wanting her help, needing her, just like before.

Dahlia stood up to walk away, but Rachel noticed tears running down the young girls face. She asked her not to go, to please sit back down, and the two of them would discuss this. Dahlia sat back down as asked, and immediately cried out, do I have to go back? I don’t want to go home. They never wanted me, they want me to do as they always did, be there for them, not caring about me.

Rachel, said, of course you do not have to go home. You live here now, and you are enrolled in school here, your studies are progressing nicely, and we have come to look at you as part of this family.

Dahlia stood up and buried her head into Rachel’s chest, crying softly, more for happiness than sadness that she did not have to return home. She never wanted to return to that place, until she had something to show them. She wanted to prove to them, that she could make something out of her life. Dahlia took the letter and shred it to pieces, and looked in Rachel’s direction and said softly, I know he is my father, but this is all I know. He has never given me a chance to know who he the person is. Mother will just have to do her best, after all, it is her husband, and with this, Dahlia went back to the yard to work on her bar. The subject was closed as far as the two ladies were concerned, at least for now.

Drew, and Drake, and all of the ladies were in the living room, waiting for the kitchen to empty of people, so they could go put together the menu they had made yesterday. Tonight, there was a church picnic, and everyone that went to this church, was invited. There was going to be plenty of food. Each family was to bring several dishes. There would be live music, by some local performers and there was even going to be a dance.

When Rachel came into the living room, she clapped her hands together, and with a big smile, she said, alright everyone, let’s get this menu started. Everyone pitched in with voices of cheers and they all marched to the kitchen to start the project.

Dahlia heard noises in the kitchen and stopped practicing and went to the back door and entered. She had been thinking about so much lately, that she had entirely forgotten about the picnic. She asked what she could do to help, and Drake announced to her that she could help him get the deviled eggs sliced and filled. Dahlia went straight to him and was by his side, and the others giggled. Drake with a big grin on his face, said what is all the giggles about, then all started laughing. Dahlia loved living here, she loved everyone, her school, and she knew she was also beginning to love Drake.