Al’s Requests

Hi my friends. Today was a little different from other days. Al woke up after a restless night. He seemed alright but soon after broke into an ocean of tears. This went on for over two hours. He was askingfor forgiveness, I don’t know why. He was naming…

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Al’s Requests

Hi my friends. Today was a little different from other days. Al woke up after a restless night. He seemed alright but soon after broke into an ocean of tears. This went on for over two hours. He was asking for forgiveness, I don’t know why. He was naming off relatives, phone numbers, old jobs.

It was like he was revisiting a movie of his own life. He sobbed harder than I have ever seen him. It scared me, I couldn’t help it. I had never seen him like this before. I called the minister from Hospice and he paid a visit.

Whenever this minister, Bob, comes Al calms down, and once again this happened. Ever since the minister left Al seems to have accepted his own death nearing. I was told that Al is in the process of dying, what ever that means.

Al asked for different  people. He started off by asking for my son, who came to see him. The two relatives in our lives that although I have forgiven, still make me very sensitive when I hear their names.

But Al was adamant about speaking to them. I finally gave in for Al’s peace of mind. I located the phone number in Florida and will make that phone call in the morning. The other relative I called tonight and Al was able to speak to her over the phone. The aunt is also paying a visit to Al within the next two days.

Al cried like a baby upon hearing her voice. After the phone call ended he told me that this was his last request. I feel it is nearing, a gut feeling I have. Changes have happened. Al’s tremors have ended.

His eye lids no longer work. The MSA has taken the eye lid muscle and weakened it. He can open them in the mornings but by afternoon he can no longer do this. He has told me how much he loves me and Rhino.

He has made many comments about how I will be after he is gone and I have answered him as honestly as I can, letting him know I will be alright. It is as if he is saying goodbye. His breathing has changed. He struggles and his swallowing has been effected. I can see that he is struggling to swallow anything.

I pray with all my heart that he is taken soon. My heart will break into pieces. I will miss him terribly, but he will be out of pain. He keeps telling me his arms are glued down, but the truth is, the brain is not telling the arms to move so they seemed locked along with his body contracting.

The only person he has been asking for is our half-sister. Although I have pleaded with her to come see him, I can not make her do it. I had to tell Al that I am so sorry but I just can’t make this request happen.

I told Al he is the best brother I could have ever asked for and I told him how proud I am for all he has done in his life. I thanked him for being my good friend and for going to all the auctions and flea markets and out to eat.

He held my hand and began struggling with breathing again. I quit talking as I didn’t want to get him upset. Al has never been able to accept that he is a good man, but I had to tell him. I sat with him until he finally drifted off to sleep.

Tomorrow I have foods to make and I have ignored the house so much. The Hospice nurse will be here also and my one daughter-in-law will be stopping by. Christmas Day my son and his family will be here for the noon meal and our Aunt will be paying Al a visit. Thursday my daughter will be arriving sometime in the day and the caregiver will once again return.

I miss Stacy already. She is a big help to me and to Al, but she deserves off her holiday also. So I will be busy, too busy for my taste. Al is the priority, the foods and holiday will work around him. I will do my best to touch base tomorrow night. Hugs to all of you.

The Loss of a Child

I have found a group called M.S.A. on Facebook and it is a second home to me. There are so many supporters for this terrible disease. People know what is happening. I can ask questions about this illness and there are so many hugs.

My first home is here at WP so I feel especially blessed to have such a large, extended family coming from all sides.

My daughter and I were able to speak for a few minutes last night. I asked her questions that I did not understand, and it felt so good to have her take the time to answer me. I don’t always like the answers I am told. I don’t think any of us really want to face that giant wall of knowing we are facing death of a loved one.

Yesterday I learned that another precious adult child was taken to heaven. The mother posted her loss.  The grief that is in a parent to lose a child before they, themselves have taken leave, I would think would be devastating.

My Grandma has lost two of her daughters to God. Each time it happened my Grandma would say the same thing. ” It should have been me first, not them. I am the Mom.”

I can’t say that I know exactly what she is feeling as I am blessed to have my own children with me, but I can feel her pain.

My loss of words could not be spoken to Lucille but I am able to write in word what I feel. I wrote her this poem this morning and I thought, maybe my friends here at WP would like to see it also.

Here it is;                                                                            babybook4AnimatedCandleThoughtandPrayersM.S.A. logo

It doesn’t seem right
It doesn’t seem fair
We give birth to a baby
He is with us every where.
We grow older
He grows up
He brings us smiles
As he sips from a cup.
Our hair begins to gray
He is thriving in school
We tear as he graduates
He has learned every tool.
We settle into retirement
He is told he is ill
We take our morning coffee
While he takes his pills.
Then one day we cry
As he left our arms for God
We stand at his grave
And look down at the sod.
It doesn’t seem fair
It doesn’t seem right
That we are still standing
But he lost his fight.
Written by
Terry Shepherd
In dedication to
Lucille C.


Picture it & Write/ Ermiliablog


For several nights Derek dreamed. They were vivid and colorful, yet when he woke his bed was wet from the sweat that dripped from his body.

He began to fear closing his eyes at night. The visions of his nightmare remaining clear in his mind.

He began his journey of tearing apart the tiny pieces and dissecting each thought. In the end he hoped that he could place the puzzle together and see clearly what his dream meant.

Some said because the color of green was so alive, that maybe he wished for money. Others asked if he was afraid of someone or maybe he had instincts about something bad going down at work.

Still others thought maybe he was wrestling something from his past.

Derek didn’t know and after days of this continuing he decided to look into a special doctor. He called a shrink out of the yellow pages and set an appointment. He was nervous as he pulled into the parking lot.

He pulled out a cigarette and puffed on it, arguing with himself on whether he should go into this adventure. Did he really want to know? Was it really that bad? After all, it only happened at night-time. Weren’t his days just fine?

He took his last puff and put it out. He sat there a few minutes longer looking at his reflection in the rear view mirror. Trying to see the answers staring back at him but all he got were blank shells.

Ah what the hell, let’s get this over with. Better to know I guess than wearing myself down trying to figure it out on my own.

He walked through the double doors and was greeted by a blonde bombshell. Good morning sir. Do you have an appointment?

Derek stared at her and his lips wouldn’t move. Between his restless nights and hours of trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and then looking at this gorgeous babe, for a minute, he couldn’t speak.

Um, yes, yes I do have an appointment. The names Miller, Derek Miller.

She smiled at him and checked her appointment book. Yes, here you are. You are right on time Mr. Miller. Please have a seat and I will let the doctor know you are here.

Derek walked over to one of the empty seats. He couldn’t hardly keep his eyes to himself. They must put pretty girls in that box to keep our minds off our own problems.

She glanced at him as if she had read his mind and smiled. He smiled and then looked a way, embarrassed that he had been caught looking at her.

Soon his name was called and he walked into a small warm office. The draperies were of heavy, green tapestries, just like the green in his dreams. The furniture smelled of leather and when he was asked to have a seat he sunk in.

Sort of reminded him of his dream; getting sucked into a position he was not comfortable with.

The doctor introduced himself as Dr. Meyers. He started the conversation off with asking Derek general questions.

Where did you grow up? What do you do for a living? What kind of relationship did you have with your parents? Now, tell me about this recurring dream you are having.

Derek coughed and cleared his throat. He was nervous so he tucked his hands under his legs to keep his fingers from shaking. He began his story from the beginning and didn’t stop until the end.

Dr. Meyers looked up from the notes he was writing and asked, Derek, may I call you Derek instead of Mr. Miller? Derek nodded and the doctor continued.

How do you feel about yourself? Have you ever struggled with who you are? How do you think you fit in with life in general?

Derek sat there and considered what to say. He hung his head down towards his lap as if he was praying and then looked back up at the doctor.

I, well I guess I am alright. I think I fit in. Mom and Dad always taught me that what I did in school was never enough. They always said I could do better. If I got less than an A, they pounded me emotionally to do better. They accused me of goofing off. I guess I carry this into my work today also. I want the boss to know I am giving it my all. I want to be appreciated for all I do.

Dr. Meyers shook his head as Derek talked. Yes, Derek, we all want to please our parents when we are young. But maybe their ideas of good enough were different from your ideas. Maybe you already were doing your best. And although we would all love it, many bosses do not say enough of how much we are appreciated. Sometimes the only time we hear from them is if we screw up. You know what I mean Derek?

Derek chuckled to himself, thinking back to one particular time when he did get called into the big man’s office for not having a report exactly the way he wanted. He guessed this doc may have a point.

I think I understand your dreams Mr. Miller. The dream scared you right? It seems bigger than you see yourself? I think this dream has a title, a main theme, a one-headed horse, on a one-way path. It is called Insecurity.

Derek looked up at him and they locked eyes for a moment as Derek let what the doctor said sink in a little bit.

You mean you think I am afraid of myself?

No, you are not afraid of yourself. You have done very well in fact. You have a good education. From what you say you have nice living quarters. You drive a new car. No, you are insecure about not being good enough in your eyes. The reason you don’t hear anything from your boss is you are doing fine. You and your parents seem to have a good relationship all things considered. You look healthy. You just need to change your train of thought. Bring it up a notch or two. Bring yourself in to this day and age. Let the child go and accept the great person you are as an adult.

Derek took a long deep breath. He felt like a big boulder had been lifted from his shoulders. He knew in his gut this doc was right on target. He stood up when the doctor said time’s up.

Unless you continue to have these dreams I think you are one of the lucky ones. I doubt if we need to schedule any more appointments for you. But I am here if you feel the need.

Derek shook the doctor’s hand and walked out of the building. He stopped out in the sunlight and inhaled deeply the fresh air. He looked at the people walking and the kids riding their bikes. He smiled and went home.

When it was time to go to bed, his fear crept back but not as bad. He was anxious this time to go to sleep to see if he would have his dream. When he awoke the next morning, sun came pouring in his windows. It was a beautiful day and the mean, green dream had vanished.

Picture it & Write Blind Sight Edition


Why am I here? What happened? Lying on the cold, damp floor. Knees hugging her chest as she runs her fingers along the cement floor

Abbey’s mind filled with empty spaces. Pieces of puzzles drifting trying to find a perfect fit. Goose bumps riding on her skin she looks around and finds a tethered blanket and draws it around her to keep the chill away.

Her clothes are gone. They have been replaced by gray-blue scrubs. Flip flops now rest on once closed toes. She runs her hand through her tousled hair and she scratches her head trying to glue everything back together.

Clanky keys rattle against the door. A man in uniform opens it and says,”Come with me Abbey. You have a visitor.” She rises and follows him. Asking no questions moving as a robot.

They walk down a long corridor and chanting can be heard. ” Hey look at that. New piece of meat here for us.”  “Hey cutie, where you been all our lives?” Fingers reaching through the bars trying desperately to pull Abbey close to them.

She pulls a way from then and walks closer to the guard. Fear takes over her brain. Her legs feel like jelly but without prompting they keep walking forward. A small door is opened and she is led to a table and two chairs.

A gentleman stand and extends his hand introducing himself as her appointed attorney. When the door is closed he sits and motions for her to also do so. He scans her face, seeking answers in her eyes.

Richard ask,” Do you want some coffee? Sugar and cream?” Abbey holds the warm styrofoam cup in her two hands hoping the heat will generate throughout her body.

“Well I am here to represent you. I need to hear your side of the story Abbey. Why don’t you start at the beginning and tell me everything.” He opens his folder and with pen in hand he waits to write notes.

She stares at him and says nothing. “Abbey? Did you hear me? I need you to tell me what happened. If you want me to help you, you are going to have to talk.”

” Why am I  here? When did I get here?” she asked

Richard looks at her straight on with wrinkled eye brows. Clearing his throat he says, “This isn’t the time to play games. You are in here on murder charges. You killed your husband. Now do you have something to tell me?”

” I, I killed my husband? Why would I do that? I love Kenny. I would never kill him.”

Richard sifts through his notes and says,” From what I have gathered the police barged into your house. They found you huddling in a corner in the kitchen. You had a gun in your hand. You stated to the cops that you thought your husband was going to kill you. Does any of this ring a bell?”

Abbey picked at her fingers and stared down at the table. Wracking her brain to remember anything the attorney was saying. Her mind was drawing a blank. She looked into Richards eyes and weakly stated,” No, I don’t have any idea  what you are talking about. The last thing I remember is coming home from work. I was heading up the stairs to soak in a tub. Kenny said he had something real important to discuss with me. I asked him if he could wait until I came back down. This is what I remember.”

Richard had a job to do but there was a part of him that believed her. She must be in shock he thinks to himself. ” You have a court date this afternoon at 3pm. I must have something to work with here. I have another case in this section. Tell you what, you sit here and do some real hard thinking. I will go see my other client and then come back and hopefully by then you will have something to say.”

Richard rose and knocked on the door. The guard let him out leaving the prisoner here to do battle with her thoughts.

To be continued….

I Wished

Book of Answers

Book of Answers (Photo credit: Caro’s Lines)

My spirit is restless this morning. I was awakened by the phone ringing. It was a company I have been working with in regards to  getting Al  out of the nursing home. Al is restless and unhappy. I don’t remember him being like this when he was here with me.

Not that our home is close to heaven; but I believe Al’s attitude has changed towards life itself. I had called to see why he did not go to a certain program last Thursday on his outing.

No one that I questioned at the facility knew the answers. I should not say this but I am thinking it, so why not go for it? How can a facility work together day after day and yet when a question is surfaced not one person in any of the departments knows the answers.

It just floors me or maybe I am too impatient. I ask and I do not receive. I am so bad at handling the unknown. I move throughout the hours and days like a mechanical doll. In the head sizzling, is the question that you try so hard to patiently wait to get the answers.

I may have Al placed and I have more quiet time here at home, but sometimes I wonder if expecting Al to receive better care because there is more staff than just me at home was such a good idea.

Now I am faced with the challenges of going through the linked chain to get help.  It seems that the priorities that need to be worked with for Al can not be done. The state will not allow the staff to become too closely involved. They can admit him, take all of his money, give him medications, make sure he is encouraged to eat three meals a day etc. But, they can not stop the weight gain, the lack of socializing Al needs and wearing the same clothes day after day. They can’t work on issues Al has unless it is through a physical therapy department.

I am just a rambling on mess. I am to the place that I don’t know how to fix things any longer. Should I toss this whole process as if I am putting a dirty dish cloth in the washer? How far do I go before I have dug up the foundation of this staff?

I finally got my answer this morning through the phone call. Al did not want to go to the day program. He was upset. He always knew that when I said the word outing, it meant fun and hopefully buying a coca cola item. He got angry that he could only take a few dollars with him because he wanted to take out all of his money in case he found a coca cola deal. Well maybe I should add another weight to my shoulders and blame myself for trying to make Al smile. I did take him a lot of places. So now I pronounce my own self guilty.

I get it to a point. We all want to get what we want in life. It is our human nature. The difference is when Al was here I could reason with him. No one seems to be able to reason with Al at the facility. I can’t sit here and blame his new home. Maybe it is the confusion of his Parkinson’s Dementia. Or maybe Al is simply throwing a tantrum.

But I do know that he was looking forward to going to the program because as he said, he was going to get to see all of his old friends. Now through babbling on like a blooming idiot, I have finally keyed in on the point.

Al isn’t recognizing the effects of his behaviors. He was asking me why he didn’t get to go to the activity when he is the one who told staff in anger and hurt that he didn’t want to do anything if he couldn’t have some of his money.

Now I see a child throwing a fit. Should I pounce on Al and let him know this is all  his fault? Let him see that his anger and hurt by not getting what he wanted ruined his own trip? Does he get it, or is it too complex for his thought process?

This is where my mind swirls and before I even had my coffee cooking a way, my mind was already a jumbled hurting confused mess.

You see one of the things I love about myself is I can move forward if I choose to. Now I am in constant state of being on hold. When the professionals don’t have the answers, who does? When they don’t have the answers, who does?

I can’t make any hasty decisions because I am dealing with a delicate unbalanced mind. I don’t want to upset the so-called apple cart. I sat on the bed and thought about it for a while. I then decided to go in and talk to my brother today; but I wanted back-up.

Not for the reason of my safety, but for the professional words to help guide me through the explaining process of what I wanted to say to Al. I called the facility and was told the lady I needed to talk to just stepped into a meeting that would last for 15 minutes.

She was going to give her the message to call me as soon as she stepped out the door. It has now been one hour and ten minutes and still no phone call. Instead of tossing this over my shoulder, flipping on my radio to turn my brain on auto, I will sit here and stress because I can not get the answers. Sounds impatient doesn’t it? I may have to admit that I am a little  this morning. But when you had a tiny puddle of mud in the beginning and after months of digging in it, you now are standing in a pool, I tend to lose that good patience quality.

Some things were just so much easier when he lived here at home. It was his and my decisions. It didn’t include 25 departments and hearing too many I don’t knows. Life was simple, when I look back. All I dealt with then was his sadness and depression. Now it is constantly looked at as how to fix it. This includes many meetings with hope built-in to them and walking out still unsettled. The alternative is to keep giving him more and more medications until he is a zombie in a restless mind and body.

I just wish now at one of my weak moments that Parkinson’s would fall off the face of the earth. I wish that I was asking Al what he wanted to do today. I wish that I had not placed him where money became the object. I just wish. Wow, I am tired all ready and it isn’t even noon yet.

Daily Prompt; Teachers Pet/ The Daily Post


Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

This prompt was an easy one for me. I will never forget third grade. If my teacher was still living I would go back to her and thank her.

Third grade, how old was I back then? Maybe around 8 or 9? I was spreading my wings, not my angel wings. The wings between my lips. Talking, this is what I learned to do so well. I talked any chance I had.

I talked during class when I should have been quiet. I talked by answering too many questions the teacher was asking, not always knowing the answers. You could not shut me up!

I can remember my grandma, by the way, Happy Birthday Grandma, today you are 96! Anyways, grandma used to love to hear me talk, she would shine the spotlight on me by telling my mom, look she does have a mouth. She is talking. I guess from what I had been told and from what my memory tells me, I used to be very shy.

I shook my head quite often for answering. I didn’t say much at all. I was very quiet and even played quietly. Something happened and I did a turn-a-bout.

My teacher must have gotten tired of me interrupting class and having to reprimand me so much that one day when everyone else got to go to mid day recess, I was asked to remain behind. I don’t remember being afraid, but I bet I was.

After the last student left the room, she called me up to her desk. I remember her pulling this long nylon thingy out of her desk drawer. She held it up. It seemed to be it was longer than her arm’s length.

She explained to me that she had exhausted every means to have me quiet. She explained to me about being rude, speaking when others are talking. Raising my hand, asking for permission was a more democratic way to speaking.

She told me how proud she was of me for opening the buds on the roses, but there was a time and place for everything. She taught me that being a listener was a much better asset than being a talker.

She called me over to stand by her. When I was next to her she asked me to turn my back to her. I did as I was told. She took a large safety-pin and she pinned this nylon thingy to the back of my shirt.

She turned me around and said that this was a reminder. This would help me to think before speaking. To raise my hand first to talk. She said that when I thought about telling on someone, which back then was called a tattle tail, I would feel the long tail pinned on me and think twice.

To this day I will never forget the valuable lesson she taught me. Respect and being polite to others. Letting others voice their thoughts completely before voicing my own. I remember the kids laughing at me periodically through the day, but that vanished when the next exciting thing happened in class.

I still try hard to remember my manners today. I wait and listen to what you have to say. I don’t chatter a lot, but do love to talk. A few years back I even took a class  in college for public speaking. I learned to love it. It was a chance for me to speak. To have the floor be my audience for three minutes.

Now it has been a while and I am once again shy speaking in front of others. An opportunity has risen where I could be back on that speaking stage  again. With encouragement of so many friends on here, I have decided to speak to an audience once again where I will be reading one of my short stories or poems.

Life moves on, but most of our memories remain with us. The memory of this class hopefully remains fresh for years to come. People are important. Whether they are friends, or business associates or family. Respect is the biggest gift we can give to another human. Thank-you third grade teacher for teaching me such valuable life lessons.

Picture It & Write, Nov. 18/2012

She was a puppet dangling on a string, formed from her own imagination. No guts, no strength to carry out anything in everyday life. If someone asked her opinion, she shrunk back into herself, waiting for her puppet to come to life.

She wanted to be free, but remained glued to the spot she called her soul, never being able to come out and play. People taking advantage of her weakness, passing her around for their own sick enjoyment.

She was the one you could count on to do the dirty work of others. Fear allowed her to go against her upbringing. She had sex with men who taunted her and told her how beautiful she was. She ran with the wrong crowd, because she was an easy insert into their devious lives. She helped to break into a closed business. She helped to pass drugs, she would take the rap for wrong doings that her so-called friends had done.

She let men beat her, forcing her mind to fall prey to their beliefs, letting her think she was worthless. There were very strict rules in her household and her church, and she knew the difference between right and wrong, but she could not escape from herself and her low self-esteem.

Her parents stayed in the background and prayed for her daily, and wept at nights for the loss of their daughter. They knew the only way they could rescue their daughter was from the gods that they worshiped. They would go to the statue and bring gifts to please their God, in hopes that he may rescue their daughter.

They knelt in front of the gods and prayed for cleanliness, to remove the soils that had penetrated her soul. Day after day they returned to the same spot, as their daughter fell more pray to the people around her.

One time as they were praying a stranger approached them and he was in a long white robe, and he carried a staff, and he knelt in front of the mother and dared to ask why she was crying.

The heart-stricken mother poured her heart out to this kind stranger, that took the time to show he cared. After telling her story, the man in white cloth, asked where was this daughter that they loved so much, and the parents cried out to him, saying they knew not where she was. She had disappeared out into the streets earlier today, and so now their prayer was that she would come home.

The stranger rose up and brought the parents to their feet, and commanded them to sit in the pew and wait for his return. Without question, they did as they were told. The stranger in white, turned around and vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

The two sat in the pew and said nothing aloud, each saying their own inner prayers, and within moments, the stranger reappeared and walked towards  the waiting parents and asked them if this was indeed their daughter.

The mother fell to the floor thanking this man for finding their daughter, and taking her own scarf off that was wrapped around her head, she began to say a prayer to him, kissing his feet and wiping them afterwards with her scarf.

The stranger said to them, rise and walk over to the altar with me. He took the girl by the hand, and the parents followed, and they were amazed at how easily the daughter obeyed a complete stranger. He picked her up and laid her on the altar, and he prayed  the puppet out,from within her that was binding her soul.

The flickering candles that were burning in the background fluttered and dimmed, went out and then came back to life again, and it was then, that he told the girl to rise from the altar, and stand and go to these loving parents.

The girl rose and looking in the direction of the two adults, walked towards them, and buried her head in their arms, and their arms went around her and they hugged her, saying my daughter, my daughter, you know us, you have come back to us. The mother turned around to tell the stranger in white how thankful she was, but turning completely around, the stranger was gone. The parents fell to their knees, praising God for a miracle, their daughter had been returned safe and unharmed.