Save Me a Spot

Al woke up just as the shower girls came in this morning. For a few hours he was very chatty and seemed very content. He ate puree french toast sticks, 2), and some juice. After the shower was over, the caregiver and I, mainly her, dug into his room, bagging up so many supplies that we knew he would never use again.
Then he went to sleep around 11am and never woke up again unless we woke him up. He did eat lunch but complained of heartburn most of the evening. Except when he was wanting to tell me about his heartburn he slept.
I woke him up for supper. He ate about five bites of macaroni and cheese. I had made him a diet coke, chocolate syrup, and ice-cream slushy. He made the most wicked face when I gave that to him. I think it was very cold.
His neck is so sore, that when I try to move his head he flinched in pain. It is a shame that they have so many cancer treatments but no treatment for this deep of pain. But of course there are medications that do the opposite of what they are supposed to do when he takes them, so we are limited.
The story I told you last night about the Texas Catheter was continued this morning. The movable parts had to be taken off and a thorough cleaning to all. Stacy, the caregiver was showing the utmost patience when after a half hour went by, she finally got a new one on.
I called the Hospice team and questioned them on why we were being forced to deal with this whole catheter thing. I enforced that we are not nurses. I pleaded that they do this on their visits each week and they agreed. So no more funny stories about the pop-off, run-a-way condoms! LOL I guess maybe I could be speaking too quickly, as that little sucker could come off while I am the only here one here late afternoon on, so I better quit talking about it while I am ahead.
I watched American Idol between checking on Al and doing dishes and tidying up the house. It came snack-time for Al and once again I had to wake him up. Of course he wanted ice-cream with chocolate syrup. I think I need to buy stock in the dairy business, because it is very hard keeping it here in the house!
So all in all the day was busy and yet quiet. I would say that Al slept 12 out of 14 hours, and unless something happens tonight, the midnight hours should be quiet too, knock on wood.
I sort of think that God is getting Al all rested up for his journey. His tremors are once again quiet and his body lays pretty still. He told me that the first thing he is going to do when he gets to heaven is fly over to his Grandma’s in Florida and visit with her. The last thing he requested before lights out, was to pray God comes and gets him tonight. I prayed over him and I told him it was alright if he went, as long as he saved me a spot next to him. His big, blue eyes looked into mine. They became wide but he said nothing. I said, “Blink if you are going to save me a spot.” and he blinked.

Dedicated To My Brother

Whispering Gently

One night as I was sleeping well

I heard a little tinker bell

I looked up at the darkness light

And there was oh so bright a light

I heard the voice say I need you now

It said do listen and then do vow

A man you know that is your brother

Has asked for help from none than other

He fears his life may be in doom

He is waiting for you in the other room

Give up what you think is important today

And help your brother to find his way

He will become dependent and weaker than you

He says he trust no other that only you will do

I tell you child this journey will be hard

Satan has thrown in the joker of all cards

You will achieve your own lessons  this I know

For I have planted tests to see if you will grow

His end of life may come sooner than yours

Just love him today and tomorrow the chores

Show patience and kindness, this way you both win

And I will reward you and throw away your sins.

There is no one better to do this job

It will be like shelling the hard casings on an old corn cob

I have give you this because you said you love me so

I know you won’t fail me, now turn and go

For this is your talent  that I have given to you

I know that you will always do the best you can do

And one day when it’s over, you will look back

And see that your brother had nothing to lack

He loves you, you know with all of his heart

He just has some issues with displaying this part

For I knew when I thought of you and him

That you would be the one who could get him to grin

There is nothing more special than two siblings who share

And I made sure when creation was thought, I’d make you a pair

Now go unto him he is calling your name

Help him to feel special and needed the same

Now open your eyes because this is no game

He is crying and lost and I hear him calling your name

Terry Shepehrd



A Prayer For Al

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray my brother you will keep

I ask your for your hand on him

That you may bring about a grin

Lord know he doesn’t understand

The way you handle his life and plan

He hurt today God, can’t you see

I want him to have peace all eternity

He thinks he did something wrong today

To have this  come upon him in this way

I do my best Lord to keep him calm

I even read him all the Psalm

I need your help that only you

You can heal, something I can’t do

So when I wake can I please see

A different brother in front of me………

Terry Shepherd

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep… (Photo credit: cindy47452)



Al’s Words In My Writing To His Family

English: Two angels

English: Two angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight after supper, I sat down with Al and told him that I would rather write a letter to his two aunts, telling them what he wants to say. I told him that since my visit with Julie did not go as planned, that this may be the best way to go.

He started to cry. A lot of feelings came to the surface as the first thing that was stated from him, was they do not care about him.

Here is the short note, that I will now place in envelopes and mail tomorrow at his request.



I am writing this on behalf of Alvin Jr.  I have asked him to tell me what he wished for me to say in this letter. This is what he requested. He wanted me to reach out to you. He wanted me to speak on his behalf as he believes he may be nearing death.  Alvin is in the comfort care part of Parkinson’s.  Alvin is afraid you will be surprised when you find out that he has passed on, and this is the reason for this short note. He says,

Tell them that I am sick. Tell them that I have Parkinson’s and I don’t think I have much time left. God has told me my life is almost over.

Tell them that I love them.

Ask them if they still love me


This is what he wanted me to say, and so I have honored his wishes.

Alvin has been making last-minute preparations for his death. He had me take him to the cemetery so that he could speak to mom and dad.

He has had several conversations with God and he believes that God told him that his time is near.

Contrary to what people are saying, thinking, choosing truths or non truths is none of my concern.

Each birthday and holiday that came and went Alvin always cried because he feels no one loves him from the family.

I am not God, but thankfully God has taken me through this journey of caring for Al these past four years. I would not have traded this for anything that is available in this world.

Well, I have stated what he wanted me to state.

Thank you,

Terry Shepherd



As soon as I mail them, I will feel that I have honored Al’s wishes. I don’t know what else I can do for him, but if there is anything else he requests, I will try my best to honor it.

It will be an honor, joy, and privilege, to go to heaven and see Al there walking, running, and smiling, pain-free. We will both never remember these days of struggles, tremors, crying, tears and pain. Even if I go first, I know that I will recognize him immediately upon his arrival, and we shall embrace each other with loving hugs.