Update on Al
I wanted to let you know that this morning when I got Alup he struggled. In fact he has struggled…
I wanted to let you know that this morning when I got Al up he struggled. In fact he has struggled all day. It is as if his brain isn’t connecting to anything he wants to do. This includes eating, lifting his arm to his lips, standing, holding his head up. Sleeping restfully, sitting up, lifting his feet.
Although I am very thankful that we have only had to add one extra medication today, and out of what he can not do today, he could smile at me. He could eat with my help. He could drink with my help. He could stand with my help.
His attitude was very quiet most of the day. He slept quite a bit, but there was not the terrible misery that was there yesterday.
All the prayers were heard and healing of spirits were transferred right into our house and into Al’s body. God is good.
An hour before supper he wanted to listen to his audio cassettes. They were a gift to him from the minister at Hospice. He listens to one side at a time with his head hung and his eyes closed, but I know that deep inside of him he is listening.
I have to add here that with Al’s mentally challenged mind he knows that he went to church and Sunday school on Sundays. So the only day he will listen to these cassettes is on Sundays. Most of us would find that a bit odd, but I get it, because I understand how Al thinks.
He wanted to listen to Dr. Charles Stanley during supper so I turned it on. It was on the topic of trusting God. Al began to get teary-eyed a little bit. He just hates making a mess on the floor with his food. He gets so embarrassed when he can’t eat properly, that sometimes he will cry and curse his illness.
I used to tell him to stop talking like that but I don’t any longer. I let him vent and then I explain once again that the illness has no mind or brain and that Al has no reason to feel guilty for having this.
He was almost done eating and he looked at me with these big tear drops in his eyes. I asked, “what is it bud? I told you not to worry about the food on the floor. It helps my waist line getting down there and cleaning it up.”
He said, ” Mr. Stanley said that if you trust God he will always hear your prayers and answer them.”
“Yes, all we have to do is believe in him and keep him close to us.”
” Then I must not trust him enough, because he won’t get rid of this stupid sickness.”
“Well bud, you just tell God that you are tired and he will know what to do.”
I got up from the table and went to my bathroom and wiped my tears and blew my nose. http://youtu.be/EeeZr6uIHj4
Parkinson’s Gave Me Gifts
English: The Parkinson’s Disease Society in Vauxhall Bridge Road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have had a few people from blogging world and in real life that have told me there is a reason Al will not be going to heaven just yet. Some would say that maybe there were lessons in this sad illness.
In truth, I used to get angry, not at you, but at myself. I didn’t like it that Al was suffering and I was on the outside looking in. I was able to drive and walk, and feed myself. My numb feet from my Diabetes look so small when I see what Al is going through.
But as I look back in time I had to stop and wander a few things. Would I be as close to God if Al didn’t get this nasty Parkinson’s Disease?
I don’t know since I can’t go back and replay the scene. I do admit that I was a floater. I would float in and out of church when I felt like getting up and going. I would plaster my smile on my face and speak to strangers; when what I really wanted was to be home in my comfy clothes. Alone and not smiling.
There is a difference between being alone lonely. When I was in high school, I knew 98% of my graduating class. When I thought about friendships, I was friends with maybe 30%, but digging deeper I was friends with only 1 or 2 people.
I can’t imagine why, but I really did like it that way. Crowds bug me. You will never see me at the big pool parties, or the center of attention in any ring. Today, I am pretty much the same way. I have 1 very close friend, about 10 friends that I speak to on a regular basis, and I know hundreds of you here at WP.
Church, is another topic. Let’s see if I can explain it so you can understand where I am coming from.
I don’t care for church. I used to, but through my sorrow of loss of beloved family and seeing what Al is going through, I cry when I am in church. Then I wish I wasn’t there. Next comes the guilt that is heavily laid across my shoulders.
Mom always told me that a good woman could be found with a strong church background. So, I was disobeying her, although she is in eternal heaven, I know that it is wrong not to go to church.
Now flip that coin over. I am closer to God today than I ever was. I used to go to church regularly but I never gave it another thought once I walked out the church doors until the next Sunday.
Now, I pray and talk to God on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis. I feel like he and I have a connection. He is my rock and I am his sheep. When I get scared I run to him. When I feel weak or tired, I tell him and I expect him to help me. I thank him for the tiniest of things. If I stayed within my budget at the grocery store, I thank him for that. Like I said, I know that he is helping me every minute of the day.
So I know that I am stronger with him today than ever. This is probably the biggest thing Al’s illness has brought into my life. I know there is so much controversy about heaven and hell. There is one, there isn’t. It is another higher scale of this earth we live on. I have heard so much, but the truth be known, I grew up in church, so I believe in heaven and hell.
Through looking at cute boys, to falling asleep in church, I learned things that stuck with me forever. I am not going to take that one chance and intentionally blow my chances of going to heaven.
What if there really is no heaven? So what? I can look back from where ever I am after my last breath and say to myself, I did Al a lot of good. I was kind to people. I turned the other cheek.
One other point I want to make and then I will shut up, is this. When Al became ill and I learned through the months that there wasn’t too much of a support system out here for me, I got my big defense wall built up, and said I can do it all alone. Who needs them?
Another false belief. I learned it feels good to have a support system. I don’t have to cry alone. I can pick up the phone and call my friends. I can email you. I have gained so many friendships through WP and Al’s illness, I now realize I will never be alone even when I am sitting here where it is quiet. I have God and I have all of you. For this I am thankful for Parkinson’s Disease. But don’t push it, other than this, I hate his disease and what he is having to live through hourly.
I didn’t want to get you sidetracked on my last post. I was talking about Al and wanted to stick to it.
While we were at Culver’s it was about 12:30. A good time on a Sunday to people watch. It was very crowded and I was thankful for the staff and visitors who helped open doors to get his wheel chair in and out. Also for checking out the Men’s restroom to make sure the coast was clear before barging in on some guy and scaring him so he couldn’t pee.
I love to people watch. If I can go to a mall and shop for a bit and spend more time sitting and people watching, this is what I would do. Today there were many people who had left church and headed here to eat.
It was so cute to see little girls in pretty dresses and white lacy anklets. Sort of reminded me of myself when I was little. There were ladies in dresses and men in suits. There were the relaxing folks with shorts and tank tops on.
I was really enjoying myself between keeping an eye on Al’s chewing. There was this one couple though that I found it hard to mind my manners. I wanted to stare but I had to do it politely. They had to be young, well to me young. They were probably in their late twenties. I could tell from their outfits that they also had just left church to come here to eat. They had one daughter who was probably around 7 and another baby in a car seat. This baby wasn’t old enough to sit up yet. Cute little kids.
What gave me mixed feelings was my mind was thinking, nice church folks, pretty clothes, family, togetherness, comforting.
Then the baby would cry. I could see from my view that the Mama was trying to console the baby without having to pick he/she up, but the baby didn’t stop fussing. This was the first glimpse I got of mixed emotions. This is when the mixed emotions started flaring up.
Each and every time the baby cried, the Mama’s eyes got huge and she stared at her husband‘s face. The little girl became very quiet and stayed frozen in her seat. Finally the mom picked up the baby and gave up her hot food to comfort the little one.
The whole time she kept her eyes glued to her husband. There were no smiles or laughter or chatter. The baby quieted down and she laid it back in its little seat. Once again it cried. Instantly her eyes went to her husband again.
There was something familiar to me in that look of hers. It reminded me of when I was married to my last husband and I was always afraid of doing the wrong thing. The heart races, the breathing becomes rapid, but silence falls all around them and fear takes over.
Finally after the husband had finished his meal he took the baby from Mom. She could now eat her cold lunch. After he got the baby quiet the Mom’s eyes returned to normal. The little girl started to speak once again.
I felt eerie inside. I wanted to go over and ask the Mom or the little girl if they were safe, but I didn’t. I let it sit inside of me and stir like red-hot embers. I didn’t have any evidence.
I watched them leave and put my full attention back on Al. I felt ugly inside for not doing anything. There was a part of me that needed proof before I stuck my neck out. The only proof I had was my own memories of when my husband was not a very nice man, which is why I divorced him.
Kids or no kids if you are in a relationship that you don’t feel safe at all times, for heaven’s sake, get out. Get out and save your life, your sanity, and your children, if there are any. If you can’t get out because of no funds, do what I did. Save money until you can get out. I told my kids what was going on and I felt better because I had more pairs of eyes watching my life go by. If worse situation comes, walk out the door, call the neighbor, or call the police. Don’t hang around for love or security, you won’t find it.
I felt like something was going on inside that family, and I asked God to watch over that wife, mother and children, because all I had to go on was instincts.
Remember, abuse can happen to anyone. Church going people, teachers, preacher’s kids, your next door neighbor, your boss’s family, anywhere and anytime always be a good people watcher.
What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?
DP, Daily Prompt, Daily Post
The community that I would choose is small. In the middle of the town is a Vintage courthouse. If you stand close to the bricks holding all of the secrets you can hear the history softly speaking in your ear.
The giant monument would be surrounded by fluffy, soft blades of green grass. Hugging the bottom row of the foundations would be blankets of colorful wildflowers. Standing back and looking up you would see our proud American Flag waving gently down upon us.
Brick sidewalks would be on all four sides touching the entry of the door and walking you back out to the exit at the street. Antique street lamps smile upon us. Not blinding us but holding soft glows as we walk at dusk. White circular shades with dark green poles, four standing proud on each side of the building.
There would be no cars entering or exiting. Every small business would connect with bricks forming a sidewalk, stretching from store to store. Ample parking would be awaiting each visitor on the outer block. You could park and walk into a slice of untouched history.
The stores would hold a variety of businesses meant for your every need. There would be insurance companies with a home-town name. Old fashioned candy stores for the kiddies. A meat market and next to it an old-time grocer. If you wanted to stock-pile your groceries coming into the square would not be your first choice. A variety of clothing and music stores would a wait your presence. On another part of the square would be lined with antique and gift stores.
The fire station and police station would be in one building; saving on utilities and other expenses by sharing one roof. Beside them would sit the mayor’s office. A big welcome sign would greet you as you entered. The door to the Mayor’s office was always open to anyone with concerns or wanting to stop by and invite him for Sunday dinner.
People walking the sidewalks wave and acknowledge a familiar face by stopping by to chat. Park benches would line the sidewalks every few yards in case you wanted to stop and sit a spell.
Bird feeders hanging here and there; birds stopping to nibble. Bunnies hiding in the flowers thinking about eating the new buds. Kids riding their bikes carefully. Making sure they respected their elders.
It would be a relaxing time to do business in my town. Not only could you walk to your store. You visited with your neighbors. You stopped at the food markets and purchased your supper menu. You got back in your car and as you start it to return home, you would see your reflection smiling back at you in the rear view mirror.
Easter Sunday was always a big day for our family. We kids would bathe the evening before. We were called to wake up very early as we had the early service to go to. I would put on my brand new frilly dress. It usually was a taffeta in colors of white, blue or pink. I had matching socks with new black patent leather shoes that buckled. I also had white gloves and a matching hat.
We would all get in the car and then I would listen to Mom nit pick at Dad. I think back now and I am sure she was just frazzled. Getting up early and getting us all dressed and ready to leave was stressful for her.
On the way to church Dad would smoke his cigar in the car and Mom would tell him to roll that window down. He was choking her out. My brother and I would sit very quietly in the back seat ready for the drive to be over.
As soon as we arrived to church everything changed. We opened the double doors to be welcomed by the greeters. Mom and Dad had smiles on their faces. Everyone was fine once again.
We would go to the early service. I think maybe I drifted in and out of cat naps. After this service was over we would race down the steps to the church basement. There would be waiting pancakes and sausages. I could smell the aroma of the maple syrup. It smelled so good.
After the tables were cleaned we would go back upstairs to the regular Sunday morning service. By then I was getting fidgety. I remember many times being tapped on the shoulder to sit still.
After church we would drive home. Mom would tell us to change out of our Sunday clothes and put play clothes on. She would grab the home-made pies she had made the day before and then we would run over to Grandma’s house. She only made two kinds and they were more for Dad than us kids. They were Pecan and Chocolate pies.
There we would see everyone. Cousins, aunts and uncles. One big family with lots of kids to play with. Us kids would always go outside to run and play. I can remember playing a lot of tag and hide and seek.
Then the call came to come in for dinner. There would be Grandma’s home-made noodles and mashed potatoes. I remember the pickled eggs that were always bright pink. There was always a big ham that my uncle would slice into pieces. There were deviled eggs too. There were always pies and pudding desserts. We never left the table hungry.
After putting our plates in the sink we would head back outside. Soon adults would come out and tell us it was time to find the eggs the Easter Bunny had hidden. It seems there must have been about six dozen eggs to find. But then again we had a lot of cousins.
We would bring all our eggs for the adults to check and if they didn’t count out to what was hidden we would continue to look. When they were all found we would take our wicker baskets back inside and then we were given our Easter baskets.
They were filled with chocolate bunnies and pink peeps. Brightly colored jelly beans and speckled eggs. All the candies were laying on top of fake green grass. We would divide the real eggs up and put them in each of our baskets.
We would go outside on the porch and crack an egg and eat it. We felt like big stuff as we guarded all of our goodies. I look at those plastic eggs they sell today and think back to the real ones we received. Mom would use vinegar and food colors and color each egg. She would use a wax crayon and write our names on them. It was fun cracking the egg open to see the outer edges colored in pink or blue or yellow.
Those sure were the days. Us kids would be tuckered out and we took Grandma’s bed or the spare bed and take a nap. Some of us kids rested our heads in our Mom’s lap and let the grown up conversation lull us to sleep.
Finally, Sunday has arrived. I woke up early. Put the coffee maker to work. I glanced outside and I saw a peek of sunshine coming through the clouds. I am impressed. The outdoor thermometer says it is 20 degrees. Awesome! It is double digits.
I love Sundays. A day to spend with others in the assembly room. A day to sing and speak. No silence for today. I can wipe that off the calendar for today. I see that we are going to have ice and rain this afternoon. I am going to go pick up Al and let him pick out a place to eat. I am sure we will be back and I will be home before the ice comes and strands people inside their homes.
I say hi to mom and dad, and my grandparents and cousins as this is the day of the week that I would normally be visiting with them after church. If I listen very hard I can hear mom telling me she loves me. Is that her or is that my desire to speak to her again?
I would inhale deeply as I walked into Grandma’s house. The smell of fried chicken would just make my mouth water. As I glanced around her tiny kitchen I would see home-made biscuits sitting on top of the stove to help keep them warm.
In the big cast iron skillet there would be gravy simmering. She would use the left-over drippings and bits of meat and stir flour and milk and oh the memories of that poured over some nice home-made mashed potatoes. I know, we don’t eat gravy today. It is bad for your health. I don’t even make it anymore. But you have to admit it was really delicious wasn’t it?
Grandma would never let it go to waste. After everyone was done eating she would be found lingering at the table dipping pieces of biscuits or bread in the gravy until it was gone. It can’t be that bad for you. She is 96 this year.
There would be frozen corn and canned green beans from the garden and sliced tomatoes that were guaranteed to cover a hamburger. For desserts there was at least two pies. Usually an apple and cherry or we sometimes received peach or black raspberry.
After everything was tidied up we would sit and chat for what seemed hours. We never ran out of things to say. All of us women and the little kids would stay inside and the men folk would go out to the barn or walk the land.
By the time supper rolled around no one was really hungry so piecing was the meal. Make your own supper. I am sure Mom enjoyed this as she didn’t have to cook. If you started cooking at the age of 21 and cooked until you reached the age of 65 you would be cooking for 528 months and 27,456 weeks of your life. What is the answer if you go ahead and figure out how many more times it is if you break it down into seven days a week and three times a day. Anyone have the answer? It is no wonder women all over the world love to be waited on by once in a while by having others cook for them.
Wow, those were the days! Today I have not done the math but how many of us eat out more than we eat at home? Busy schedules of taking kids to activities. Working and then adding over time on top of that. I can’t even begin to think about all the reasons we eat out instead of eating at home. Do you think this has anything to do with the huge weight gains over the years?
Well I have talked so much about those home cooked meals I am not getting hungry. I think I will go make myself a couple of eggs and one slice of whole wheat toast and start on my second cup of coffee. I will talk to you later on. Have a good morning!
She was a drifter, no place she called her own. No name on a mail box, nowhere to rest her head. The streets, the cities, the land was her home. She had a home at one time, when she was born into a family that lived in the wild country. No man’s land, that led to no direction, but yet, if you watched very closely, you would come upon a general store, which held most basic necessities.
Lily didn’t remember much of her youth, and what stood out were memories of working the land, reading the bible, and attending church on Sundays. Her family’s small shack, they called home was lost in a fire when Lily was around seven years old.
From there Lily was taken in by different neighbors, being used for help working the land, and eventually ended up in a home being the house girl, helping the two old folks to run their home and feed the livestock. When they passed on, Lily, boarded up all the windows, covered the furniture with sheets, and packed all of her belongings and along with some food she set her feet on virgin grounds and began her travels.
She had no plans, no drawn out maps as to where she was going. She was headed in the direction that God called her. She had taken one of the horses from her last home, and visited small towns along the way. Sometimes she felt so welcomed, that she would spend weeks in one spot, but soon she would grow restless and move on, always leaving her mark behind.
In one town she visited, she noticed a need for a school for the town kids. She set up meetings for the men folks and organized teams according to what needs and experiences there were. She talked to the lumber yard, and traded her experience in housekeeping for lumber to build the school. When she left this town, in the middle for all to see that passed through, was a brand new barn red, colored school, with one teacher and ten children in attendance.
When she was in between travels, she lived off the land. She set up camp, building a camp fire from broken trees and branches. She formed a tent by using her one extra blanket and lying it over a frame she had built to shield her from the hot suns or the rains. She fished for her meat, and ate berries from trees. Her fingers were her utensils, and the creeks were her bathing arena.
Her one town that she had entered, found her sitting in the local tavern, drinking her brew. She was alone with her thoughts, when a tap on her shoulder forced her to the awareness she was no longer alone. She turned around to look at the most beautiful eyes and smile she had ever laid eyes on.
Lily didn’t have much experience in the relationships between a man and a woman. She had heard whistles being sent her way, or once, a remark being made about her being a pretty filly, but this was as far as it had gone. Now she was looking straight into his eyes, waiting for him to speak.
He, Ben, had told her he thought he had known her, but when he saw her face, he realized he had been wrong. Without an invitation, he set himself down on the stool next to her. He didn’t wait to see if she minded, he started asking her what her name was, and how long she had been coming here.
Lily looked at him and asked him why was he wanting to know? Had she broken some law and was wanted for something? Ben poured out a large sound, that quickly turned into a roaring laugh. No, he was just making small talk, realizing that he had mistaken her for someone else. She released a little and told him her name, and talked about how she didn’t really have a home, that she was a drifter. He raised an eyebrow, looking her up and down, thinking to himself, how beautiful she was. Her long silky hair, tied back into a pigtail, her deep sea-green eyes, and the touch of pink on her cheeks.
In as quickly as he had appeared, he also left. She was left behind to ponder on his eyes and pearly white teeth. She looked out the windows and saw the sun was starting to set, and she would need to find herself a place to bed down for the night. She got up from her stool and was getting ready to exit the door, when she noticed a banner on the wall. She walked over to it, and noticed they were looking for a hotel maid. She tore down the flyer and went on her way, riding on the outskirts of town, and finding a spot to rest for the night, closed her eyes thinking of the big, brown eyes she had seen earlier.
The next morning found sunshine and a little cooler weather. She made her way to the creek, and tore off her clothes and walked into the calm waters to clean the dust off of her. The water felt warm, and she laid on her back, floating, her hair following her every move. After she knew that every hidden area she had was now cleaned, she walked out of the water, and put on her clean outfit, and headed to town. She wanted a real meal this morning, she was tired of eating meat and berries.
She walked back into the same tavern as she had been in the night before, and sat down at the same stool. She didn’t have much money, but she found herself ordering two eggs and a slice of ham and a biscuit. She downed this with a steaming cup of mud coffee. She was figuring out how much her bill was going to be, when the stranger with the blazing eyes appeared once again, and offered to pay for her bill.
Inside she was thrilled, as she knew money was scarce, but on the outside, she asked him why he went and did something like that for, she was just a stranger passing through, did he treat all strangers in this way. She heard once again that familiar laughter, and ended up smiling back at him, and gave him a big thank-you.
She walked out leaving him to stand back and watch her hips move, and made her way over to the town hotel. She walked with her head held high up to the desk, and took the flyer she had kept with her out of her bosom, and laid it on the desk. Was this job still open, she asked the attendant. He nodded yes, and pointed to the big, brown wooden door to her left. He told her to go over there and knock.
Lily knocked, and listened for a reply, and in short form, a come in was heard. She took a hold of the big brass door knob and turned it gently, walking in and was directed to a red leather, overstuffed chair. How could he help her was his question.
She explained why she was here, and what she wanted. Lily told of her experiences, and assured him he would not be sorry by giving her a try. The boss gave her a quick look over and came over and shook her hand and told her she could start in the morning, and that her room was at the top of the stairs.
Her room? Yes, your room, if you are going to work here, you will live and eat here, so when we need you in a hurry, we don’t have to hunt you down. Lily nodded, said her thanks, and left the office.
She had three outfits that would be suitable for this kind of job. Nothing fancy, but clean with no holes. She needed new shoes though. After the manager showed her to her room, she unpacked her few things, clothes, underwear, a couple of pairs of socks, her bible hairbrush, mirror, and some bobby pins. She left her room then and went down the street with her horse, to the horse barn, and told the owner that she had just been given a job, and needed a place to house her horse. He told her the fees, and she agreed, and left her horse in his care.
Lily roamed the streets, taking in the different stores, and did see a general merchandise store and walked in. She gazed at everything and came across the shoes. She looked over the few pairs that were for sale, and found a suitable pair. She tried them on and they fit perfectly. She tucked them under her arm, while taking her coin purse out from her bosom, and started to count out her money, just enough, plus enough for one more meal for the day. She went to the front counter and laid her money and the shoes for him to see. She paid the price, and he wrapped them and tied them with a white string, and she turned around and walked out.
It was late afternoon, and she didn’t really know what to do with her left over time before supper, when the piercing brown-eyed man appeared. He had a picnic basket in one arm, and with his other arm, he lifted his hat from his head and bowed a good day to her. He asked her if she had eaten yet, and she shook her head no. He told her he was headed down to the creek to have some lunch. He explained that he had his fishing gear and blanket there and would she accompany him. She felt her body temperature rising, and a funny stirring she had never experienced in her stomach, and placed her arm within his, and they walked to the creek.
Once there, they ate the cold, fried chicken, and beans, and there were biscuits and jam. To wash it all down was steaming hot coffee that was kept in a hot bottle. They both shared with each other about their lives, and as each talked, the other took in the beauty of the other. There was a light breeze, causing her hair to gently lift around her neck, and Ben found he could not keep his hand from lifting to touch her hair and to caress her neck. Lily felt him pull her closer, and her body moved without prompting. The picnic basket was moved, leaving their bodies to fill up the blanket. He laid her down, and she allowed him to kiss her lips, and nibble her neck. Stirrings were coming from within her, nothing she had ever felt before. She took his hand and moved it down to her breasts, where he delighted in the touch, smell, and taste of them. His hands made their way over her body, like they had been there before. Neither one could hold back anymore feelings, and they became one, under the blue skies. They both laid there for moments afterwards, wrapping their fingers in between each others, and looking into each others eyes, Lily, realized she was no longer a drifter, that she now had a place called home.