If You Have an Illness

So, you went to the doctor
You received the word
Now what ya gonna do
Shrivel up like a bird?

Hell no, you won’t
You can’t do that
You got to pull your panties up
And put on your hat.

You will get involved
You will tell all
You will do all you can
You will stand TALL.

You will have moments
Where tears will fall
Then you will dry tears
And stand for all.

You will eat right
Exercise too
Follow doc’s rules
Using all tools.

And if in the end
You meet heaven’s doors
You have left behind
People to fight this war.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd


The Red Bird

She lived alone. Sometimes her phone rang. Sometimes her doorbell rang. She was growing old. She wasn’t afraid. She was going to leave behind beautiful children. She had helped so many throughout her years.
She read her Bible every day. She prayed for others. Today was no different. She read her chapter. It was about miracles. She believed in God so much; she knew nothing was impossible.
She placed her bookmark on the page and softly closed the cover. She looked out the window and saw the most beautiful red bird she had ever seen. It was looking at her. It was as if the bird was singing to her ears.
A tear slid down her face as she thanked God for the beauty in her life. It may not seem such a big deal to most; but to her, every tiny, beautiful thing was a gift from God.
Yes, she was a lucky woman. Living was a gift. Tragedy was a challenge, a sure way to make a person stronger in their faith. She stood up and slowly walked to the window. She pecked at the pane, and the red bird seemed to recognize her call.
It flew over to the window. It spread its wings and flew in still form. it sang a most beautiful tune. None that she recognized, but peaceful; it was.
As it flew away, she turned and walked to her kitchen. Getting one bowl, one spoon, a can of soup, and the can opener; she proceeded to fix her lunch. She smiled.


Say It Isn’t So

Say it isn’t so
This isn’t in the plan
I worked hard my entire life
I did all without a hand.

The doctor said it’s true
The test, he showed to me
I hid my head and heart
Fell down on bended knee.

Oh God, what did you do to me?
Didn’t I do what you asked each day?
How could you let this happen
How could you make me pay?

“My child, I didn’t place hand in this.
This comes from other than me.
I don’t give anything but my love
There is no price to pay.”

“I promise I will stay
I won’t let you walk alone
I will light the path before you
I will shine where you have shone.”

Sometimes bad things really happen
To those we love so dear
We must place our faith in God
Whom we trust and love so dear.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd


Sunday Memories

A better time
Memories too
When life was good
And family too.
All worked the week
No weekend days
This was for family
Twas the only way.
Women cooked
Children played
Dad’s snoozed
Resting all day.
Lots of food
Spread on the table
All ate together
There were no labels.
If only I could
Bring my family back
We’d sit round the table
We’d eat and yack.
So whatever goes on
In your neighborhood
Remember the Sundays
And all that’s good.
Written by,
Terry Shepherd



Did you know tomorrow isn’t here?
That many of us count on it?
We forget about today
We chat and drink a beer.

We tend to put off important things
We tell ourselves; hey, later!
I swear I learned this lesson too
You don’t know what tomorrow brings.

Have you told someone you love her/him?
Did you say I’m sorry that I yelled
Do you really think you control tomorrow?
Please say I’m sorry and forgive me of my sins.

Don’t leave anything undone
Take care of all you can
Show heart and even kindness
Cuz tomorrow may not come.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd



She danced in her kitchen
While fixing her meal
She did a bow
And stood on heel
She was reliving her past
While she lived in the now
She was smiling so bright
When she looked towards the light
The meal was touched
By hands not seen
She was taken in arms
For which she did lean
She was lifted in air
And whisked out of sight
She didn’t even care
She was living her light.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd


Crawl Into Bed

I don’t know why my brain insist I wake early in the mornings. Being retired means sleeping in. Perhaps my brain thinks I am still a young kid. I know that my mind and my body do carry on different conversations.

I rise before the daylight shines. I force myself to go back to sleep, only to awake an hour later. I hear the birds singing, which I do love to listen to. I sit up in bed and look around. I ask myself, what am I going to do today? There is many hours that lay between crawling under my bed covers again.

Part of me feels a peace. No stress slamming me is a nice thing. I think it is more about being tossed out of my comfort zone. That seems to be an issue with me ever since Al passed away.

I got used to being in demand. Al would honk the bike horn sitting on top of his bed side table, and I would go into his room and do what I could to help him. I remember him requesting me to start the movie The Christmas Story, over and over again. Still today, I can’t watch that movie, but some day I will.

I remember him asking me to help his pain. There were baths to give, bed sheets to change, meals to fix, feeding him, cleaning him, talking to him, watching TV shows together. He took a lot of work, but you know what? I didn’t mind at all. I knew he needed me.

Perhaps I have this illness that I am not aware of, which has a name, but has not been assigned to me yet. I bet it is called, Stuck in the Middle. Somewhere between seeing a future and seeing the past.

I talked to my daughter briefly last night. I got the feeling that she and many others believe I should be on cloud nine, as I am now in my own place. I am able to make my own decisions, go when I want, return when I choose, but something is missing.

I still feel weird inside. The truth is, I think I am done. I took care of so many patients and I took care of my dad and brother. This was my purpose here on earth. Now, I can’t work because of this Parkinson’s thing. Feeling off balance on my feet is a big issue in my life.

It has forced me to become part of the system. It forces me to remain in one spot. It keeps me from becoming better in the finances department. I feel like I don’t do anything but get through each day. I wait to crawl in bed.

I miss the past, I don’t see a future. I want it over. If I can’t have a better income, if I have to wonder where my next week of groceries are coming from, I am not interested. I know that sounds hmm, cold? uninterested? I guess it does, but these are facts I live with daily.

I have lost my purpose. Yes, that’s what it is. I want what I can’t have. I want my kids and grandchildren close to me. I want to be needed again. I think about volunteering at a hospital, but right now, those patients seem like strangers to me.

I do enjoy my camera still. I do love my painting, but to be very honest, the motivation is gone. I hate having to force myself to want to do these. I wish I would change. I can come out of church and be so happy that I am alive. I see light where there was darkness.

I am still loving helping the MSA patients, but I wish I could help in person, rather than through a black screen and keyboard. I still love writing poetry. I can see that I still enjoy some things in life, and this is a good thing.

But what is wrong with the rest of me? Why in the world would someone, anyone want to be stuck in neutral? I don’t know, I don’t get it nor understand it. I will get through the day. I will putter around my apartment, and then I will crawl back into bed.


Everything is put away
And now I have this space
Including a blank slate
In my brain, I must erase.

Forget the past year
Erase the bad
Look for good
Rid the sad.

Look around and see all new
Different surroundings
Comfort zone gone
Back and forth I swing.

In time I am sure
It’ll all work out
But today it’s unreal
Want to scream or shout.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd