Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the silence is broken

Wow, it has been awhile. 2 weeks, I apologize. No excuses, I should have written. I will not bore you with tales of sickness and woe, misery and laughter. Suffice it to say, it has been a very fun-filled and yet at the same time completely miserable two weeks. My entire family was here for Thanksgiving, it was so good to all be together again. Some of my sisters and brothers I hadn’t seen in a year.

On second thought, why not bore will be fun...just wait and see.

We left off on the last posting during our idyllic trip to National Harbor, which made a very abrupt turn upon the news that our sweet little kitty kat, Lizzi, had died. We knew it was coming, but it turns out that the actual happening hurts much worse than the knowledge of its coming. Shortly thereafter, my mom, who had been here to care for the kids while we were gone, left to return to Florida. Thus the woe part I had mentioned.

Ah, next the sickness. Dr. Jemsek saved the best for last - or at least the last so far. Tigecycline or Tyg for short. Nasty when taken alone, almost unbearable when paired with Meropenom, Daraprim and Leucovorin. A sadistic little concoction. They could have institutionalized me, maybe should have, probably would have if they could have. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them sam I am. One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish.......rabbit trail, bunny trail, funny trail, rabbit trail....

Just a little Dr. Suess for your reading pleasure. He always lightens the mood. Or so I am told.

Back to the sadistic little concoction. It turned me into a crazy sick lunatic. During which time, my family came to town. My poor family. I’m not sure they knew what they were in for. I had some good pockets, a few great pockets. But for the most part I was pretty sick. The week was blurry. It could have been worse, I could have not been there at all. There were very hard times, but there were very, very good times as well.....

I chose a slight green chair that swiveled and rocked as my roost. Sitting in my green chair, laughing at the kids laughing and screaming. Laughing at my younger sisters’ attempts to avoid the laughing and screaming at all costs.  Me directing, as my daddy hung the garland and the wreaths just as I said - making our beach house look like Christmas.  All the kids decorating the christmas tree. Christmas morning. Robyn’s excitement forever burned in my memory - her sharp intake of breath as her eyes grew wide the moment she realized she was getting an American Girl doll. All of the children as they opened their gifts and played with them for hours.  My momma’s yummy roast beef and mashed potatoes and corn on Tuesday, the day we celebrated Christmas.

Enjoying all the amazing things everyone made for one another...... cross stitched families by Amanda, gorgeous lamps for the girls by Jordan and a washers game for the boys by Josh, beautiful handmade wreaths wrapped in handmade bags for the girls by Susan along with lovely scarfs, delicious homemade salsa from Michael - of which I honestly ate half a jar in one sitting, a meaningful book from Mindy. So many gifts, so much love poured into each stitch, each paint covered hand and staple. Each thought put into everything. So much love here.

Dad’s latest invention - a three wheeled motor cycle which holds not only him, but mom and all the grandchildren as well. Altho mom preferred to just let the grandchildren ride as she watched from the porch, sweet tea in hand. Watching them drive off down the road - helmets atop all heads -  as the giggles of the girls in their matching jackets float up to our balcony, people on the street stopping to stare. That was the big hit of the week. Cries of “Papa, pleeeeeeaaaaasee take us on a ride!” were a constant chorus. We treasured those moments of child free silence. Although by the time we got our coffee and got to the lovely white rockers on the sun-filled porch, their laughter could be heard coming back down the street. We were oh so grateful as “papa” smiled up at us with a wink and took them to the park and then another few turns around the block. I think he was having just as much fun as they were.

Thanksgiving day - the smell, if not the taste, but the smell of Susan’s cinnamon rolls in the morning. Late afternoon - mom's traditional meal. All 16 of us, minus our sweet Ben - who drew the bad luck of working in St Louis on Black Friday. 17 minus 1 gathered around the long table, holding hands and singing in harmony before Daddy prayed. Playing games, and laughing till it hurt. Sharing, crying and praying with one another.

Memories of my momma washing my thinning hair and both my younger sisters helping me make it look pretty. Slightly disgruntled cooperation as the yearly tradition of picture morning commenced. Moans and complaints as our one location suddenly turned into three.  Wardrobe changes by the ones who don’t even realize the extent of their beauty. Down the pier, looking for sharks, finding just bird poo instead. Finally making it to the beach, sitting in comfortable silence with Mindy, the warm sand covering my feet, watching our girls run and play as Michael took one picture after another. (Thank you to the genius that is Michael Logsdon)

Our special dinner at Travinia. Our last night. Talking about New Year’s Resolutions since we’ll be far apart on that day, some serious and thought provoking, some not so serious. So much laughter, at the same time, tears.

Tears as we say goodbye. Hugs that hold on for dear life, never wanting to let go. Sobs that wrench at your gut and break your heart. Begging God to bring us all together again soon.

As I type this out, I realize how blessed I am. sick or well, watching from my green chair, or being in the middle of the action, being cared for, or taking care of others, I am blessed beyond belief. Thank you my sweet Father. In the midst of so much pain, You have showered on me such great love.


  1. Sounds great! Thanks for writing! Hope you have a great December. Love to you and the family!

  2. every word warms my heart. oh to be there and feel the warmth that is the shepherds family. incredible!

    ps. i miss you when you don't write. happy or sad. sorrow or joy. keep writing.

  3. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the family I knew when Brooke, Mindy, and Josh were the "little ones." Please pass on to your Mom that Sarah has another boy - Luke. Born ahead of schedule (by our standards) but oh so beautiful and perfect! This gives us 3 grandsons (Joshua 2 1/2, Kai 6 mo., and Luke) Love and prayers, Joyce

  4. that was beautiful Brooke, thanks for sharing.

  5. Brooke,
    I have enjoyed your writting. Your Mom is my cousin I magine she has spoke of me. I found her, Debbie, and Steve, then Lori on Fb after many years. growing up we lived about 2 blocks from one another. It has been fun getting re-aquainted. I keep in contact with her on how you are doing. I will keep you in Prayer. Love, Judy.