Trying... 392/3

“Look at life through the windshield, not the rear view mirror”

This morning I was trying so hard to remember what I was doing today one year ago. It was Friday February 7th. I was still waiting to get my tracheotomy removed(very anxious about that because I was going home in exactly one week)...or so I thought.

I was scheduled to be released on Saturday February 15th. You have no idea how excited I was...beyond elated...it was like I was being given my life back.

...and then my Social Worker...named Alicia (the fancy way - A Lee See-ia ; not the New Mexico way - ALeeSha) came to see me during therapy...I didn’t like her...at least not after this meeting.

-Mr Sheppard, I need you to sign some paperwork, okay?

-ummm Okay

-this is just saying that you acknowledge to stay for the two extra weeks of therapy for insurance purposes.

-hold on...What you just say? You got the wrong guy, I Leave next week

That conversation went downhill from there. I was more than mad. I was livid. Here I was working my ass off trying to do everything I could. Doing extra work - resting, everything I was told to do. EVERYTHING.

once again I’m failing. Once again I’m not passing these stupid tests. I felt like everything I was having nightmares about was real. I was trapped - unwanted - they were just conditioning me for life locked away. I suddenly started to think about things, and how different they were becoming. Since I had moved to roper things had changed...


  • Brenda had been coming to see me everyday at trident. That stopped - same with Tommy


  • Trey was coming Less(I had NO clue of what was going on)


  • There were some days all I did was therapy and sleep. No visitors. Those were the hardest.


  • Benton would come to stay the night so that I wasn’t alone...but he would be busy, or have to leave to go work on school projects.

It just seemed like everything was getting more and more distant. I was starting to feel like I was in the process of being put away.

I didn’t sign any paperwork. I did not want to stay, at all. I wanted to call Trey. I wanted out. Right then. I walked/rolled out of therapy. I wanted to be alone. I couldn’t call Trey - I didn’t know his phone number, I couldn’t dial it anyhow. I was upset and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Alicia came down to my room and tried to talk to me again. Not working-my walls were up, I was shut down. She left.

About an hour later Trey walked in. He knew I was upset. He didn’t even have to ask what was going on. He knew. ‘Thomas, see this is how it is...and your going to stay, and your going to be grateful for all of this”


-‘But I want to go home’


-Well, your going to stay two extra weeks, and get as well as you can


-But I can do that at home.

I can keep doing all of this stuff. I want to be home.


-Your staying, your going to work your ass off. It’s better for you here because I’m not going to be able to help you with everything.


-But Benton can...


-No he can’t. He has to work.

Your staying here.


He started to cry, and just continued to tell me to just be thankful for all of this.

I could tell he just wanted me home. But that he wanted me to get everything I could get so that I was as prepared as possible. (I believe at that time he knew, and he couldn’t tell me, or anyone, he just wanted me to focus on recovery, and not be distracted.

I can’t imagine what he was going through. I feel awful for not being there, I feel like a major let down-during the hardest time of all, I was not there.

That’s a lot to live with.

So as I was searching for clues as to what was going on one year ago today I logged in to Facebook to look at memory’s. I feel like this was Treys way of telling me again to not Dwell on the past, and to keep on moving forward. I swear I’m listening. Just, in my own way...this has totally changed my thoughts and ideas for writing. Trey always did have a way of challenging me, pushing me, and getting me out of my comfort zone. So seeing this post today, as I’m literally in a perpetual state of looking behind me ...to see this was just too coincidental.

Six years ago today he sent me this, he always hated how I would dwell in the past-he would always tell me to learn what I can from it, and move on.

I am fairly certain that when he sent this it was because my ‘father’ had done something to upset me again...got married, or divorced, or who knows what. But anytime Tim was brought up I would get locked in the past. No one really understood the relationship with my father snd I like Trey did.

Anyhow, now I spend a LOT of my time in the past. Trying to make sense of the last year mostly, trying to understand what I didn’t know. Looking for any one thing that I could have done differently that would have changed everything.

But, I also spend a lot of time in my memories because my last memories of Trey are really from Christmas, and before. After the stroke everything is a blur, and a mess. I have no memory of Trey being sick, or looking sickly...none of him losing weight, or any of that. I don’t know if it’s because of my current vision, denial, or what. I just know that I saw nothing, knew nothing, until he was admitted to the hospital. When he was released-I helped him get dressed. He was laughing that there I am all stroked out helping him. I didn’t care...that’s when I noticed how thin he was. I didn’t know what to think. (There’s also a last picture that was taken of Trey, Missy, and I. I have that photo, but I can not/will not look at it...I have this need to keep my mental picture of Treys last days my own, and not from a photograph - I am glad I have it, just not ready yet)

My recovery was done - gears had been switched, course had altered. I made him promise right then and there that I was in charge. He would eat when I said to eat, he would drink all the water I made him, and wine was OUT. We cried privately, and decided we would do whatever we had to. No matter what.

I did not - could not accept what was happening.

Yes, he had lost some weight, but I could fix that. We had to drink more water. Everything was fixable. They had drained the fluids, and now I had to get this ship turned around.

Like the titanic my collision course with reality was inevitable and quickly building speed.

Is dwelling on the past the same as trying to understand/make sense of the past???

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