Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Peggy is very happy right now!
She laughs and smiles. It is like she is in a very safe, happy place in what is left of her mind. I think she must be in the happy toddler stage. If she has to go backward in her mind, I'm glad she is content.
I love you today, Peggy! It has been a long road that is not over yet.

Now, about my husband, John.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 2 years ago but I had noticed symptoms for 5 years because of watching Peggy disappear.
I know he has Parkinson's but he is declining in his memory also. I am going to ask the Doctor if he could have Alzheimer's too.
He has so many of the same symptoms that Peggy had early in her disease.
He was a brilliant man. Head of several departments at a huge medical center. A public speaker who kept people glued to the topic he was discussing.
Now, he can no longer read. He has trouble speaking and does not know how to make change. He has balance problems and falls a lot. He can no longer tell time or drive the car.
We used to talk and discuss many issues, now, he sits and is very quiet.

He looks like the John that I knew but isn't any longer.

I search the Internet to find anything to help him.
It is like having a child instead of a husband.
I am scared and very lonely. I have support groups etc. but I miss my John, the old John.
I am very tired of handling everything but I see him with much love and will do what I need to do to help make life easier for him.

I am going to start a new blog about John soon. It will be called "DON'T LET GO OF MY HAND, JOHN"
We have always held hands since the summer of 1962 when we met.
I feel him slipping away and I will never let go of his hand!!!!!!!! I know that there will come a day when He will let go of mine! Please, hold on John...Don't let go.......
Please, don't let go!!!!!
I love you Today, John!

Mary Louise

Monday, November 9, 2009


Peggy is down to 100 pounds. She is very happy. Sings and laughs all day. I'm so glad that her last months on earth will be happy.
Too bad that I cannot celebrate with her.

It is true that I have missed her so long that it will be easier to let her go.
Time does heal....but my oh sure takes a long TIME TO HEAL.

The wounds will heal over in time but the Disappearance of my sister is burned in the wound and will not go away...until I do.

Now, I face yet another challenge......Watching my Husband Disappear from Parkinson's Disease. He has an aggressive form.
Life is not fair sometimes.

Watching Peggy is helping me to watch John go slowly away.

I love you today, Peggy!
I love you also, John We will face this together!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I got this new picture of Peggy yesterday, I couldn't believe that this old tiny person
is my youngest sister. Alzheimer;s disease has taken her mind and now, her beautiful body. One thing that the disease will never take away is her wonderful smile. She does laugh and smile a lot.
I guess Peggy has another few months on this earth. At least....she smiles, walks and is generally happy but she is beginning to forget how to chew and swallow so time is counting down for her.
I have cried all day and even experienced a panic attack when this image got into my head.
The only thing that I could still see through my tears as they fall and I write this entry...... is
Two sisters running barefooted through our neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama. Climbing trees, roller skating, riding bikes, making clover chains, walking to Joe's store with a nickle each to buy a devils food cake or a grape Popsicle. I remember first dates, last dates and crying in the front bedroom when we were hurt by a boyfriend.
PJ and I shared so much of our selves with one another all through our lives. Alzheimer's came and stayed in her mind and has erased all of her memories but....I still remember, Peggy.
Seeing this photo of you made me aware that you will be leaving us soon. Far to early. You missed so much of your 40s,50s and just turned 60.
I will never forget this picture of you, Peggy!!! Not because you look bad but because You look tired and ready to leave. I know you want to go because you flashed me your beautiful smile in the picture.
I am heart broken tonight and the tears block my view of the keys,
PJ, When you die, will you do me a favor?
Find Mother and Daddy and tell them I am doing OK but sure miss them.
Just like I am missing you.
Thank goodness that we had such fun growing up as "THE ROSS GIRLS"
Thank Mama And Daddy for that when you see them and give them My biggest bear hug!
You know the bear hug PJ...The one you hated to get from me! Ha Also tell Daddy that his little Porky Pig is wishing she could hand him one more tool as he worked on cars in the back yard!
Take care of them, Peggy and I know they are excited that their baby girl is coming home to them
I Love You Today, Peggy!
Mary Louise

Friday, April 3, 2009


It has been a long time since I have written about my journey with Peggy. So much has happened in my life.
Peggy is the same. Happy, content and smiling......but it seems that I may have to write another journal. It will be titled....
Watching My Husband....Disappear.

Sometimes, Life is not fair.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

I Also Love You Today, John and will until the 12Th of Never!

Mary Louise

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Yesterday was Peggy and her husbands wedding anniversary.


She doesn't remember getting married, her husband or how beautiful she looked in her wedding gown.

She doesn't remember how excited she was or how lovely the church looked on that day.

Peggy's anniversary yesterday was just another moment in time.

We never know what the future will bring or how it will change who we are or who we have been.

Peggy and R never realized on that joyous day 39 years ago that they would spend this special day with only........

One of them remembering their wedding day.

And they never dreamed that this special anniversary would be celebrated in a nursing home.

I Love You Today, Peggy!
I will never stop missing you.

Mary Louise

Sunday, December 21, 2008


What kind of gift do you give someone who doesn't remember who you are or what you meant to one another?
I struggled while thinking of a gift to give to Peggy this Christmas.
She doesn't want or need material things. She doesn't remember what a gift is any longer. She doesn't remember Christmas or me.
So, after a lot of thought, I decided to give her gifts that are .....Tied with Heart Strings!
I will give her the gift of my laughter.
I will give her the gift of my time.
I will give her the gift of my remembrances.
I will give her the gift of my care.
I will give her the gift of my love.
I will give her the gift of pictures.... from our past as Sister's.
I will give her the gift of my voice every day.
I will give her gifts that cost no money and are not material in any way because Christmas is a time for gifts from the heart.
The best Christmas gifts are always tied with Heart Strings!
I remember when my children were small and they gave me gifts tied with heartstrings!
They had pride and joy on their faces as they presented their gifts to me.
A hand drawn picture.
A figure molded from clay.
A hand sewn apron.
A toy Raccoon glued to a wooden spoon.
I especially loved the wad of masking tape that was covered in sparkles!
My heart sang when I received those gifts from my children's hands on Christmas' long ago.
So now, I must think of gifts to give my Sister, who is a small child again in many ways and needs........
I love you Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise
Posted by Mary Louise at 8:14 PM 4 comments
Tuesday, December 21, 2004

One of my favorite books is "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a book about becoming REAL!
A little boy received a stuffed rabbit for christmas.The rabbit was beautiful, his coat was spotted with brown and white. He had thread whiskers and his ears were lined with pink sateen.
The little boy fell in love with his rabbit. One day, the Rabbit asked the Skin Horse, the oldest toy in the nursery, What is REAL?
The Skin Horse replied..REAL isn't how you are made! It is a thing that happens to you. It happens when someone loves you for a long time, not just to play with but really loves you!
Then, said the skin horse, you become Real!
The rabbit didn't notice, as years went by, that his velveteen fur was getting shabby and his tail had become un sewn or that the pink of his nose had been kissed off, his whiskers had been loved off and the pink sateen of his ears had turned gray.
The boy thought his rabbit was still beautiful.
His rabbit had become REAL and when you are real...
Shabbiness doesn't matter.
A Loved one is forever real and beautiful.
Peggy has changed but she is still beautiful to me! She is my velveteen rabbit!
She is teaching me to be real in my everyday life.
It is difficult to be real while I watch Peggy disappear but her disappearance is helping me to emerge.
I Love You Today, Peggy.
Merry Christmas 2004
Mary Louise

Posted by Mary Louise at 10:23 AM 2 comments
Monday, December 20, 2004

My Mother had five children.
I was the first to move far away from Alabama and home. I'll never forget my first Thanksgiving away from home and family.
Later, Mother told me that there were 5 parts to her heart and a part of her heart was missing on that Thanksgiving.
Being young, I thought..Motherrrr, you had everyone else there!
It took age and gained wisdom to know exactly what she meant when she made that statement.
This Christmas, even though I have everyone that I love around me.........
A Part of my Heart is missing.
It is the place where Peggy used to live and bring joy, laughter and crazy, funny presents. Like the "chicken" that we would send to one another in our Sister gifts. No one knew from year to year who would get "The Ugly Chicken".
I really miss the chicken!
No one has gotten it in several years and so it must have been a gift to Peggy the last Christmas that she remembered.
The Chicken stopped with Peggy. Just like so many other things stopped when Peggy forgot how to remember.
This is how Alzheimer's disease is especially vicious. The person that is missing in my heart this Christmas is still alive.
Peggy just doesn't remember Christmas....
And she doesn't remember...Me!
I Love You Today, Peggy!
Sending you my Christmas Memories of "The Chicken"...with love!
Mary Louise
Posted by Mary Louise at 11:37 AM 2 comments
Thursday, December 16, 2004

It is always difficult to call Peggy and hear the flat sound of no remembrance.
It is especially difficult during the Christmas season because I remember so much. I remember all of our Christmas times and cannot give the gift of those memories to her.
If I could give Peggy one gift this Christmas it would be a pair of velvet shoes.
She could put the shoes on her feet and hear the crunching of the snow as she walked back to her memories.
The velvet shoes would leave a path of footprints in the snow that could would lead her back home again, back to the place where her memories are waiting for her.
Back to the memories of................
Christmas and back to the memories of love.
I Love You Today, Peggy!
Merry Christmas.
Mary Louise
Posted by Mary Louise at 7:26 AM 6 comments
Friday, December 10, 2004

I have been shopping for Christmas and searching for the perfect gifts for those I love.
I walked through the stores at the mall and looked at all the wonderful gifts that I could buy. I took my time because these will be special gifts that will be opened on Christmas morning.
While shopping, I thought about a store that I wish existed in our mall.
It would be called "The Memory Place Store".
I could go in this shop and buy my gifts for Peggy for Christmas.
I could stroll down the isles of the Memory Place Store and buy all of her memories back, wrap them and give them to her this Christmas morning.
On Christmas morning, under her Christmas tree, there would be colorful boxes, decorated with bows and glitter and signed, Love, Mary Louise.
She could open the boxes one at a time and each would contain a group of the memories that she has forgotten.
One box would have all the stories of her childhood. Just by opening the box, her childhood memories would flood back into her brain as she sipped the coffee that she loved.
Next, she could open the gift box containing all of the memories of her teen years. She would carefully take them from the box and drape them around her neck and in a flash, all of those memories would be hers again on this special Christmas day.
Then, she would open the next three boxes. Those boxes would have the memories of her 20's, 30's and 40's wrapped in white tissue paper. She would open the boxes one at a time and have all of those memories drift back into her mind while sitting in the light of her shining, twinkling Christmas tree.
The next gift box would contain the memories of her husband, her marriage and of her children. What joy would shine from her face as she looked at them lying in the box and she could remember all of the times they spent together. She would throw the contents of the box into the air and let the memories rain down on her and bask in the glow of their love and remember each of them once again.
The last gift box would hold the memories of our parents, her sisters and her brother. She would smile and hold the box to her heart and remember the love that we all shared. She could take each memory out and hold it in her hands. She could throw the memories around like balls, bouncing them from the floor to the ceilings while laughing.
Her eyes would be shining and brimming with tears because she could remember her life and the love that was shared at Christmas time and the rest of the year.
On this special Christmas morning...The morning of miracles, Peggy could have a miracle for one day.
For this one special Christmas Day, Peggy would get 7 beautiful boxes containing gifts of the remembrances of her life.
She would open all of "The Memory Place Store" gifts that were carefully wrapped in beautiful paper and colorful bows.
She could unwrap her past and present and remember.
She would have one day to remember what it is like to love and be loved.
Peggy would know on Christmas day morning that even though her life is disappearing...
My love for her will never disappear! We gave one another the gift of our love for many Christmases.
Just because she cannot remember.... doesn't mean that I will forget!
Life may end but Love doesn't!
Merry Christmas, Peggy!
I Love You Today!
Mary Louise
Posted by Mary Louise at 11:31 AM 2 comments
Tuesday, December 7, 2004

I miss Peggy so much at this time of year.
She loved everything about this season.
I was feeling sorry for myself while out shopping for gifts today.
I found a present that was meant for Peggy. I picked it up and for a flash of a second I thought, I will get this for Peggy.
Then reality covered me and I put the gift back with tears in my eyes.
I was feeling sad that Peggy will never celebrate Christmas again. I was sad because she doesn't even know what Christmas is, what gifts are or why we celebrate this season.
I was sad because she will miss the joy of this season...
Then, it dawned on me that my sadness was just for me!
Peggy doesn't remember anything about Christmas or the season so.....
How can she miss it?
Peggy doesn't remember or miss this season....But
I remember.... I can remember all of the Christmases, all of the joy, all of the gifts and all of the fun during the December's in our past.
Memories of Christmas are a great gift and they warm my thoughts and make me smile.
Peggy doesn't remember Christmas or have any memories of her past as she disappears from Alzheimer's...
So Maybe, just maybe...this is a gift from Alzheimer's disease.
Peggy can't be sad and miss Christmas when she doesn't remember it and what it was to us...............
She doesn't remember Mother and Daddy and how much they loved Christmas. She doesn't remember the 24th of December at 1805 St. Charles Court. She doesn't remember the night gowns we all wore every Christmas Eve.
Peggy doesn't remember what she is missing this Christmas season. I have to remind myself of that fact.
I have to remind myself that my sadness during this season belongs to me and not to her.
I am so thankful that she is not sad about missing Christmas again this year.
Peggy can't be sad over a season that.....
She doesn't remember.
I Love You Today, Peggy!
Merry Christmas 2004!
Mary Louise

Posted by Mary Louise at 12:52 PM 5 comments
Monday, December 6, 2004