Saturday, November 29, 2003

No One is Home

I'm listening to the christmas song, Please, Celebrate me Home by Kenny Loggins.

When I saw this picture, I remembered the times that we were celebrated Home for Christmas!

What a wonderful time we had together the Christmas of this picture.

I found the courage and the strength to call Peggy yesterday afternoon.

The voice mail picked up and I have to say that I was relieved.

 I needed a day for myself.

 A day not to feel Sad when I heard Peggy's voice.

A day that I didn't hear her struggle with words and try to put sentences together.

I usually don't call on Saturday or Sunday but I felt the need to call this morning.

To make the connection that I missed yesterday.

Again, voice mail...

I experience a broad range of feelings from relief to lonely sadness.

I missed you today, Peggy!

I missed our talk.

The content of our conversations never mattered..It is hearing your voice and remembering the times we celebrated Home!

I was given a glimsp into my future... A future without you in my life, a future without hearing your voice every day.

I cried today because I didn't hear The home in your voice..You were not there and It is a fact of our future as Sister's.

Yesterday, I was relieved that I didn't talk to you and Today...

I cried because I can't talk to you.

I cry because I know that this is our future as Sister's.

Like I said; I have a broad range of emotion on this snowy morning in Ohio. Listening to Christmas music and decorating for Christmas.

I stopped to write because I heard the song...Please, Celebrate me Home and I thought of you, Peggy.

I thought of a future when we won't be the Fab 4 any longer but the Fab 3!

I thought of the day when you will Truely be Celebrated Home!

What a great home coming for you.. but....

 HOW VERY SAD for the FAB 3 who will be left behind to grieve the loss of a cherished, funny, beautiful, strong sister.

You're going home, Peggy... AND

Betty, Barbara and I send our love as we...


Love,    Mary Louise


Friday, November 28, 2003

Making the Call to "My Stranger"

We had a big day yesterday! 

 Our two daughter's and their husbands and all 7 of our grandchildren were with us for Thanksgiving! 

The children were running, laughing and having a ball. I enjoyed hearing the sounds of  their fun, laughter and excitement.

 We always give a Thanksgiving-Christmas present at the end of the meal to each child.

This year, it was a Santa cup to use all of December. They liked the cups and always look forward to getting their T-C gift on Thanksgiving night!!!

We then go to the room where we have the Christmas Tree. They count to 3 and magically the tree lights come on to ...Wow, awesome and's magic!

Then, we all go outside and count to 5 and as if by magic....all the Christmas lights in the yard come on. The children are amazed every year.

The adults are pretty amazed too! Even John and me! (smile).

This tradition started when our three children were small and we have continued it with our Grandchildren. It is a good tradition.

The look on all of their faces when the lights come on is special and I keep it in my heart to remember on a cloudy day when my heart is heavy thinking of Peggy.

 The sounds of  the laughter yesterday still echos in the house today.

I think that happy sounds take their place in the walls and stay around for a long while!!!

I called Peggy  yesterday to tell her, Happy Thanksgiving. 

She said Happy Thanksgiving back but there was no emotion in her words.

That always hurts me even though I try to keep my guard up.

Some day's, like today, I Need to Take Care of Myself Peggy and 

talk with you later in the day... when my Courage is higher and.....

My heart can take talking to "My Stranger"!!!

We will talk but Not right now...I need to hear the happy sounds from the walls and enjoy the memories of yesterday a little while longer.

I send love to you, Today.....  My Sister, My forever Friend, My Stranger..

My call Will come because I love and care for you.

 But Later...... When I am Stronger.......

Mary Louise


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Wondering in Times..Not our Own

Our talks were short yesterday and today. You did not have much to say..

Neither did I.

 Some calls are like talking with a stranger.

Not much on your mind except that it was A Pretty Day Outside!

You are compeletely in the present!  No Yesterday's....No Tomorrows...

Only Today!

There must be comfort in being totally in the present. 

Who would have thought that this Awful Disease called Alzheimer's would contain a gift!!!!! The gift of enjoying the Present!

Not rambling around in the past or worring about the future.

Just enjoying the pretty day outside!

This weekend, I heard a quote from a German Theologian of the last century, Helmut Thielicke.  It had a pro-found impact on the way that I am going  think from now on.

Helmut Thielicke once characterized our tendency to live in the past or future instead of the Present.

The tendency that we all have for "Wondering in Times Not Our Own".

I have been doing this very thing. Thinking about the past...Worring about the future. Will I get Alzheimer's too?

So today...

I am going to live in the present and enjoy The Pretty Day Outside!

Thank you, Peggy for reminding me that Today is such A Pretty Day!

I was preparing for tomorrow and  lost in yesterday.


Thank You for helping me to stay in the present and stop some of my ramblings in the past and future.

I won't say goodbye to you today, Peggy...


Friday, November 21, 2003

Going Backward through Time!

 I talked to Peggy today and after I hung up the phone, I thought that her age now, today anyway, must be around 3 or 4 years old.

She used one word sentences and struggled to put thoughts and words together.

She is still trying to sound normal and she hasn't given up!

A real fighter...Always has been.

 But she is in Fact...Going Backward in Time.

She started this process called Alzheimer's as an adult and will decend through time and become a helpless baby.

She will forget how to eat and even forget how to breathe.

She is on a journey that will take her back to our Mother's arms.

The picture of us together and Peggy in Mother's arms ( 4th picture) is one of my favorite pictures.

Now, it is a great comfort to me as I see her losing ground so fast.

 One Thing That I Am Certain About is This........

I know when Peggy reaches her distination....

She will be safe in God's Presence and Our Mothers Arms!

Just like in the picture taken so long ago.

Another day of saying goodbye to My Sister...My Forever Friend!

Mary Louise

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Missing Snodgrass!

I woke up this morning to a cold, grey day in Ohio.

I am feeling down and sad. Not a clue why but here I am all Teary and Lonely.

My first thought was to call Peggy because on a day like today, we would always talk and she could make me laugh especially when she would get in her SNODGRASS  Mode and the day didn't seem so bad.

The name Snodgrass was given to Peggy on her 13th birthday by Betty Jean, Barbara and me.

We had the name SNODGRASS put on her birthday cake in Big letters as a joke.

From then on..when we wanted her to laugh, we called her Snodgrass!

Yesterday and today, when I called... you haven't wanted to talk to me, Peggy. 

You couldn't wait to hang up the phone. I try real hard not to take it personally.

I want to get in your mind and understand why your days are so different.

Maybe, you didn't know who I was today and you didn't want to talk to a stranger.

I  feel Shut Out and though I try not to Need anything from you ..I still Do!

I really miss you, Snodgrass...Especially today when I'm feeling so low. 

I also am angry with you, Peggy. How dare you go away and leave us like this!

How dare you break up the Fab 4.

Deep breath.......I know, Peggy that it is not your fault.  I just miss you so much today that it hurts. I miss the Snodgrass in you that could make me laugh.

I don't want you to tell me goodbye..and I struggle with that daily!

This is another Very Sad day in this Long Goodbye.

Maybe, tomorrow you will be better!!!!

Maybe, Tomorrow a cure will be found!

Maybe tomorrow, you will know me.

 Maybe tomorrow... Maybe Tomorrow.....   Maybe Tomorrow.......

Missing Snodgrass Today!

 Missing my Sister, My Forever Friend!


Monday, November 17, 2003

The Magic Hickory Stick

November 17, 2003

A call that made ME remember!

Some times a call to you makes me laugh and not cry!  

Today was one of those day's!

You were in a very good mood,  giggling and wispering. Just like when we were little girls!

I said, I love you today, Peggy.

 I love you too; you said.

Then, giggling you said; Barbara is here and she poopied in her pants!!

 You were laughing so hard that it made me laugh too. This time the tears that ran down my face were from hearing you laugh again!

The sound of your laughter made me think of being little girls and about

"Our Magic Hickory Stick".

We ruled the world with our magic stick that we tied with ribbons.

A touch of that stick could grant any wish, take us anywhere in the world and cure anything from stomachaches, scrathes,cuts, headaches  and even soften the mean words from the girl down the street that made you cry.

 It was also our scepter when we crowned one another,Miss America. 

The Hickory Stick brought happy, carefree day's pretending that we were powerful!

Today, hearing you laugh like a child again, I longed for that Magic Stick! 

If I had it Peggy, I could touch your forehead and make you whole again.

I could be powerful and bring you back!

It was nice to have you back for a little while this morning.To hear you giggle and laugh.

Thank You, Peggy... for helping Me remember a stick that I had forgotten about long ago...

Don't worry baby sister.

I will alway's REMEMBER everything for the BOTH of us!

Your memories will alway's stay safe with me!

Know Why?

Because Peggy, 

I Promise You.....


Another day of saying goodbye.

I cherish these calls because I know a day will come when you will not be able to talk any longer.

 A day when I won't be priviledged to hear your voice or your laughter ever again.

Today, I was able to hear you as You Slowly tell me....Goodbye..

Your Long Goodbye to me continues every day.

I Love you Peggy...My Sister, My  Forever friend.

Mary Louise


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Way We Were!

I wanted you all to see Peggy.

The Peggy we knew and loved.

We had such fun on our sister trips and we miss her so very much!


I Heard HOME one more time Nov. 12th, 2003

We took our Sister's trip again this year without Peggy.

Peggy, YOU WERE MISSED! All of us miss you every single minute of every day!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning ( 11-!2-03) you seemed glad to hear from me. There was a lilt in your voice. But...You just repeated anything that I said to you.

I keep trying to draw you out. Sometimes it works...sometimes, it doesn't.

You seemed more scattered at the beginning of our conversation but rallied toward the end.

You said that Melodie bought a big, new car all by herself. That you were proud of her.

You said you wished to see Darlene some time. That Brooke had been there and gone to B_Care. That it was O K because Aunt Louise was there. ( that's Me).

You mentioned that your hair was silky and that you liked it that way.

You laughed at my saying, why can't I have silky hair like you? You said because I'm the Only One with silky, shiny hair here!

I like to hear you laugh because it sounds like old times for a few seconds and I can pretend you are still You and nothing has changed.

There is a new drug available in January that seems to help. Meeninteen (sp). It sounds hopeful and I hope you can take it and come back to us even if it is only for a Short Visit. I'D take a minute with the old you!

I said; I love you today, P J.

 You said; I love you too. You never say my name anymore and that bothers me. I want to hear you say my name. Silly, I guess.

 I said; does my calling every day get on your nerves?

You replied with emotion; NO, Please call. I like it when you call. My nerves are good when you call.

I love you so much Peggy but I Hurt Inside because You're so far away in Mind and Distance.

Your voice is still strong and it makes me feel like I've heard HOME...One More Time! I'm not sure how long it will last but hearing home is a good thing for me.

We have shared a lot of secrets over the years and I miss having that security with you.

I have to laugh when I is really great that you Don't remember My shared secrets!!! (smile)!

Another phone call on this rainy day from Ohio to Alabama.

 Another day to say Goodbye!

 In This Long Goodbye to my Sister....My Forever Friend.


Friday, November 7, 2003

Amazing Grace

Friday, November 7th, 2003

Yesterday and today Peggy was laughing and happy. I just couldn't write yesterday.

Today, she said her hair was silky and shiney.

I was asking her a question when she brust into song!

She sang, Amazing Grace over and over!

When I complimented her she would start again.

 I asked her if I could sing it with her because we used to sing together when we were young. She agreed and together, we sang those powerful words over and over, while tears ran down my face.

I just couldn't sing any more so I just held the phone, listened to her sing the words and cried!

Then all of a sudden she said, Mother and Daddy are going to take me home and she started Amazing Grace again.

Mother died in '82 and Daddy in '94!

She was happy and that is what I tried to hold to while she sang.

Yesterday and today were difficult calls  but I'm  thankful that she is happy.

I try to focus on her happy mood and not the empty, sad  hole in my heart as I continue to be a daily part of my sister's decent into darkness.

Another day gone in this Long Goodbye.


Wednesday, November 5, 2003

P J,Where are You??

You were not interested in talking today.

You seemed nervous and ended your one word sentences with..Yeah,Yeah,Yeah.

I  want to reach you one more time but hope is running out.

I'm just not as powerful as I would like to be.

 I was older than you and took on the task of Protector of Peggy. I can't protect you like I could when we were children

I keep having the same dream. I see you running towards me. You are crying very hard.

I hate this dream because you are behind a huge plate glass that I can't get over, under, around or through.

You reach the plate glass and look at me with terror in your eyes.

You have your hands pressed on the glass, you are crying but I can't hear you.  I see your mouth screaming..Louise, Louise, HELP ME! HELP ME!

I keep thinking that if I call every day...maybe one day you will know me and I can help you.

I know that my wish will not come true as I Watch you Disappear in this Long Goodbye.

I love you, P J.  I miss you so.


Tuesday, November 4, 2003

I've Lost Me!

Peggy said something today that gave me chills and made me cry.

She said...I lost Me!

I asked her how she was and if she was going anywhere today ( her sitter takes her out every afternoon).

She said, I don't know...I don't know!!!

I assured her that it was O K and not to worry.

She said, all the babies were there and Barbara ( sister who lives in Atlanta ).

Barbara is not there and I knew it.

I  told her that I loved her today and she said, I know and I love you too.

Then she said, I can't go anywhere.

 I said why Not, Peggy?

She replied...I can't go anywhere because I HAVE LOST ME!!!!!

The Long Goodbye to my Sister, my Friend continues every day!