Monday, January 26, 2004

Using Life Experiences to Understand Alzheimer's.

The most unsettling part of a move to a new place is what I call "The In-Between."

Possessions have been packed, furniture loaded and I am standing in an empty room. Standing in this place, I feel the most vunerable and lonely. I have no home where I stand and no home where I am going! There is emptiness around me but I can hear  the walls recalling times spent in this room. The Christmases, birthdays, fun times and sad times. These walls hold the echoes of my past. I look around one last time, walk to the door and close it. I feel a mixture of sadness and excitement and a touch of uncertainity as I lock the door and walk away.  

Maybe, Alzheimer's has a blessing tucked in the viciousness of it's empty rooms. I felt the blessing this morning, when I heard Peggy's voice. She was calm and happy. She expresses no fear as the rooms of her mind are being emptied. She doesn't appear to be troubled by " The In-Between." places like I am.

She lives in the rooms of her mind and accepts what is happening to her. She is totally in the moment and isn't bothered by the In-between places of life.

 In Peggy's case, Alzheimer's doesn't appear to have In-between places.  There is no Past to haunt or to warm. There is no uncertainity about the Future. There is only Now, this hour, this moment in time. Peggy seems to have no worries or hesitation about moving to the next stage of her journey. She has nothing surrounding her but the warmth of the present. Her rooms have no past, no future. Empty is not real..         "In-Between." does Not exist.

As I stand in the empty rooms of my mind, I continue to learn from Peggy. She has taught me that my rooms need not be filled with clutter to be filled with love. She has taught me that empty is not bad and doesn't need to be feared.  She has taught me that Empty can be a place filled with peace, warmth and acceptance. She is teaching me to live in my empty rooms without fear and loneliness. To find the love that is present even in empty spaces.  Most of all she reminds me..

To change the things that I can change. Accept the things that I cannot change and to continue to search for the Wisdom to Know the Difference!

Thank you, Peggy! I love you today!

Mary Louise

1 comment:

haikulike said...

I love this photo.  If I were designing a cover for your book, this is the one I would choose.
what am I saying?  I love this ENTRY!