No one was home when I called Peggy this morning and I have to admit that I was relieved. I also felt guilty about feeling relieved. It is difficult to keep my balance when making my calls to Peggy every day.
When my girls were young, they were involved in gymnastics. I was always concerned when they took their turn on the balance beam. It was so high off the gym floor and it was a narrow strip of wood. They would mount the beam and start their routines. They would go through their paces with determined looks on their faces, trying to get through their routines without falling. I would breathe a sigh of relief when their time on the beam was over. They would jump to the floor, holding the end of the beam. They would throw their hands in the air and smile broadly as if they had won an Olympic Medal. They had done it! They had not fallen off the Beam!
I sometimes feel like I am walking on a balance beam when I talk with Peggy. I am doing a familiar routine that doesn't get easier with practice. No matter how many times I call and do my routine, I still have a hard time staying on the beam. I continue to try too hard to do the perfect routine and touch Peggy's mind on some level. I continue to try and win that allusive Olympic Medal, jump to the floor and throw my hands in the air.... In Victory. I constantly need to remind myself that this is not a contest with winners and medals. No one wins this game with Alzheimer's except Alzheimer's.
It is difficult to keep one's balance while caring about a loved one with Alzheimer's. The routine and music constantly change. A routine that worked yesterday will not work today.
Today, I did not have to mount the balance beam and do my routine. I did not have to put one foot in front of the other and walk down the narrow strip of wood. It was a needed relief.
Now, all I need to do is to practice my routine for the next call to Peggy. I continue to hope that I am making a difference in her life. I just go through my routine every day and hope that she knows me and knows that I Love Her.
I will stay on the Balance beam for as long as Peggy can hear Love. I still cannot believe that this has happened to her. I miss her so.
I Love You Today, Peggy!