Thursday, April 8, 2004


When I called Peggy this morning the sitter said that when she heard the phone ring she broke into the biggest smile!

That's all that I needed!

What I experienced yesterday was the Mary Louise April Pity Party.

Of course, I could never give up and not call Peggy.

Sometimes, I just need to step back and...BREATHE!

When I let myself think that there will be no more Sister's Weeks where Peggy is there and  no more talks about what is going on in our lives..I start to feel very sorry for myself.

I miss our connection so much that I get angry and want to stop being reminded every day that we will never have that again.

She still needs me on some level...I can feel it and even though it hurts to be reminded every day that she is disappearing, I can still hear her voice and her laughter.

I have to remind myself that I am the well one here.

I am the one who can give and not receive.

This is what Sister's do and what I will continue to do.

It does hurt to know that she probably doesn't put my face to my voice any longer.

I pray every day that God will give me the wisdom to be who and what I need to be for Peggy, My Forever Friend.

Peggy, I miss you so much and you can count on my call tomorrow morning.

Just like always!

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength,and pleads........                                           No excuse of impossibility.         Thomas a. Kempis              

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


barbpinion said...

Oh how wonderful to know that Peggy smiled when the phone rang. See..God is good. That made my day. HUGS- (Barb)

sunstrokecrone said...

Mary Louise: found your journal accidently, and decided to share my experience with alzheimers: I, my sister and two brothers lost our father to alzheimers. He had been divorced from our mother and been remarried for 20 years by tthe time he was diagnosed in his early 70's. Subsequently, the disease progressed extremely rapidly. Within a year, he become a stranger to his wife, us and to himself. . Yes, it was a sad and terrible ordeal to see that once handsome, smiling,  proudly accomplished man, become this STRANGER: confused, petulant, obsessive, profoundly frustrated, angry, exceedingly paranoid, and then finally, helpless and unresponsive to outside stimuli. (especially in so short of a time). My brothers, especially, suffered terribly and had great difficulty in accepting the new DAD; a man who didn't recognize them and often called them by strange names. For some reason, his wife and my sister and myself, while devastated of course, handled it better.  I coped by fondly remembering him, to myself and to himself; telling stories of our family's adventures from our long ago childhoods; and also, repeated stories to him of HIS own life and youth, which we had learnt from him, years ago. There were moments: days his mind cleared somewhat and he seemed to know us [maybe not always as US, but as his sisters and parents from long ago, better than  nothing.] I cherish times I spent with him even then.

sunstrokecrone said...

(cont- Part 2)He sometimes said things that were very funny also. His wife,Levon, said that one time, he woke up in middle of the night, sat bolt upright in bed, turned on the lite (somehow he remembered how to do that), turned to stare at her, aghast, and shouted: "WHO the hell are YOU! And WHERE the HECK is my WIFE!"  She figured that maybe he had gone back in 'time', and was expecting our mother to be there next to him. She, indominably replied,"Whether you know it or not, you old poop, I've been your wife for 20-some years now; so go back to sleep and get your rest. You've got work in the morning!" She said he looked at her for another moment or two, then, mumbling under his breath (something about wild indecent women), settled back down in bed, closed his eyes and quickly fell back asleep. When she shared that event with my sister and I, we all about fell out of our chairs laughing. Sad? Yes! but oh, so funny....we learned to grab at any chance to laugh during his illness.

sunstrokecrone said...

(cont-Part 3)Another time, I was sitting close next to him on the couch, putting my arm around him, giving him a hug every so often and patting his arm.  Levon and I had been talking for quite a while, and he even had interjected a comment or two of his own (though not related in any way to our actual conversation). After a while, he began to watch me with a concerned look in his eye. Then very politely and clearly and calmly, he said, "I don't know who you are, lady, but if my wife could see me now, she'd murder us both. For your own safety, if I were you, I'd move down the bar (bar?) aways and maybe she'll miss me when she comes in shooting."   Levon and I were speechless for a second, staring at him with our "jaws on the floor." Then we looked at each other, and went into gales of  uncontrolable choking snorting gasping laughter. We both literally were nearly rolling on the floor! Dad sat there with a deadpan serious look on his face, watching our paroxysms.  When we finally were able to gain control of our senses, wiping our eyes, and still having short giggle fits; we settled back into our chairs and and composed our thoughts, trying to remember what we had been talking about before.  Dad kind of shrugged, shaking his head in wonder, and muttered, loudly,"Well, if that wasn't the darn-dest thing I ever saw!"   Needless to say, Levon and I nearly passed out again from laughing.
All I can say, Mary Louise, is...grab your joy where you can get it!  Try not to let the anger you may inevitably feel at your sisters "betrayal" of your shared past memories get the best of you; and, remember, there IS a peace to be found, in accepting the inevitable....YOU know who she is, YOU validate her and that is enough! Really, it is! I will pray for you both, and I hope that this trial by fire you are enduring, helps you become stronger and more certain in your faith and love of God and all humanity. Kay, a friend.

haikulike said...

Mary Louise--As you know, I adore this photo, so thank you for including it again and reminding me that I intend to write a poem about it.  I am also involved in teaching a course this summer called Group Interpretation (Readers' Theatre)-- and provided enough people sign up to take it, we will be presenting a collage of writings about Alzheimer's disease...most specifically uplifing articles like you have here.  If I had my way, I would draw ONLY from your journal.  I will need permission from you to perform your words...or permission from a publisher if you have decided to get these beautiful essays bound.  Please let me know how you feel about this.  The performances will not have a cost of admission, but we will ask for donations to Alzheimer's Research.  Will you connect me with a link that you especially recommend?

--sam straka
richland community college