Thursday, May 20, 2004

THE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE MARATHON

Voice mail picked up when I called Peggy this morning. I will have to say that I am glad for the breather.

Calling every day gets heavy sometime and I need to put my heavy load down and rest. I feel guilty about even saying that because all I do is call Peggy while others have to be there every day with no rest.

Watching someone you love disappear from Alzheimer's disease is like running in a marathon and carrying a 100 pound boulder as you try to complete the race. 

I need to stop every few steps to put the boulder down, catch my breath and rest before I continue the race. Then, I can pick up my boulder and run for a few more minutes.

I notice as the people run past me in this race of life that they are not all carrying the same size boulders. Some boulders are bigger than mine and some have no boulders to carry as they run the race. The runners seem to fly by me to the finish line as I struggle to run a few more steps... 

While I am running in this race, a little more of the boulder that I am carrying crumbles away. I know that when I reach the finish line it will means that the sister that I love and have been carrying in this race has finally disappeared.

I can't look ahead and see how far I have to go...I have to look back and see how far I have come. I just keep taking small steps and putting the boulder down to rest every now and then.

I keep on running because I know that I must be with Peggy when she finishes her race. I must finish the Marathon that Alzheimer's has sponsored so I can be with her when she crosses the finish line. 

One day, I will see the finish line in the distance and take what is left of Peggy's boulder in the palm of my hand. I will stretch my arms forward as much as I can to break the ribbon.

 Then, I can finally raise my arms in victory before I gently lay down what is left of Peggy.  I will know then that I did my best and completed the race.

I know that Alzheimer's disease will also finished the race but it has not won in it's destruction of Peggy. Because I will carry a little of the her crumbled boulder in my heart for the rest of my life and remember with fondness when it was whole.

Right now, I will keep on running and watch Peggy crumble away....All the pieces of who she was are lying, collapsed on the ground. For a long time I tried to find all of the pieces that represent Peggy so that I could put her back together again.... but in my struggle I finally realized that I couldn't make the pieces fit and it broke my heart.  I remembered the Nursery Rhyme that said;

"All the Kings horses and all the Kings men....and I thought..... can't put Peggy back together again."

I have finally stopped trying to put Peggy back together again and just try to enjoy the pieces of her that are left.

We will finish this race together just like we started this race of life together. It really doesn't matter if we are in pieces or are whole when our race is completed.. We are Sister's and Sister's only see one another through the eyes of love and that Love makes us whole. 

Alzheimer's can never break us apart because...Sister's are Forever.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

 

 

1 comment:

barbpinion said...

Sister's are forever, Mary.  I pray you never forget that. Your race is a difficult one but I'm so proud of the way you've run it. Hugs, love & prayers. *Barb*