Monday, May 10, 2004

THE FIRE AND ASHES OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

THE FIRE AND ASHES OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.

When I talked with Peggy this morning...It felt surreal. I know and remember all about us but she doesn't remember. It is like meeting a stranger every day when I talk with her. It is like watching her mind burn to ashes a little more with each call.

She will answer my questions with one word and I can feel that she is still trying to make a connection with me but she just can't.

All of our lives...we have shared. Now, she has nothing to share with me.  I hang up the phone and feel a lonely, empty space in my heart where Peggy used to live, alive, bright and funny.

Alzheimer's Disease has pointed its crooked finger at Peggy's mind and like a judge, it has sentenced her to live in a blank space filled with ashes for the rest of her life. Her yesterdays have been burned away and she has no future.

I try to understand what that would feel like. I wonder if she is scared. I wonder if she dreams at night and do her dreams hold all of her memories. I wonder who she thinks that I am when I talk with her every morning.

Losing Peggy makes me so angry..... but Who do I get Angry with????

In my thoughts, I meet the figure of Alzheimer's Disease and stand face to face and eye to eye. I give it my coldest stare and take my fists and punch it until it falls to the ground and disappears just like it is causing Peggy to disappear.

I want to be the super hero who beats Alzheimer's and who protects my little sister, just like I did when we were little.

Peggy was such a gentle person and she would probably shake her head at the anger that I am feeling but I am so angry this morning.

I am Angry that Alzheimer's Disease has, in 3 years, taken Peggy's bright, active mind and reduced it to ashes. It has burned all of her memories of the past, the present and the future. It has blown like a fire storm, with white hot flames through her brain until the Peggy that I knew has only smoldering embers left in her mind.

So again, I ask...Just who do I get angry with when I feel this ferocious, bitter anger towards Alzheimer's Disease and what it has done to my sister?

 I cannot stay in this place for long or my anger instead of Alzheimer's Disease would destroy me.

 I have found a place to deal with all of this...My safe place is writing about Peggy in this journal.

I Write about how it feels to Watch my Sister...Disappear.  I use my writing to sort out my anger, my fear, my frustration and the injustice of it all.

To Peggy, I am a stranger who calls every morning at 10:00am.

For me, I am calling my sister, my forever friend...I call and remember the first time that I saw her little red scrunched up face when I was three years old.  I call just to hear the sound of her voice and to hear the sound of her laughter.

I will never be prepared for the morning that I call and know in an instant that the Fire storm of Alzheimer's Disease has completely turned all that she was and all that she could have been... To Ashes.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

 

2 comments:

barbpinion said...

I hope that morning doesn't come for a long time, if ever. This road has been such a heavy one for you and your sisters. for your family. My eyes tear up every time I read another entry, knowing how sad you must be feeling, how terribly angry. I pray for you every day, my friend. God bless you. **Barb**

janelspiegel said...

Your journal is very inspirational ~ I pray they find a cure for this one day ~ My moms father lost his brother to this ~ My prayers are with you ~ J