Monday, June 28, 2004


The Blank Page of Peggy's MIND.....

Peggy wouldn't talk with me today. She was distant and cool. I couldn't draw her out so the conversation was short.

After I hung up the phone, I thought... how blank her mind and voice seemed today. Just like a piece of paper with all the writing barely visible.

I think that we keep the storied pieces of our past stored in our being and they remain in our cells forever. We may not remember all of them but they are there... waiting to emerge.

Yesterday, I though of something that I haven't thought about in years. It just popped into my mind from nowhere.

I thought of the vegetable bus that came by our house when I was a little girl. Mr. Millwee owned it and to everyone he was, The Vegetable Man.       His bus was filled with vegetables and goodies. We would run to the bus as soon as it stopped in front of our house. We always has a little money to by something. If we didn't have any money, Mr. Millwee would give us a sucker. It was always a treat to see the Vegetable man coming down the street.

That memory has been imbedded in my being and came back for no apparent reason.

Peggy's memories are floating away and she has no remembrances of the Vegetable Truck or of Mr. Millwee. She has lost past memories that would comfort her today and she cannot make memories for the future.

Alzheimer's has stolen all of the memories that were imbedded in her cells. They have been erased from the pages of her lifetime journal.

Peggy's mind is becoming a blank page in the book that we call life.

She can no longer pick up the pen, that is her mind and record memories and thoughts for her cells to recall suddenly on a Sunday afternoon.

I see Alzheimer's sitting before a giant computer and staring at the written words of Peggy's life.

He takes his fingers and hits the backspace key over and over. As he deletes, Peggy's written life disappears, one letter at a time.

Alzheimer's continues to sit at the computer that displays Peggy's life on it's screen. He will continue to delete her memories until her mind is a blank page and all the words of her life have disappeared.

I am thankful that I have so many memories of Peggy stored safely in my cells and in my being.

I will recall them suddenly... one Sunday afternoon and smile.

I Love You Today, Peggy.

Mary Louise


cndyseagrove said...

Mary Louise, I am an old friend of Ricky and Peggy's from Windsor Oaks Subdivision in Marietta.  We played tennis together and were pretty close--Melody babysat for my kids.  We stayed in touch through the moves to B'ham and Fairhope; in fact, Peggy and Ricky came to my second wedding in Seagrove Beach in September 1999.  The last time I saw them was on Mother's Day in Atlanta when Brooke came with the baby-- I think that was after the wedding.  If not, then I last saw Peggy in Sept. 1999.  She talked to me about her blackouts, losing her license, and all those episodes that were obviously early warning signs.  In Seagrove in 1999, she was in charge of taking me to get hair and make-up done and couldn't remember where the car was parked and other little things that were just not Peggy.  Three weeks ago I ran into her cousin-in-law in Auburn, Ala.--Mrs. Diamond.  When we recognized each other, I asked about Peggy and Ricky.  And then my heart broke.  I kept telling myself over the last couple of years to call and see how they were doing--and now it's too late.  If she doesn't know you, she sure won't know me.  I would like to talk to Ricky or send a card, but I don't have the address in  B'ham.  By the way, my name is Cindy Griggs--Ricky will know me if you think to mention that I have visited your website.  Thank you for sharing Peggy with me.  No words can express my feelings.

medusa8410 said...

Dear Mary Louise,
I was reading your story and your love for your sister is so deeply moving.  I cannot imagine the pain you must go through.  My grandmother died of alzheimers, but at a great age of 96.  The one good thing about her disease was that, each time we visited, she thought we were other family members that had no way of coming to see her.  So when she died, she thought that all of her loved ones had come to see her and say goodbye. Your sister appears so young.  My prayers are with you.