Sunday, August 29, 2004


It is just one more day until I see Peggy again. I am nervous about the meeting because it will not be the Peggy that I have known all of my life. It will be a different Peggy.

She won't be the little girl who was my shadow.

She will not be the teenager who became my friend.

She will not be the adult who was my confidant and teacher.

I will hug her and try to act like nothing has changed.

When I smile, touch her face and look into her will not be the Peggy that I have known all of these years. I will be seeing a person who has forgotten that I was ever a part of her life.

When I look at Peggy, I will be seeing Alzheimer's disease and what it has done to my beautiful sister, my forever friend.

I will be staring at Alzheimer's disease..........

Face to Face.

I pray for courage, I pray for strength but most of all...

I pray for Peggy!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Friday, August 27, 2004


When you lose someone you love by death or in my case, Alzheimer's disease, you lose a part of yourself as well. 

You lose a part of your being that cannot be filled by another person. Like the children's song says, you're the only you there is!

Peggy has been a part of my life and a part of my being since the day she came into the world. Now, she is going away and the hole in my being gets larger with every call to her.

What do you do or say when forever comes too soon?

No one in the world can replace the "Peggy" part of me and I will have that part of her in my heart forever.

There are many people who have come and gone as I have lived my life. A few have touched my life in ways that have changed me forever. A few have made me better by knowing them.

And then, there are my Sister's and my Brother....The people who have loved me when I was un-loveable, cared about me when I was un-caring, encouraged me when I couldn't find my way. 

 My forever came too soon when Peggy didn't remember who I was any longer.

My sister's, brother and I share a soul and we are being tested as we lose a big part of our being, Peggy.

We have lost our Peggy with the big green eyes and the funny sense of humor. 

We have lost our Peggy with the wonderful laugh and her aura of fun.    I  will miss all of those things about Peggy...even the icy stare when she was angry. ( smile)

Most of all, as Alzheimer's continues to cause her to disappear..

I will miss the Peggy that made me a better person because she was apart of my life.

When I visit her on Monday, I hope to get one last glimpse of the Peggy that has made such a difference in my life.

Maybe, Alzheimer's disease will grant me that one wish. Just once more to see a trace of the Peggy that I knew.

If not, I will go on with my life... living and remembering....               

The little sister with the lop sided bangs that I cut for her.

The little sister with teeth too big for her face when she was 10 years old.

The little sister who cried when I sang, Poor Little Robin.

The little sister who sang harmony with me in the kitchen.

The little sister who was my shadow when wewere growing up.

The little sister who was a bridesmaid in my wedding. 

The little sister who was there when my first child was born.

The little sister that cried with me when our Mother died. We were not ashamed of our tears because our tears mingled as they fell from our eyes.

The little sister who made Daddy's death easier because she was there and knew the depth of my loss and again, we shared our tears.

The little sister who is dying and I can do nothing but cry.

 I am crying my tears alone because she cannot share my sense of loss this time.

I will cry tears of anger and frustration at the unfair end of Peggy's life. I will continue to cry alone until the day I meet my sister's and brother and we stand beside Peggy on the day she is buried.

Then, my tears will mingle with theirs as they fall from our eyes and I will not be alone in my sorrow and grief.

We will cry tears of joy for the times we had together....And tears of sadness because.....

Our time together ended too soon.....

Forever..... came much too soon.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise 

 PS...I will be out of town for a while. I may not write until I return. If there is a computer where I am going, I will keep you up to date on Peggy. If not, I will write when I return.

Thanks to all who read this journal. I know your prayers go with me as I visit Peggy.



Thursday, August 26, 2004


It has been hot and dry here. The grass is thirsty and we have hoped for rain.

The rain came today and it is falling softly as I write. This is exactly the type of rain that we needed.  Because of its gentle decent to the earth, the ground can soak it up. I can almost hear the grass and plants suck in the warm liquid.

Yesterday, we also got rain but it came down in torrents. It fell with such force that it could not be soaked up by the grass and plants. It ran off the ground in rivers and was no comfort to the dry, cracked earth.

A healthy person gets soft soaking rain to their brains every day. Information is assorbed through sight, sounds and smell. Our brains are constantly taking in the information that we need as we go through the common motion of our lives. We walk, think, eat and use bathroom facilities and do the millions of daily activities that we take for granted.

A person that has Alzheimer's disease endures torrents of rain to the brain every moment of the day. The rain comes to their brains with such force that it cannot be assorbed or used to perform daily functions. It just runs off with out ever nurturing the brain.

The force of the rain that is pummeling Peggy's brain every day keeps her thoughts jumbled and causes her memories to run off like a river.

Peggy was in a happy mood this morning. I told her that I was coming to see her on Monday. She said you are!!

I have some concern that she won't know who I am and I'm not sure how I will react to that.

Maybe the torrents of rain will hold off that day and she will smile and say, Hi Mary Louise. I hope for that but I am preparing myself for the rivers and torrents of  the Alzheimer's rain.

The rivers of Alzheimer's rain that run through her mind constantly and may have emptied  her brain of any memories of me.

I am hoping for a soft, soaking rain that day so we can walk together in the rain like we did when we were young girls.

Either way, we will be together.  Alzheimer's may be winning in the storm of Peggy's brain but it can not take my memories of her away.........

I will walk with her even if she doesn't remember who I am because so far.....

I've made it through the rain.

I Love YouToday, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Wednesday, August 25, 2004



The most unsettling part of a move to a new place is what I call "The In-Between."

Possessions have been packed, furniture loaded and I am standing in an empty room.   I feel the most vulnerable and lonely when I am standing in this place.

I have no home where I stand and no home where I am going!                              There is emptiness around me but I can hear the walls recalling times spent in this room.

All of the Christmases, birthdays, fun times and sad times in this place. These walls hold the echoes of my past. I look around one last time, walk to the door and close it. I feel a mixture of sadness and excitement and a touch of uncertainty as I lock the door and walk away.  

Maybe, Alzheimer's has a blessing tucked in the viciousness of its empty rooms. I felt the blessing this morning, when I heard Peggy's voice. She was calm and happy. She expresses no fear as the rooms of her mind are being emptied. She doesn't appear to be troubled by “The In-Between." places like I am.

She lives in the rooms of her mind and accepts what is happening to her. She is totally in the moment and isn't bothered by the In-between places of life.

 In Peggy's case, Alzheimer's doesn't appear to have In-between places.  She has no Past to haunt or to warm her.  She has no uncertainty about the Future.

There is only Now, this hour, this moment in time. Peggy seems to have no worries or hesitation about moving to the next stage of her journey. She has nothing surrounding her but the warmth of the present.

Her rooms have no past, no future. Empty is not real...     "In-Between." does not exist.

As I stand in the empty rooms of my mind, I continue to learn from Peggy.

She has taught me that my rooms need not be filled with clutter to be filled with love.           

She has taught me that empty is not bad and doesn't need to be feared.

She has taught me that Empty can be a place filled with peace, warmth and acceptance.

She is teaching me to live in my empty rooms without fear and loneliness and              to find the love that is present... even in empty spaces. 

Most of all she reminds me...

To change the things that I can change, accept the things that I cannot change and to continue to search for the Wisdom to Know the Difference!

Thank you, Peggy! I love you today!

Mary Louise

Monday, August 23, 2004


Alzheimer's disease has decided that Peggy's memories are junk. It has stacked a life time of her memories in a corner and they are collecting dust.

She can no longer recall birth's or death's, happy times or sad times.

She just sits and waits.....

Her husband has looked into facilities for Alzheimer's patients but said he cannot put her in any of the places that he has visited. The reason....all of the people in the facilities are elderly people in their 70's, 80's and 90's. No one, as young as Peggy is there.

He will have to make that decision one day soon but for now...He will keep her at home and safe.

I will be going to see Peggy next week and I must admit that I am scared.

Scared of seeing the Peggy that I knew person.

Scared of not being remembered... in person.

Scared of watching her disappear... in person

Scared of what I will feel when I see her.

Scared because I know that I can do nothing to help her.

This will be an important journey for me. I need to say good-bye to her and can only do that face to face. 

 I need to say good-bye even if the face that I am  saying good-bye to...doesn't remember who I am.

This might be my last chance to hug her and tell her that................. I Love Her Today......In Person.

This will be my journey to look Alzheimer's disease in the person and see what it has done to my beautiful, younger sister.

Peggy may not remember me next Monday but I have a video tape running in my head of the Peggy that I have known since the day she was born.

I Love You Today, Peggy and I will see person next Monday!

I wish, with all that I am that we could have one hour... just 60 minutes to be just like we were before Alzheimer's disease entered her mind and destroyed all of her memories.... Just one hour...Just 60 minutes

To say....

A proper Good-bye.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Friday, August 20, 2004



When Peggy and I were children, we made a pinkie promise to one another one day. It was a hot summer day and we had been playing dolls in the back yard of our house. We took our dolls to our place between Mrs. Lilly's fence and our garage. There, we made our pinkie promise.

The promise that was made with all the conviction of young hearts. The promise was that we would always be friends and we would always live next door to one another. We would each have two children, a girl and a boy and they would play together. Every Friday, we would take the #3 West End bus downtown and eat lunch together in the Loveman's department store restaurant.

What we didn't know that day was that Alzheimer's disease had chosen Peggy and would take all her promises away. It was with us the day that we made our promises to one another. I now think that Alz. tried to pry our fingers apart that day but with the resolve of our youth, had no success.

Alzheimer's would slither away and wait for a day in Peggy's future. A day when it would successfully take the promise of her life from her and from us.

Alzheimer's disease kept it's promise and successfully pried our fingers apart one day not so long ago.

It was the day that I called Peggy and she didn't know who I was.

Our Pinkie promise was broken and so was my heart.

Alzheimer's probably laughed at my tears that day. I hung up the phone and cried as I remembered two little girls with so much promise in their lives. Two little girls who were supposed to be together forever. We honestly thought that nothing could break our bond because we had made a Pinkie promise. A promise to always be forever friends and to stay close.

Alzheimer's disease scoffed at our promise and is taking my forever friend away a little more every day.

Peggy cannot keep her pinkie promise to me but I will keep my Pinkie promise to her by staying close.........

until she completely disappears...

I Love You today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Thursday, August 19, 2004


I have received many supportive E-mails since starting my journal about Peggy. It has helped more than anyone can know.

I felt the need this morning to let you know that there are other sides to my life. Fun, happy sides that I wanted to share with you.

I have several other journals that will give you the other side of my life. Peggy and I were always joking and laughing about life and she would be very upset with me if I let people think that I was always sad and down over her.

So, I invite you to read the other side of my life.

My favorite writings in Getting Old Ain't for Sissy's... were written in July of this year. It is...1. VACATION  (PUFF.. (PUFF) and 2. THE BEACH CRITIC...AT THE BEACH.

I hope you will take the time to visit my other journals and see that I am not a completely depressed, sad person..

Peggy is always on my mind and she always will be but there has to be room to live and laugh. She would be the first person to encourage me to do this.

I will continue to call her every day and write my feelings but I needed some balance. Writing in my other journal's has given me the balance that I needed in my life and in my writing.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Thank You.. for making me laugh this morning and by your laughter... encouraged me to share the humor that we alway's had together!

Mary Louise

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


We have English Ivy around a big tree in our front yard. It is a climbing vine with a woody stem and evergreen leaves.

It is beautiful but can also be deadly for the tree or anything else it grows on. Over the years, our ivy has inched it way around the tree and into the yard. It's green tentacles wrap around everything in it's path and it will strangle life as it grows, if it is not kept in check.

The ivy must be cut from the trunk of the tree every few months. If it isn't, it will climb and wrap it's woody stems around the huge tree and choke it to death. This massive tree could do nothing to save it's self against the power of this small, climbing vine.

I think Alzheimer's disease is alot like the English Ivy in our yard.

  The Alzheimer's ivy began growing in Peggy's brain as a small cutting. It took root there and it has woven it's woody stems around every part of her brain. It has choked and tangled it's way through Peggy's nerve centers and memory centers.  It is inching it's way through the cells located in the soft gray tissue of her brain. These cells coordinate and regulate the function of the central nervous system. The central nervous system integrates the function of the body as a whole.

All of her body function are shutting down because of the fast, tangling growth of the Alzheimer's vine in her brain.

The Peggy that I knew is slowly being strangled by this invasive vine and it will continue to grow on her brain until she is no more.

I feel helpless as I watch the vine tangle and run rampant through her mind. I know that I can do nothing but watch as she continues to disappear.

If I had the power, I would go inside Peggy's brain and cut the vine away. I would find great joy in ripping the green tentacles from her mind and setting her free.

I hope that one day soon science and research will find the right tools to remove the invasive Alzheimer's vine from so many gentle minds before......

They Too........ Completely Disappear.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Tuesday, August 17, 2004





Remember the Times, Remember the Magic, Remember the Magic in our Lives at 1805 St. Charles Court.

....Playing dress-up...Paper dolls...Rock School...playing house

Old Maids...Vacation Bible School...Christmas...Micro Midget Track..

Jump Ball..I See Something...Hop Scotch...Jump Rope...Strut Miss Lizzie...

Kick The Can...Making clover chains...Putting on Plays...Red Rover...

Digging for Doodle Bugs...Roller Skating... going barefoot all summer...

Five children sharing ONE bathroom successfully...Making up songs...

Dodge Ball..I Spy..Mickey Mouse Club...Ain't No Bugger Bears Out Tonight...

Walking around and counting the number of whistles we got....

Going to Vacation Bible School....Bible Drills...

Cheerleading... Majorette....Twirling the baton...Beauty Pageants...Talking on the phone...

sharing a bedroom...Sneaking clothes from Betty Jean's closet...

Going on Dates...sharing clothes...sharing dreams...singing in the kitchen...

Going to Proms..Fixing our hair..putting on make-up..spinning on pot lids.

Calling boy friends for one another..Roller skating on Mrs Farmer's Hill.

Brother Williams..Berney Points Baptist Church...Bus, 3 West End..Village Creek

Across the Alley Girlfriends... Football Games &Yelling until we were hoarse..

Hiding school shoes so I wouldn't have to go to school (Just Me)!....

Tossing eggs in a circle..Crying together when we lost a love...driving lessons...

Alabama Football Games...Sliding in the mud in the front yard...

Digging Fox Holes in the back Yard...Prom gowns...Wedding gowns...

Sister's Weeks....Christmas' at home...Going to Montgomery and Greenville...Lemons..

Lee School..West End & Fairfield High Schools....West End Theater...Woodward Park...The Sky Castle with Tommy Charles and Doug Layton. Kissing goodnight on the front porch. The light on the porch going off and on if we sat in the car too long with a boyfriend. Auto Movies # 1..The Spinning Wheel, Vulcan.

Panama City..The Big 10...West End Lions..5 Points West..The Fire Tower..Sneaking into the Alabama State Fair.

GreenSprings Park... The Church Yard...Joe's Store...Cherry Cokes...

Dwight, Jack, Tommy, Johnny Mack ( John Mack), Dan.... Judy, Carol, Joy, Charlotte, Nancy Lou, Ann, Sylvia.

So many wonderful memories, Peggy... I will keep all of them safe for you!


I love you Today, Peggy...

Mary Louise

Sunday, August 15, 2004



Some day's, when I talk with Peggy, she will break into a song.    She has always had a beautiful voice and I like to hear her sing. 

When we were growing up together at 1805 St. Charles Court, we would all sing harmony while we cleaned up the kitchen after dinner.

 Alzheimer's continues to take her music away but it has not stopped the song in her heart.....

I know that I will always hear her song, even when she forgets how to sing!  

When her memory fails and Alzheimer's disease erases Peggy's ability to sing.....  

I will sing the words of our songs to her as she disappears from my sight.

Even after she is gone.... nothing will ever erase the music that she has imprinted on my heart.

Peggy and the melody she gave to my life will be a part of my soul forever.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise                                         

Friday, August 13, 2004




Peggy had a child like quality in her voice this morning. She laughed at everything I said, even hello, this is Mary Louise.

Some Alzheimer's patients get hostile, abusive and violent. I'm glad that Peggy has only had brief periods of this type of behavior. For the most part, she has continued to go backward in time in a gentle spirit. I imagine her brain is functioning at a two to three year old level at present.

As we get older, we forget how to be a child and laugh and have enjoyment over the small things. Things like the green of grass, the sun, a fluffy cloud, the smell and feel of rain as we open our mouth to catch a drop on our tongue, while we twirl around. The beauty of the yellow flower of a dandelion, which as an adult we consider to be a weed but as a child we gathered them and proudly gave them to our parents as a gift.  There are many other things that as an adult, I had taken for granted. Now, I am re-learning to appreciate small joy's day by day.

Peggy has taught me to see the world through the eyes of a child again. To appreciate the world around me as if I were 5 years old.

She has taught me to play and even tell knock-knock jokes.    I now stop what I am doing to dance around the kitchen.  While I was in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, I fell on my back in front of people on the beach to make a sand angel for Peggy. That was something that the old, grown- up Mary Louise would not have done because...what would people think!!

I have learned because of Peggy's disease, not to worry as much about what people think of me and to live my life like there is no tomorrow because maybe...there isn't.

Peggy has taught me to appreciate the small joys in my life that I had put aside to be an adult.

Alzheimer's disease is a terrible, vicious disease but tucked inside of the horror of watching Peggy disappear.......

I have learned to live a fuller life. I have learned to live today with laughter and tears because I am not promised tomorrow.

Peggy continues to teach and guide me even as she continues to disappear from my life.

Thank You Peggy for the lessons that you are teaching me while you are disappearing. There is one thing that I can never learn and will not learn and that is.....

How to not.... miss you more than I can write.

( Peggy saying Goodbye)

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Dressing My Heart for the Daily Calls

My daily call to Peggy is like dressing my heart in a room with no windows. I have to guess how my heart should be dressed for each call.

Sometime, when I call, I dress for a blizzard and it turns out to be a warm spring day and there I Stand.... in my Ski Clothes! I am dressed for below freezing weather in my Hat, Ski mask, Gloves and Boots!!!!!!

Sometime, I call Peggy bare footed, dressed for summer and I am confronted with a snow storm. 

Most of the calls brings a warm spring day for which I am always grateful!

Deciding how to dress my heart is a little price to pay to hear Peggy's familiar voice and laughter.

Today was a good day, A warm, summer day!

( Ross and Peggy on a summer day)

Today was warm with much laughter over the smallest things.

I am so glad that I called bare footed and ready for the warm, welcoming sun of Peggy's voice to drench my heart!

I do know that the winter of Alzheimer's is not far away and my calls will cease to be warm. One day, my call will not be answered because Peggy will have disappeared in the ice and freezing cold of the Alzheimer's winter.

Thank You for the summer of your voice today, Peggy!

 I will cherish it always because as Beverly LaHaye said, a sister is someone who understands your past, and accepts you today......

Just the way you are!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Wednesday, August 11, 2004



Have you ever been in a place where the noise level is so high that you cannot communicate with the person that you are with? Or in a place where a foreign language is being spoken and you cannot understand what is being said?

When this happens, I find myself speaking louder and slowing my words. Thinking that louder, slower words with hand and face gestures will get my point across. Even with all of that work, the other person looks at you with perplexed facial expressions. They use their hands to say, What? What?

Conversations with a person who has Alzheimer's can feel like that. One word answers to questions that may or may not make sense. Communication by words is not possible.

Peggy tries so hard when I talk with her. I can feel her working to sound normal. I try not to ask many questions because I don't want to put her in an uncomfortable place. We didn't talk long this morning because I ran out of things to say. I ran out of witty conversation and I didn't have the energy to get through the wall of Alzheimer's to where she is..Then, I thought of the song " To Where You Are" sung by Josh Groben.

"Who's to say for certain, maybe your still here. I feel you all around me, your memory's so clear. Deep in the stillness, I can hear you speak. Your still an inspiration, can it be.  Are you gently sleeping here inside my dream? And isn't faith believing all power can't be seen. As my heart holds you, just one beat away...I Cherish All You Gave Me Every Day"!

 Peggy and I do not speak the same language any longer. We cannot understand each other now when we talk. All  that we can still understand is the familiar sound of our voices. That is all we have left... but at Least we have that!

I miss Peggy!!!!!!!!

I miss her wit and humor. I miss her advice and her care. I miss her jokes and her concern. There is so much to miss about Peggy as she disappears but at least... for now, I can still hear her familiar voice. That was a comfort during my call this morning.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Tuesday, August 10, 2004



The pond in our yard is filled with so much green algae that you can hardly see the fish.

The pond has been clear for a long time and all of a sudden the algae has taken over. It has clogged the filter and oozes down the waterfall.

 The filters are cleaned every day and the scum is scraped from the rocks on the water fall. The very next day the green slime is back and thicker than before.

I think this is what Alzheimer's disease does to a mind. It enters a clear, thinking mind and slowly clogs the thought processes. The slime wraps around every nerve and fiber and fills every space in the brain. It continues growing this murky slime until the mind is so clogged that it is helpless to think or act on it's own.

There are no drugs to keep the filter of the mind free from the Alzheimer's assault of the oozing slime. There are only drugs to slow down the process for a short while.

Peggy is in the last stages of the Alzheimer's algae assault that covers her mind. Her brain is covered with the poison of the slime.

The bright, clear headed, ambitious, beautiful person that I knew, now sits in a chair and is immobilized by the green slime of the Alzheimer's Algae.

June Masters Batcher said,  God is so big..He can cover the whole world with his love and so small..........He can curl up inside your heart.

Peggy's mind is filled with Alzheimer's Algae and there is no room for any one or any thing to be present in her brain but guess what!!!!!

God is curled up inside of her heart.....and she is safe.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


Monday, August 9, 2004








Margaret Mead said:





Friday, August 6, 2004



Peggy didn't know who I was today. It's all right though because I still know who she is.

I hung up the phone and as hard as I tried not too.. I started to cry. 

I try not to go there but I thought of the day in the near future when she will die. In many way's...she has already died.

Peggy really began to die to me when she forgot who I was and when she began talking to me like I was a stranger. In many way's...she is already in heaven. Far out of reach to all who love her.

I wonder if she will know who I am when I get to Heaven and see her again?

Saying  good-bye to someone who is still alive is difficult?  I do it every day in inches and hold on to the fact that one day, when we meet in heaven...She will remember who I am. She will see me and say, Hi, Mary Louise. We will look at one another, point our fingers at each other's faces and laugh as we say....


 The song, Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton expresses what I would like to say to Peggy today.

TEARS IN HEAVEN by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?

Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong and carry on, 'cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.

Would you hold my hand... if I saw you in heaven?

Would you help me stand...if I saw you in heaven?

I'll find my way... through night and day, 'cause I know...I just can't stay here in heaven.

Time can bring you down, Time can bend your knees.

Time can break your heart, Have you begging...Please, begging Please....

Beyond the door, There's Peace.... I'm sure, and I know there'll be no more....

Tears in Heaven.

I'll see you in Heaven one day, Sister!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


Thursday, August 5, 2004



Today, No words would come...I seem to have trouble learning that I cannot expect anything back from Peggy.

I read the entry that I wrote in February and it explains what I am feeling today.   Mary Louise

I am learning that there are many levels of grief. Today, I talked with Peggy and didn't tear up or feel bad when I hung up the phone. She was no different today than on most days.  I was the one who was different. I didn't expect to get anything back nor did I try to get her to remember.

Grief is like standing on a beach and watching the waves roll in and roll out. Some day's, there is a storm at sea and the waves come in with such force that they literally knock me over. Today, the waves were small and easy to feel and watch as they slid back into the ocean.  

 When I bring my memories to the shore of the daily calls, I cause the waves to get rough. It is when I expect to get something back from Peggy that I cause my own stormy seas.

Today, I didn't expect to get anything back from her. I just wanted to hear her voice and the sea in my heart was calm.

I wish that I could learn to be a buoy and never let the waves knock me over again. But...I know me and I also know that there will still be those calls when I stand on the shore of my remembrances and try to get something back. There will be those days when I drop my anchor and try to get her to remember..... When I do, then I am the one who will cause the stormy sea in my heart.

Peggy is sailing in a beautiful ship, on a sea of glass. She has no fear of  rough seas or the storms that I see in the distance.

 I am the sailor who keeps trying to bring her back to the shore before the storms come. I am the sailor who keeps dropping the anchor instead of being the buoy that rocks on the waves and rides out the storm with her.

I have much to learn about grief and how it is affecting me. I will try hard to ride the waves as they come. I will try to realize that my grief is like the ocean and the waves will continue. They will always roll in and they will never stop touching the shore of my heart. I will continue to stand facing the ocean and watching the approaching storms. And I know that I can not stop the waves from washing Peggy away, no matter how hard I try.. I will just strive to be her anchor in the storm as I continue to learn  how to be a Buoy!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Wednesday, August 4, 2004


Peggy was laughing when she came to the phone this morning. It was nice to hear her laughter again.

I asked her why she was laughing and she replied...I don't know.

She had a secret joke in her mind but she had no way of sharing it with me.

Peggy always had a joke or funny story to share before she got sick. She still has them in her head but cannot share them any longer.

It was still wonderful to hear her laughter and to be apart of the up day in her mind.

Calling her every day is like the roll of the dice.

I never know which Peggy will come to the phone. I never know if she will hang up on me, be angry, be happy or sad.

I call to hear her voice.....  before Alzheimer's takes that part of her away too.

Just hearing her laugh over her secret joke made me smile and laugh too.

Alzheimer's is taking Peggy away but it can never take my memories of all the laughter we have shared through the years.

Laughter is the best medicine and I got a big dose of happy today.

Thank You, Peggy.                 

I Love You Today!

Mary Louise

Tuesday, August 3, 2004


Peggy is riding on an elevator and it is ....Alzheimer's disease.     This elevator only goes one way and that is down. The button that displayed the up arrow has been disconnected. There is no help button or phone in the elevator for Peggy to call for help. 

The doors to the elevator of Peggy's mind are closing a little more each day.  Even though I try to keep the doors open by calling her every day to remind her that I love her...I can do nothing to keep the elevator doors from closing on Peggy. 

I see her standing in the elevator, smiling as she pushes the button that will close the doors and take her away.  She is getting tired of trying to find and push the up button in the elevator of her mind.

Keep trying Peggy because.....

I Miss You and I Love You Today!

If you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily...but also to those who need it so much!  Daphne Rose Kingma

Putting an emotion into it life and a reality that does not have.   Arthur Gordon

Mary Louise

Monday, August 2, 2004




I flew across the country on Saturday. I returned to Ohio after three weeks in Santa Barbara, California.

 I boarded a small plane and we took off from the Santa Barbara airport. The turbulence started as we climbed to 27 thousand feet and it continued until we landed in Salt Lake City. I was thankful to be safe on the ground again and breathed a sigh of relief, as did the other passengers. I'm not certain but I think the pilots did too!

I was certain that the next leg of the trip would be smooth. It was on a 757 jet and a big plane was better than a small one...I thought!

The take off was bumpy and the big plane swayed in the turbulence. I decided that once we reached 37 thousand feet....all would be well.

No So.....We were never served beverages because the stewards had to stay buckled in just like the rest of us. So, we bumped and swayed and hit air pockets for nearly 4 hours. I tried to write to keep my mind off of the situation but the turbulence was so great that I could not write or read. I just had to hang on and hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.

I was aware that I had no control over what was happening to me and that I had to trust the pilots of the plane who were strangers, to get me home safely.

That experience is what I feel Peggy is living every day. No control over her life and trusting that others will get her home safely and take care of her.

I knew this morning, as I talked with her that she had no idea who she was talking with on the phone. There was hesitation in her voice as she answered the simple questions that I asked her.

It is a strange feeling to talk with a sister that I know so well and at the same time, wrap my mind around the fact that she doesn't know or remember who I am any longer.

Alzheimer's is the turbulence that swirls in Peggy's mind. It constantly bumps, sways and causes her to hit air pockets. Keeping her mind off guard and her thoughts jumbled.

I landed safely on Saturday evening and was home again.  I have some control over my life and I can choose how I will react to any situation that life throws my way.

Peggy's journey with Alzheimer's disease piloting the plane of her mind, will continue to be a bumpy ride for the rest of her life and.........

She will never land safely or be at home until her plane crashes.

As long as Alzheimer's controls her mind....It is in total control and Peggy is just along for the ride.

The one thing that Peggy doesn't know is that all her sister's and her brother are running beside the plane or riding in the Alzheimer's plane with her.......

She just doesn't know who we are any longer. We are just nice people who are passengers on the same plane while she continues the ride of her life!     Her airplane journey to Disappear!

I LOVE You Today, Peggy and  I'll be right there with you...Always!

Mary Louise