Thursday, September 30, 2004

LIVES INTERTWINED...THE RIPPLE EFFECT

When a family member is dying, the effects of that process reach all of the people who love them. The death of a loved one is like a boulder that is thrown into the middle of a lake.

When the boulder drops below the surface,  the rippling circles of waves start at the drop point and travel to all parts of the lake. The ripples can only stop when the waves reach the shore.

This is what Peggys dying from Alzheimer's disease is doing to our family. The ripples are circling out and touching many lives.

I am not the only person hurting as we all watch Peggy disappear. The whole family is in grief, as are her friends and all of the people her life has touched.

Alzheimer's disease is the lake and Peggy is the boulder that has been dropped into the middle of it. As she sinks below the surface, the ripples from her disappearance are touching all of our lives in different ways.

My husband and I were talking the other evening about Peggy. He had read my journal entry for that day and his comment was, You know, I miss Peggy too!

John became a part of our family when Peggy was in the 9th grade and he has been apart of her life since that time.

I get so caught up in my own grief over losing Peggy that I forget how much others are hurting. They have not made their grief  as public as I have.

So, to my husband, John, to my children, Melissa, Sheri, Ross, Mike, Scott and Mickey, to my sisters, Betty Jean and Barbara, to my brother, Johnny and to all of my cousins, especially Jimmy and to all of my friends. Thank You! 

I send a special love to Ricky, Melodie and Brooke. And to Darlene and Jim...You are all special people who are affected every day as Peggy disappears from your lives. 

I also want to thank Ricky for giving me the permission to write this journal.

Thank you for your support in my effort to explain what it is like for me to watch Peggy disappear a little more every day.

To everyone who reads this journal and offers their support,  Thank You!

Writing this journal has been a labor of love and personal therapy. It is also the most difficult work that I have ever attempted.

I think that Peggy would be proud of me for trying to explain what I think is happening to her as she continues her journey ....

To disappear from all of our lives.     

I Love YouToday, Peggy!

Mary Louise

7 comments:

barbpinion said...

I *know* she would be proud of you. I am and so are many others who read this journal. God bless you. *Barb*

utah9112004 said...

MARY LOUISE,
IT IS US WHO SHOULD THANK YOU. I WISH WE HAD KEPT IN TOUCH MORE OVER THE YEARS. YOUR DAD AND MOTHER WERE THE BEST ROLE MODELS THAT WE HAD IN THOSE YEARS AND YOU AND YOUR SISTERS WERE THE BEST FRIENDS THAT I HAD. FROM THE WEST END HIGH FOOTBALL GAMES TO THE OVER NIGHT STAYS. I ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO UNCLE ALLENS TO STAY AND WATCH HIM WORK OUT BACK OF THE HOUSE ON THE RACE CARS AND TRUCKS.
THANK YOU AND ALL YOUR FAMILY FOR SOME GREAT TIMES.
LOVE YA CUZ. JIMMY

lindainspokane said...

i agree with barb...peggy would be very proud of u for doing this journal, mary louise...it is your way of coping with her disease...we that read your journal are all very proud that u have the strength to do this jounral on a daily basis...thank u so much...ALL of your family should be so proud of u...

linda

mslambersfour said...

Mom... I found myself crying as I read this entry...  not that any other day I read is different... but today I cried for the thought of a sister... If I were to lose Sheri or Ross, as you are losing the closeness you shared with Peggy... I don't know how I would handle the grief.  The pain of losing a sibling... a little more every day, must be devastating.  I know that you are not there person to person seeing the degradation... but I know you hear it through the phone.  I know the pain in your voice when I talk to you after your phone calls.
You are all are very strong...

I have seen how this has rocked your soul a little more each day Mom... just like a boat navigating through the Alzheimers Lake.  

Ricky, Melodie, Brooke, Betty, Barbara, Johnny, Darlene & Jim... and others that are closest to Peggy's entry point in to that lake... consider those of us surrounding you,  all of us near the shoreline, as your stabilizers... and maybe... just maybe... that boat won't rock as much.

We love you all so much... and keep Aunt Peggy in our hearts every day.  

caragricke said...

Beautifully written.  Your words describe a terrible disease.  Thank you Melissa and Jimmy for the comments.  Jimmy we remember your family with love.  Alzheimers comes like a thief in the night.  It is still hard to believe that someone so young in our family has it and especially Peggy.  She has touched so many lives but we have the comfort of having seen her since she was little....always smiling.  I saw some pictures of her today that I took in July and she was smiling while she was on the phone talking to you, ML.  I love you for writing and sharing your thoughts.  It helps me.  caragricke (Barbara, Sister #2)

nightshiftmama1 said...

I know exactly how you feel. I lost my sister to lung and bone cancer August 20th. She was gone in two months. I watched her go from a beautiful,bubbly and outgoing lady to a woman just waiting to die. She lost all hope and just shrunk down to nothing. My mom and myself just miss her so much. I know she was in pain and I know that now she is at peace. But I miss her so much it is unreal. We were so close. I just pray to God to help me understand that she needed to go with him.  May God bless you and yours.

peppypioneer said...

You have made it possible for Peggy to ripple into many lives, leaving an indelible image and wonderful remembrances.  I hope you someday put all of this into a book, for yourself and for the larger world who have come to know and love Peggy as well.  Paulette