We have had some good news from Pensacola Beach. The beach house stood tough in the 145 mile an hour winds. It braved the winds for 6 hours and is still standing. It is bruised and bleeding but refused to be completely destroyed.
It will be rebuilt and someday in the future, once again welcome weary souls to its beautiful views and big rocking chairs. It will once again wrap warm arms around hurting hearts so that healing can take place. It will help a soul refresh itself by looking at the clear waters of the Gulf and hearing the waves as they kiss the shore. It will help a soul heal again by walking on the beach looking for shells, the gifts from the sea. The beach house will once again help hearts to heal in the warm days and nights on the Gulf Coast.
Knowing this, I can't help but think that Peggy too, is bruised and bleeding just like the beach shack. She has been standing tough against the devastating winds of Alzheimer's disease. She is getting tired now and will not be able to stand with the strength of the beach shack much longer.
I now know that I was too quick to give up on the beach house and too quick to give up on Peggy after my visit.
I responded to the outside of Peggy that has been ravaged and torn apart by the hurricane force winds of Alzheimer's. In my despair, I forgot that on the inside, she is still there somewhere and does not have the ability to let me know. I let myself give up on her just like I let myself give up on the hope that the beach house could have braved the hurricane force winds of Ivan.
Now, I think of Peggy like I do the beach house in Pensacola. There is much damage to the outside and inside of her but she is still standing. She looks and acts different now because of facing the winds of Alzheimer's disease. I am different too as I continue to watch my sister disappear.
I have learned that to assume that everything is gone forever is defeating.
After I returned home, I decided that my calls were not important because she does not know me any longer. After a few days of not calling, I decided that the calls were important, if only to me. She does not know me and cannot respond to me and that is a fact that I cannot change. What I can do is still call her and hear her voice.
This is important because one day, the Alzheimer's hurricane will blow its ferocious winds and destroy Peggy's voice just like it is destroying her body.
When that happens, she will have truly disappeared from this place but never from my heart.
I will always admire her strength in trying to stand tough against the Alzheimer's hurricane. She will lose her battle but she will never disappear from my memory because we are sisters and sisters are forever.
While it is true that Peggy and I don't have tomorrow, we have had some wonderful, fun, exciting yesterday's. I will cherish my memories of Peggy with the big green eyes and a smile that could light up a room. I will cherish her laughter because her laughter made me laugh too. I will cherish the person that was Peggy, my sister, my forever friend.
I think that there is a purpose for every life and that no one can fulfill that purpose but you.
Maybe, the purpose in my life is to write about the desvastation of Alzheimer's disease what it feels like to Watch my Sister....Disappear.
I Love You Today, Peggy!