Friday, September 24, 2004


I am remembering the Peggy of summer while she is living in the winter of Alzheimer's Disease.

Peggy's summer has ended and that makes me sad. I will be ready to embrace fall when I see the shades of color slide into the green leaves and I will be reminded of the green colors of Peggy's eyes.

There is something mournful about the leaves drifting to the ground when fall has ended. The trees must stand bare to face the cold, raw winds of winter.

Peggy is now living in the winter of Alzheimer's disease. She tested  7 last week on the Alzheimer's scale, 30 is normal and 0 is death.

I have never adapted well to change and I mourn as the seasons of Peggy's life come to a close.  Her season's have melted one into the another as she has battled this disease. 

I will only be able let go of her when I wrap my mind around the fact that I cannot change what is to come but need to embrace what is and what will be.

Peggy already has the eyes of winter. Cold, dark places where green eyes once looked at the world with hope and a passion about life and living. The winter of Alzheimer's has taken the sparkle from her eyes and replaced it with the ice and cold of a dark, grey winter day.

I get so caught up in my resistance to her leaving that I forget that we still have now.

This morning when I called her.....I said this is Mary Louise. How are you this morning? Fine, she said.... I am So fine! I knew that she had no idea who she was talking with but smiled when she said that she was fine, So fine.

I know, that she is not fine but I am thankful that she is living in a place that she feels is.. So fine.   

It was nice to hear her voice even though summer has slipped away from her.  Now, the winter of Alzheimer's covers her mind with ice and snow.

When the snow melts in the Spring, there will be no promise of rebirth for Peggy. She will forever live in the Alzheimer's winter until her body cannot hold the weight of the snow and ice any longer.                  

Then, she will melt away like an ice cube placed on the pavement in thehot summer sun. She will melt into a puddle of water that will quickly dry in the heat of July. When the puddle, that was Peggy dries, those who loved her will always remember that she was here and enjoyed the season's of her life.

We will all remember the Peggy of summer.

Betty Jean, Barbara, Johnny and I will continue to visit Peggy in the snow and ice of the Alzheimer's winter because...

 We love her and we can bundle our bodies with heavy parkers, hats and boots as we step into the winter world of Alzheimer's disease and remember with joy and laughter....

 The Peggy of summer.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise




lindainspokane said...

how long has it taken for peggy to go from 30 to 7? and even though she has no memories of her life does she feel ok besides that? i mean the scale confuses me...and how long does the dr think she has to reach 0? and once she does get to 0 does that mean she will die? or that she can no longer communicate whatsoever? sorry for all of the questions...but i am very interested and also very concerned for all of u...i wish there were more that we could do to help u...but u are in my thoughts and prayers...i hope u can have a nice thinking of u mary louise...


barbpinion said...

Mary, I admire you so much, and your family as well. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to lose a loved one in this way. God bless you. *Barb*

sharkie412 said...

Your journal is so moving. I think its so hard to know that someone in your life is losing the battle and will eventually...disappear physically. I had a month to say good-bye to my mother when we found she had pancreas cancer. It was the hardest yet most rewarding time of my life. I made every minute count. But I know she lived on beyond July 13, 1999. The acts that I do using what she taught me in life...all of those live on, as well as the memories and the positive impact this woman had on my life.
I couldn't imagine how hard this is for you...the fact that you seem so strong in the message that you send through this journal is a living strength of your character.

peppypioneer said...

Thank you for making Peggy a part of my life too.  Even without the wonderful pictures I would be able to see Peggy; alive, vibrant, loving, living and full of life.  Through your memories and your words Alzheimer's may claim Peggy's memory and eventually her life, but she will remain alive forever.  Thanks, Paulette

jeanno43 said...

Thank you for this very moving entry which I was sent as a link today.  I know what you are going through. I lost my Father to Alzheimer's.  It is very hard to see the person you knew and loved disintegrate before your eyes and know there is nothing you can do.  Let us hope they find an answer so that in future this will be a thing of the past. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

kristiejune34 said...

Oh my...... My heart breaks for you and your family. Ive not experienced this disease on a personal level but did see it time and time again at the nursing home that I worked at. It is SO hard and my prayers are with all of you ...... (your expression with words is amazing......this journal will help many many people , I am sure)

caragricke said...

There were five of us and now one is slipping away before our eyes.  Peggy was summer wasn't she...?  We need to hold on tighter to each other just like mother taught us..I love you Louise, BJ, Peg and Johnny.  caragricke (Barbara No. sister)