Saturday, September 18, 2004



After visiting with Peggy, I did what I always do...Go to the beach.

It is only 4 hours south of Birmingham and a calm place of healing for me. I spent two weeks on Pensacola Beach walking, looking at the clear waters of the Gulf and listening to the sound of the waves. I was trying to heal from the knowledge that Peggy does not know me any longer.

Today, my place of healing by the Gulf is gone. Ivan has destroyed or damaged everything on Pensacola Beach. There is total destruction and devastation everywhere that you look.

Last week, I had a healing place by the Gulf. Today, there is no healing place on the beach in Pensacola for me. There is no welcoming beach house for me to run to, hide and cry in my grief. 

 It was as if the beach house was waiting for me for one last time.   It was waiting for me to be the last person healed there.              The skies did darkened with the approach of Hurricane Francis but it did not come to Pensacola Beach while I was there. I had the time that I needed to put my heart back together.

It was as if the beach house warned Francis to stay away so that I could have the healing time that I needed for my soul. The beach house knew that I needed to sit on the deck in the dark of the night and listen to the surf kiss the shore. It knew that I needed to have the time to walk at sunset and gather shells. I needed to bring the gifts from the sea home with me.  I needed to have the shells that would remind me of my healing place.

Now, when I look at those shells, I will be reminded of the place where my wounded soul sat in big rocking chairs, crying loud, heart sobbing cries that were drowned by the noise of the gulf.  I will be reminded that rocking in the big chairs helped me to feel a calm in my heart.

I was privileged to be the last person healed by the beach house as nature decided that it was time to reclaim its own. 

Looking at Ivan's devastation on the news, I thought of Peggy and how Alzheimer's has totally destroyed everything that she was and has left total devastation to the sister that I knew.

A beach house can be re-built and life will go on until nature decides to reclaim what is hers again. Possessions can be replaced because they are" just things".

The destruction that Alzheimer's has done to Peggy's mind and body cannot be re-built or re-placed.

Life will slowly return to normal for the people of Pensacola Beach. I will be happy for everyone there and will think about them as the re-build. 

But I will always be sad that the Beach Shack by the Gulf, a place that welcomed me with open arms and provided a place of calm and healing for my soul, is gone forever.....

Just like Peggy!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


barbpinion said...

I'm so glad you had that moment of peace, but how sad it must be to have seen the devestation. God bless you. *Barb*

peppypioneer said...

I am so glad that you are back to writing and sharing.  I have missed your tenderness and wisdom.  Thanks for sharing.  Paulette

lindainspokane said...

i was so sad to hear about your loss in pensacola seems like you have had a very bad time the past few weeks...many losses in your life...but u are so right...the devastation in florida can be rebuilt...of course the memories from their will always be there...just like your memories of peggy...the difference is the beach u can rebuild the house and begin new and fresh...start making new memories...but with peggy u just have the old memories...its too bad that they didnt make a medicine that could rebuild a life and all its memories so easily...i am so sorry for the pain that you are thoughts and prayers are with u...


merelyp said...

Oh my gosh, I can't think of a better photo to accompany this entry than those two lonely chairs looking out over the beach.  I'm so glad the beach house was there for ya when you needed it.  Nature can be a furious, inconsiderate bully at times, but then there are people like you who can stand up to all the challenges andmake some sense of it.
thanks for this.

valphish said...

So sorry about your loss of the beach.  Thanks for your visit to my journal.  My sister is my best friend.  I can't even imagine what you are going through in your life.  Your journal is very beautiful and poignant.  Thanks again for visiting mine!  ~Val

valphish said...

oh, I forgot to mention, I am so happy your grandson is doing so well after chiari surgery.  That is so awesome.  It is amazing how far neuro-surgery has come.  Give him a hug for me!  Hugs, Val

carolhehe said...

I am so glad you had that ole beach house to go to let out all that pain you carry inside of you. A good cry really helps the soul. I am sorry though Peggy didn't remember you. I know the feeling. I lost my mother from so many strokes and she didn't remember me either. I just stabs you in the heart. Hugs.