Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I have not been able to write since I returned home from my visit with Peggy.

The words and feelings were there but never found their way to my fingers until today.

The words and feelings of my visit with Peggy banged in my head like rocks, bouncing from one side of my brain and then to the other.

The rocks finally dissolved in to pebbles and slid into my heart. They roamed around for weeks trying to find a place to rest.

The rocks of my feelings dissolved into sand and slid, one grain at a time into my soul.

Today, the grains of sand and feelings about the Peggy have finally made their way to my fingers.


I walked into the room and saw Peggy sitting in her chair. I rushed toward her and we both had huge smiles on our faces.

I dropped to my knees in front of her and took her face in my hands. Her eyes opened wide and there were tears in her eyes and I started to cry.

For a flash of an instant, I thought she recognized me and was gone.

I hugged her but she didn't hug me back.

A little while passed and her husband asked her if she knew the people that were visiting her...She said, No.

I know that Peggy is safe where she is.....But, she is gone from me and that.......

Is the sand of the pain that will always be in my soul.

I experienced the coldness of a stranger during the visit.

No welcoming eyes...

No welcoming arms...

Just a shell of a person that still resembles my sister.

I gave Peggy a soft, cuddly white stuffed dog to hold but she wouldn't touch it. The old Peggy loved stuffed animals but the new Peggy did not.

I mourn for the old Peggy but I am slowly accepting this new Peggy who will always have my love because... she is my sister.

I Love You Today, Peggy...Just the way you are.

 I miss you so much.

Mary Louise


trooperboy96 said...

Mom - Two thoughts...  

First, thank you for all you do.  I feel that your visits and loving words to Aunt Peggy are SO important.  I feel this way because although it is unlikely, it may one day be discovered that Alzheimer’s patients retain sharpness within their minds, even if they do not or cannot display any outward signs of lucid thought or clarity.  If that was the case, then that would mean that the real Peggy IS still in there... And if that was true, then your visits, calls, and words would mean more to her than you could ever imagine.

Second, I firmly believe with everything that I am that if Aunt Peggy truly cannot understand now these moments you spend writing about her and the time spent visiting with her, that God has the equivalent of The Worlds Best Video Recorder, and He is standing just beyond your line of sight, busily capturing every thought, word, and loving gesture flowing to her from your direction.  

Later, in the theater of Heaven she will sit down with God, Memaw, and Papaw in the best seats in the theater -- She'll have her popcorn, stuffed dog, and soda, Memaw will have her purse in her lap, and Papaw will just be well... Papaw.   God will crank of The Heavenly Projector, and together, holding hands, the four of them will enjoy and recount each and every moment, and cry and laugh and love you for each of them.

Peggy is so lucky to have three sisters and a brother who care!  (continued -)

trooperboy96 said...

(continued from previous comment)

In considering all we have to look forward to in the afterlife, this "speed bump in time" that we all endure as we watch your sister, my aunt, disappear is just a billionth of a second in the grand scheme of things, something to later be discussed, and maybe even appreciated for bringing so many people that much closer together.  Even in her advancing state of degeneration, Peggy continues to help us all become better people though our shared grief, understanding and sympathizing, and you are the conduit for these feelings in your writings.  

I love you today, Mom - Ross

s0ngbird1962 said...

Mary Louise, I've been thinking of you and your visit to your sister....  I do believe she recognized you for that brief flinker you saw... I also agree with your son, that maybe, just maybe the real Peggy IS in there, but trapped within her own mind.... And dreams....maybe she still has the ability to dream and you are always there....  

You speak of the pain of watching a love one slip into *nothingness* with such eloquence and love.   Having worked with Alzhiemer patients for the past 14 years, your journal touches me, the love for your sister touches me.  May God bless you all, always.

lindainspokane said...

i was so happy to see u finally post..i was beginning to worry that something went really wrong...(well i know it wasnt the way u wanted it..) i am so sorry that peggy wasnt able to jump from her chair and throw her arms around your neck and tell u how much she has missed u...those times have passed...and it is so sad...each time i read your journal i hope there is soemthing new that u have to report that she is doing better rather than worse...but each time its the same...i can feel the sadness in your writing...and it tears at me knowing that this is happening...just remember mary louise that there are lots of people that love u and care for u and someday peggy will remember all that u have done and are doing for may just not be today or next week...but someday...

utah9112004 said...

mary louise i was glad to see your post. i agree with your kids comment about the big movie house in the sky. you have raised a really smart one there. in time we will all be togeather again and your mom and dad will be waiting for you with open arms. you are a great sister. (and cuz too).
in the lds ( mormon )church we say that the veil is thin and god watches us all with our parents and other family members till we pass thru to be with him and them. GOD BLESS YOU because you are very special.
cuz jimmy

ckays1967 said...

there aren't any words anyone can share to ease your took a month just to face.


drmscncmtru04 said...



peppypioneer said...

Thank you for sharing this very personal and painful journey.  I hope each grain of memory that you have of yourself and Peggy can bring you a modicum of joy in the tough times ahead.  Paulette

wumzels2 said...

marylouise, your son ross is a truly amazing did a very good job raising him.  his words struck such a cord in my heart, and brought tears to my eyes.  your whole family seems to have so much love to share.  i pray as time goes by you will all be blessed with comfort and love from all those around you.  and i know peggy knows you love, and always.   blessings, regina

caragricke said...

I just read Ross's words.  I agree.  We (our family) has hit a speed bump but we have the knowledge that it doesn't end here but continues in Heaven.  Can I have an amen on that Ross?  ML you put in words what we all feel.  Mother and Daddy taught us so much and I am so thankful for that.  They taught us love for each other and to depend on each other in times of crisis.  I see that in your children, too (can I get an amen on that Ross?).  We cling to each other during the storms we endure and we have a Heavenly Father who shelters all of us.  Thank you so much for your journal.  I treasure it so much.  caragricke (Barbara No. 2 sister)