I talked with Peggy's sitter this morning. She said that she could not get Peggy to talk or respond in any way. It seems that Peggy has retreated into the silence of her mind and wants to stay there.
She also said that Peggy has not eaten and will not drink anything.
My heart did a crunch and I wanted to run through the phone lines and be there for her. I wanted to put my arms around her and tell her that everything would be O. K. just like when we were children.
I held the phone and waited. I was bracing my heart for the sitter to say that Peggy would not talk with me.
The sitter said; Peggy, this is your sister, Mary Louise. Would you like to talk with her? I heard a long silence that was deafening.
I squeezed the phone in my hand and said to myself...come on Peggy, take the phone, take the phone. Then, I heard her familiar voice say, hello. I said; Hey Peggy, this is Mary Louise, your sister.
I chatted for a while and then said, Peggy, you know that I love you, don't you? Yes, she answered.
Will you eat some food and drink some water when we get off the phone? Yes.
Do you promise me that? Yes.
I said, Peggy, I love you today. I hope you know that I do.
I do can think that, she said. She still tries so hard to talk with me.
She had made the effort to take the phone when she heard my name and that told me that somewhere inside of her soul, she still remembers me and remembers that I love her.
I never know if this phone call will be the last time that I will hear her voice.
She is fading away a little more with every call.
Peggy is disappearing and there is nothing that I can do about it. All that I can do is call her and tell her that I love her today. That just doesn't seem like enough as she fades away.
I want to do more to save her. I want to stop the thief called Alzheimer's disease from taking my sister away. I want to protect her but I cannot.
I would like to look the bully Alzheimer's in the face just like I used to do when I saw some big kid bothering Peggy. I would be shaking on the inside when I confronted the bully but would find the courage. I found the courage because I loved my sister and wanted to protect her. I would get the most serious, determined look on my face and I would squint my eyes, like I saw in the movies and dared anyone to hurt my sister, Peggy.
This stand off worked when we were kids but it is not working with Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's is the biggest bully on the block and no one can stop it from taking Peggy away.
Not even me.... Not even when I use my most serious, determined, squinty eyed, stare down face.
Peggy, I'm so sorry that I cannot protect you from the Alzheimer's Bully but I will stay close to you and be there as you continue to disappear.
The progression of Alzheimer's disease in a brain.
I Love You Today, Peggy!