Friday, December 10, 2004


I have been shopping for Christmas and searching for the perfect gifts for those I love.

 I walked through the stores at the mall and looked at all the wonderful gifts that I could buy. I took my time because these will be special gifts that will be opened on Christmas morning. 

While shopping, I thought about a store that I wish existed in our mall.

It would be called "The Memory Place Store".

I could go in this shop and buy my gifts for Peggy for Christmas.

I could stroll down the isles of the Memory Place Store and buy all of her memories back, wrap them and give them to her this Christmas morning.

On Christmas morning, under her Christmas tree, there would be colorful boxes, decorated with bows and glitter and signed, Love, Mary Louise.

She could open the boxes one at a time and each would contain a group of the memories that she has forgotten. 

One box would have all the stories of her childhood. Just by opening the box, her childhood memories would flood back into her brain as she sipped the coffee that she loved.

Next, she could open the gift box containing all of the memories of her teen years. She would carefully take them from the box and drape them around her neck and in a flash, all of those memories would be hers again on this special Christmas day.

 Then, she would open the next three boxes. Those boxes would have the memories of her 20's, 30's and 40's wrapped in white tissue paper. She would open the boxes one at a time and have all of those memories drift back into her mind while sitting in the light of her shining, twinkling Christmas tree.

The next gift box would contain the memories of her husband, her marriage and of her children. What joy would shine from her face as she looked at them lying in the box and she could remember all of the times they spent together. She would throw the contents of the box into the air and let the memories rain down on her and bask in the glow of their love and remember each of them once again.

The last gift box would hold the memories of our parents, her sisters and her brother. She would smile and hold the box to her heart and remember the love that we all shared. She could take each memory out and hold it in her hands. She could throw the memories around like balls, bouncing them from the floor to the ceilings while laughing.

Her eyes would be shining and brimming with tears because she could remember her life and the love that was shared at Christmas time and the rest of the year.

On this special Christmas morning...The morning of miracles, Peggy could have a miracle for one day.

For this one special Christmas Day, Peggy would get 7 beautiful boxes containing gifts of the remembrances of her life.

She would open all of "The Memory Place Store" gifts that were carefully wrapped in beautiful paper and colorful bows.

She could unwrap her past and present and remember.

She would have one day to remember what it is like to love and be loved. 

Peggy would know on Christmas day morning that even though her life is disappearing...

My love for her will never disappear! We gave one another the gift of our love for many Christmases.

Just because she cannot remember.... doesn't mean that I will forget!

Life may end but Love doesn't!

Merry Christmas, Peggy!

I Love You Today!

Mary Louise


lindainspokane said...

wouldnt it be nice if that was the way life worked? there are many things in everyones lives that i am sure they wish they could change with just the opening of a present under the tree...i really enjoyed this entry...i am sure that the holidays are very emotional and sad for your whole family...i am so sorry that u are all having to go through the pain...just remember that there are many of us out here keeping u in our thoughts and prayers...not just now but all through the year...


nancy42063 said...

I want you to know how wonderful I think you are.  I am a certified Alzheimers nurse and was a geriatric nurse for about 15 years before I had to leave my profession to fight cancer.  I loved my job.  But more than anything I loved working on the Alzheimers floor.  My first job as a nurse was in a Catholic nursing home and I can't tell you how many times the Nuns got on the elevator giggling because I had on my boombox too loud and had everyone dancing.  Or I made a race out of folding washcloths.  Or one of the many "activities" I did because I hoped that there was just a window, even for a second, that there was a memory.  

Alzheimers is so much easier on the person with it.  Eventually after the intial fear and horror of not remembering in the begginning they just don't know anymore.  Of all the illnesses there are at least with this they don't know.  Only the family and caretakers know.  Only they remember.  And I believe they suffer so much more than the person with it.

Take time for yourself.  As hard as that is she really dosen't know.  But you do.  I think you are incredible.