Wednesday, January 12, 2005


I broke one of my rules today while talking with Peggy. I asked her if she knew who she was talking with and her answer was...No.

I didn't let it drop there, I said; this is your sister, Mary Louise.

 Oh, she replied.

Do you remember Mary Louise?


Well, I remember you, Peggy.

You do? Why?

Because you are my sister and I love you.


I was reminded of my first interview for a job after graduating from school.

I walked into the office building downtown and asked for the interviewer. He walked out and invited me into his office. I wanted to make a good impression and had decided to call him by name but when the time came for me to use his name...I had forgotten it in my nervousness.

The interview went on and then came the time for a typing test. I sat down at the typewriter and watched as he took out a stop watch.

I felt so much pressure to do well on the test while still trying to remember his name.

He said, begin and I started typing.

I typed two paragraphs in record time and was feeling pretty good about my work. He took the paper out of the typewriter and a huge smile came to his face. Wow, I thought. I must have really done well.

Mr. "I still don't remember your name" showed me my typing test.  I had gotten my fingers on the wrong keys and typed two paragraphs of letters and numbers. There was not a coherent sentence in either paragraph.

Needless to say, I didn't get the job and I never forgot the feeling that I experienced that day.

It was a lost feeling of being in a building that I had never been in and not knowing my way around.

It was a feeling of not being able to remember a name.

It was a feeling of being judged.

It was a feeling of not being to produce.

It was a feeling of failure.

It was a feeling of embarrassment.

I wonder if this is what I do to Peggy when I ask her to remember who I am?

Her everyday life is like the typing test that I took those many years ago.

Peggy's days are jumbles of letters on a page and no one can read the words she has written.

When I took my famous typing test, I knew exactly what I was typing. I was looking at all the words and typed the words exactly as I saw them. I just had my fingers onthe wrong keys.

I started typing the words as I saw them but nothing came out on the paper that I had seen on the page but no one else could read what I had written.

Maybe, this is what happens to Peggy when she tries to answer my questions.

She knows what she is trying to say when she talks but I just can't read or hear the words as she writes them or as she sees them.

 I do think that Peggy knows exactly what she means when she tries to communicate.

I am the one who cannot understand.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


wendy4145 said...

yes, we can all identify with the feelings of your typing test.  and we can all identify with what Peggy feels.  But I'm sure she loves for you to talk with her.

isoldhimonebay said...

This disease is terrible.  I am a nurse and I spent my career working with Alzheimers patients.  I will be coming back to your journal.  I hope these entries help you to cope a little bit.  


ceschorr said...

Your journal is Beautiful. You write very nicely. Many blessings on your family. My sister and I are very close now for a few years. Since our mom and brother passed away and dad has been off and on healthy vs. not for the past ten years...  sometimes we feel like the only people out there that truly value family. thanks for making your journal public:) Blessings, sara

peppypioneer said...

The analogy of your typing test, with your fingers off of "home base" and therefore producing drivel to Peggy's inability to make herself fully understood is beautiful and understandable.  Above all Peggy must feel the love you have for her, even if she cannot voice that feeling, or tell you how she feels herself because the keys are all mixed up.  Thank you for sharing both yourself and Peggy.  Paulette

sunnyside46 said...

thank you for your journal. I t helped me to feel kinder toward my elderly mother.