(LOST: adj. ruined; destroyed; not to be found; missing; no longer held, seen or heard, having wandered astray; wasted).
Peggy is not the only one who is lost in this journey called Alzheimer's disease.
Our whole family feels lost.
We are all lost as we try to find our way through the darkness of this disease.
I had Encephalitis once. It is an inflammation of the brain usually caused by the bite of a flea or mosquito. I was lost for almost a year and fought my way back from that brain virus. I fought my way back because I knew that... I was lost.
I remember a day, several months after I returned home from the hospital. I took chicken breasts out of the refrigerator to fix for my family. It was a task that I had done many times. I laid the chicken on a plate and I couldn't remember what to do with it. I just stared at it and tried to remember what to do. I was lost and afraid because I knew that I couldn't remember how to prepare the chicken.
Another incident happened when I drove to a familiar shopping center. After I had finished shopping and returned to my car, I couldn't remember how to get home. It was another frightening experience and another time when I felt completely lost.
The difference in my lost and Peggy's lost is that I Knew that I was lost...Peggy doesn't remember...Lost!
Some of my memories were lost forever because of Encephalitis but that is OK because I don't worry about a memory that I can't recall.
That is a comfort because I understand that Peggy doesn't worry about her lost memory. She can't worry about memories that are no longer in her brain.
To this day, I have never forgotten what it felt like to be lost and to know that I was lost.
I think that lost is a lonely word. It is a lonely word that loses it's meaning to an Alzheimer's patient but is huge word to the ones who are still try to find... the Peggy that we knew.
Peggy is and will continue to be lost but she has forgotten to be afraid like I was when I had Encephalitis.
We are the ones who are frightened as we watch Peggy disappear because ...
We Remember.... while she has forgotten.
If you ever find yourself in a place where you are lost and you know that you are lost...
Because you can find your way back home if you remember.
Peggy is lost, really lost and she doesn't remember that she is lost. She has no way of finding her way back home. She has no way to ask for help or directions. She has no way to be O K again because she has forgotten. She is lost and has forgotten to remember what lost means.
When we experience a situation that turns our world upside down it can make us afraid and we can feel lost.
No matter what we face or how lost we feel, if we are aware that we are lost, we can ask for help and find our way through the darkness of any situation.
Alzheimer's disease has taken that privilege away from Peggy. She is lost but doesn't know it and she has no way to ask for help to find her way back home.
To remember is to know that help is always there.
We just have to ask for help and the darkness in our lives can turn into light.
We are empowered because.... We remember.
Peggy's power has been taken away because she cannot remember.
She cannot remember that she is lost.
But we remember and we all keep trying to find her every day.
It is good to remember what it feels like to be lost and to know that feeling temporarily lost does not mean that we can never find our way home.
We can find our way home again if....... We can Remember.
I Love You Today, Peggy!