Thursday, July 28, 2005


I ordered Peggy's baby this morning from the Alzheimer's store.

I ordered the blonde headed baby with blue eyes.

Mary Ellen is Peggy's baby's name ( named after a doll that our Mother had) and I pray that she will be a comfort to her while she is in the nursing facility.

It will be interesting to hear how she reacts when her husband gives her the baby. I hope that she will like Mary Ellen and that Mary Ellen will be a comforting part of her life.

The baby doll is all that I can do for her now.

I have been watching Peggy since she was born and watching her disappear since 1998.

The Peggy that I knew is gone and I now have the task of adjusting my life to the absence of her presence.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

"Someone To Care For" Doll View Enlarged Image

Doll Therapy is one of those rare blessings in disguise for women with Alzheimer's who were once mothers. Despite the upsets of the disease, the pleasure of holding a baby once again is a joy that can be relived and enjoyed for hours on end.

Nothing is more lovable than a baby. This lifelike, oh-so-huggable doll, looks and feels like a real baby with an expression that few can resist.

One family wrote, "My mother has had a baby doll for two years now. She loves that doll with a passion you would not believe. She kisses it, tells it how much she loves it, and keeps it with her all the time. At first she told me she knew it wasn't real, but with it, she never feels alone. This was the best thing we ever did for her."

Product Features:

  • Designed specifically for people with Alzheimer's disease
  • Weighted to feel like a real baby
  • A face and expression that no one can turn away
  • Three styles to choose from:
    • Light features: Light skin tone, blond hair, blue eyes (Item no. 0110)
    • Medium features: Light skin tone, brown hair, brown eyes (Item no. 0111)
    • Dark features: Dark skin tone, black hair, brown eyes (Item no. 0112)
  • The baby comes dressed in cotton pajamas with its own pacifier to suck on.

What we like best about this product:
The "Someone to Care For" Doll is ooooh, so cute and feels just like a real baby.

Useful for people in the middle stages of AD Useful for people in the late stages of AD

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I talked with Peggy today and she had a flat sound to her voice.

I had been on the Alzheimer's web site recently and read that Alzheimer's patients love babies. Sometimes when I call her, she is watching the Special Delivery channel on television. The sitter said that she loves the baby and children's channel.

Talking with her today, I asked her if she would like to have a baby to hold. Her voice brightened and she laughed and said, yes in a strong voice.

I told her that I would find her a baby doll and send it to her. She laughed and said, good!  I said that if she had a baby doll, she would never be alone.  She would always have something to hold, talk to and take care of. She sounded so happy with the idea and said, good, good! I suggested that we name the baby doll "Mary Ellen" because that was Mother's doll name.

She responded with.... that would be good and there was excitement in her voice.

I am now on a hunt for a life like baby doll for Peggy to take to the nursing home next week.

It will have to be a special doll.

A special doll with a pleasant face and soft body.

I will keep looking until I find the doll that will become Mary Ellen.

I will give Mary Ellen to a special Mother who will love and take care of her. A Mother who will have a baby to hold and love and talk with as Alzheimer's disease continues to take her away

Peggy will soon be a Mother again and Mary Ellen is a lucky babydoll to have a Mother named...Peggy!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


Tuesday, July 26, 2005


During the summer months, we have some interesting bugs that come to visit with us.

I do not know the proper name for these bugs but I call them...Banger Bugs.

They bang themselves into the glass of our windows over and over.

It is as if they are trying to burst through the glass and come inside. If they are on the inside, they bang the glass over and over as if they are trying to escape.

Sometimes, they grow tired and drop to the window ledge. Then the bugs start the process all over again, hurling themselves into the window. 

The Banger bugs represent Peggy in her struggle against Alzheimer's disease......

The glass represents Alzheimer's disease, the unmovable barrier that she can never break through.....

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


Monday, July 25, 2005


Once, when my son was little, we were sitting on a hill behind our house watching earth moving machines carve out a road. A gust of wind blew past us and he held out his small hand in a grasping motion.

I asked him what he was doing and he said he was trying to catch the wind.

 He would open his hands to see the wind he had caught only to be disappointed when there was nothing there.

Talking to Peggy now is like trying to catch the wind in my hand. I know that she is on the other end of my phone line. I can hear her breathing and struggling to talk but there is no way to catch her in my hand. There is no way to catch her because she is like the wind.

Peggy lives in the wind of Alzheimer's disease and it is blowing destruction through her life.

The wind can be cooling and pleasant or forceful and destructive.

The winds of Alzheimer's disease are forceful and destructive. The only thing that a family of an Alzheimer's patient can do is board up the windows of their hearts and wait for the destruction to be completed.

I have tried each day to catch Peggy in my hand when we talk but I am always disappointed. I open my hands and my heart to see if she is there but my hands are always empty.

I can feel her presence blowing through my life but there is no way to connect to her. I cannot hold her in my hands and keep her in this place that I call home. 

The Alzheimer's wind is taking her away from this world a little more every day with the force of it's fury.

But it can never completely take her away because...

When I see the trees dance in the wind or see the tall grasses bow to a breeze........

I will feel the presence of Peggy.

When the dark storm clouds gather on the horizon and the wind blows with destructive force..

I will feel the presence of Peggy.

When a gentle wind blows and touches my face...

I will feel the presence of Peggy and.......

On those days when the air is still and there is no wind..

I will still feel the presence of Peggy because she is forever in the wind that blows through my mind.

She will always be present in the wind of my memories.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


Thursday, July 21, 2005


Dear Peggy,

I called you this morning but the answer machine picked up. I left you a message and told you that I love you today and I will call you later.

I realize that it is time for you to go into a nursing facility but I don't like to think about it. I will miss hearing your voice every day.

One of the hardest things about watching you disappear is the anger that I have to manage.

I am angry that you are going away.

I am angry that you don't remember who I am.

I am angry that I could do nothing to save you from Alzheimer's disease.

I am angry that you can never go on a Sister's trip again.

 My back is hurting today. There was a time when I could call and tell you and you could make me feel better. So, I am angry that you will never be there for me...ever again.

I am sad, angry and frustrated with you because you have no idea that I am sad, angry or frustrated.

I am angry that I feel abandoned by you. Just like I felt when Mother and Daddy died.

I am angry with Alzheimer's Disease and what it has done to your body and mind.

I am aware that all of my anger towards you today is purely selfish.

I also know that you would be angry too, if you were aware of your fate.

I couldn't help but think of the few times when we were growing up that we got very angry with one another.

I didn't happen often but I remember the times, as children, when you dug your heels in the sand and I dug my heels in the sand. We would stand with our arms crossed over our chests and stare at one another with our meanest, angry faces. I wanted to do something my way and you, yours. After staring one another down, we would walk away from each other in a huff. It never lasted long because we would sneak a peak at one another as we  stomped away and always ended laughing. Our angry faces would turn into huge smiles as we continued to play.

I am very angry with you today....but

I know that anger is just Love......disappointed.

I am disappointed that our time together as sister's has been cut so short.

I am disappointed that we can never be the same sisters that we always were to one another.

I am disappointed that I cannot continue to call you every day and hear your voice.

I am disappointed that I am having such a hard time letting  you go.

This morning, I have crossed my arms over my chest and stomped away but as I was leaving the thought of you...

I couldn't help but turn around and see you smile in my mind.

I started to smile too because that is what we have always done for each other.

Because of the remembered picture of your smile, I replaced my angry face with a smile.

I will keep the picture of your smile in my mind and recall it on the days when I feel angry with you for leaving me and all the people who love you.

You would have never chosen this disease if you had a say in it's development so...

As hard as it is to see you go, Peggy.

Thank you for leaving me the memory of your smile.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise



Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I talked to Peggy a little while ago and did something that I wait to do until I hang up the phone......I cried while we talked.

I told her that I loved her today and I was sorry that I could not do something to help her.

As I cried, she said, it's OK. I love you.

Through the haze of Alzheimer's disease Peggy was taking care of me in the only way that she could....

She was taking care of me by saying it's OK, I love you as I cried.

Sweet words to a sister who feels helpless from a sister who continues to disappear.

Peggy will be going into a Nursing Home in 12 day's.   

I have 12 days to hear her voice every day.

I have 12 day's to tell her that I love her today.

I have 12 day's to say, Hi Peggy, this is Mary Louise, your sister.

Today, is a sad day but only for me.

It is time for Peggy to move to the next step even though I am not ready. I know in my heart that it is the best thing for her and so I will say........

Dear Peggy,

I will miss talking to you every day and I am sorry that Alzheimer's disease has taken you away at such a young age. The best years of your life are slipping away but I am thankful that you don't know that.                                                                                                                                                                  

I have missed you for many years now and will miss you for all of my life.

I have missed our long talks and the laughter we shared while talking on the phone.

There is so much that I will miss about you but our shared laughter is the thing that I will miss the most.

You could always make me feel better when we laughed together but I am aware that....

We can't laugh our way through this one, can we Peggy!


We still have 12 days to try!

My sister holds my falling tears in her gentle words.....

It's OK. I love you.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Peggy could barely respond today. Hummm, was all she could say when I talked to her.

The sound of her voice is all that is left now.

I still find that I get frustrated with her and want to shout in the phone...STOP IT, Peggy! Say something, anything.... just talk to me but she cannot!

I was flying back from the West Coast last week and took my ticket from my purse to see the time of arrival in Cincinnati. I looked at the ticket, found the arrival time and was putting it back in my purse when I noticed some printing on the back of the ticket stub.

The back of the ticket said,  This portion of the ticket should be retained as evidence of your journey.

 When Peggy could only say Hummm to my voice today....I thought about the ticket that was still tucked inside of my purse

Hummmm from her voice is evidence of our journey together and it was the best that she could do.

Since Hummm is Peggy's best effort now, it will have to be enough because she is still trying and that one word is .....

The evidence of our journey as Sister's.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Monday, July 11, 2005


I returned from 2 weeks in beautiful Santa Barbara, California on Saturday night.

I was there for a week alone and then two of my sister's, Betty Jean and Barbara came for the second week.

We had a good Sister's week together but we all missed Peggy.

We felt her presence in every place we went and everything that we did together.

An interesting thing happened while we were visiting "The Mission" in Santa Barbara one afternoon.

We had toured the mission and were walking down the sidewalk to the car.

The sun was shining and as we walked down the sidewalk we cast three shadows.

For a brief moment, there was a forth shadow as a woman passed by us. I watched as the woman's shadow mingled with ours and quickly vanish leaving three instead of four shadows.

Chills ran through my body as I watched the forth shadow touch our lives and fade away. The vanishing shadow made me think of Peggy. It made me think of how she has touched our lives through the years and was quickly fading away.

Peggy's shadow will be with us wherever we go.

Her laughter, her smile, her personality will always be a part of who we are today because....

Peggy cast a shadow on our lives the day she was born and became our sister. She does not remember that we are her sisters but we will continue to remember for her.

Peggy's has turned into twilight, her mind has darkened and she has become a shadow that touches our lives as we walk through life together.

 Every time the sun comes out and casts a shadow.......

Peggy's presence will be felt by "The Sisters" as we walk on the sidewalk of life together.....

There will always be four dark shadows cast, shining in the sun..... together.

We missed you, Peggy!     

I Love You Today!

Mary Louise