Sunday, April 30, 2006


Today is my birthday.

All of my sister's and brother will call sometimes during the day to say or sing happy birthday to me.

I always enjoy their calls and I laugh at the different versions of the birthday song that they sing to me.

What has been noticeably missing for the past years is Peggy's voice.

That lilting voice singing or saying Happy Birthday, Mary Louise.

Birthdays were always special days while we were growing up. It was our own special day.

Even after we were grown, a happy birthday always came  across the telephone lines, in cards and with gifts.

Today is my birthday and...

Peggy voice still whispers in my memories.

I can still recall her saying...

Happy Birthday Mary Louise. If you didn't get your card and present today, you will get it tomorrow.

It isn't much. Just something that reminded me of you.

I love you!


I love you today, Peggy and I miss you on the day that I took my first breath.

I wander back to the day three years later, when I heard you cry  on your birth-day.

Time and distance has changed our lives but we will always be forever friends.  I will always miss you a little more on my birthday and on yours.

A birthday is a day to reflect and in my reflections...

There you are saying happy birthday to me!

I love you!

Mary Louise

Monday, April 24, 2006


I just made a call to a business.

Every minute, an automated voice would come on and say...

Please continue to hold. Your call will be answered.

I held the phone for 10 minutes listening to the message assault my ears every minute.

The message said to me..

We are here but we cannot talk to you. Finally, the message changed after another 5 minutes and said...Please,  leave your name, number and a brief message. Thank you for calling.

Then there was a dial tone.

All of that time holding and I never got through to a person

It made me think of calling Peggy.

She is there but cannot talk to me.

I can't leave a message for her to call me back.

She is there but she is not.

All I hear when I call Peggy is the hum of the dial tone as she drops the phone.

I can't get through to her ever again.

I could leave my name, number and a brief message but it would do no good.

She will never call me back.

Alzheimer's disease sensors all of her calls and makes sure that no one gets through.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

I miss talking to you on the phone.

I miss hearing your voice.

I miss you...........Not missing me.

Mary Louise


Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Sometimes, when I try to put my feelings about Peggy on paper.......

The words will not come.

The words and feelings are running around in my mind but never make it to my fingers.

Sometimes, my feelings about watching my sister disappear want to stay inside of me and stay private.

Sometimes, I know that if I write what I am feeling.....

The tears will start and I won't be able to stop them. I fear that all my tears will wash me away.

Today is a day like that.

Today is a day when my feelings about Peggy are just mine.

To write them would be mingled will all of the sorrow of my life time. My feelings are all mixed up today. I wouldn't be able to separate which are about Peggy and which belong to another place in my heart.

I just know that my heart is full today.

Full of all the tears of a lifetime.

This is the kind of day that I would call Peggy on the phone and say...

Can you talk? She would always say, sure and the conversation would start. I could tell her what I was feeling and just knowing she was listening would make me feel better.

On a day like today...

I miss my sister, Peggy. I miss being able to share my tears with her. I miss her encouragement. I miss her voice.

I am missing my forever friend today and she doesn't even know.

One of the most hurtful feelings that I am dealing with today is that....

I know that where she is in this disease...

She doesn't even care.

I miss her caring and I miss Peggy. Especially today when my feelings are running around in my head and there is no Peggy on the other end of the phone line.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

I miss you Peggy.

Mary Louise


Sunday, April 16, 2006


Easter Sunday.

New beginnings.

A new start.

New buds on the trees.

Flowers struggling to raise their heads from the cold earth to feel the warmth of the sun.


A new beginning.

Peggy's new beginnings ended when Alzheimer's disease destroyed her hope for spring and the privilege of beginning again.

Alzheimer's ended all things new for Peggy.

Today, I feel the new beginning in my life.

The sun is shining, flowers blooming, trees budding.

The air is warm with spring and the promises that spring will bring to my life.

For Peggy, there is no spring, no hope and no excitement about the promise of 2006.

Alzheimer's disease has ended the promise of spring and of renewed life for her.


Only those who remember can begin again!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Happy Easter 2006

Mary Louise

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I sent Peggy a few gifts for Easter.

A book with pictures of babies because she always smiles now when she sees babies.

I sent her a little book about sisters. It was about sisters growing up. I put M.L. and P.J. next to the pictures of the little girls. It seemed the little book was written about us.

The last gift..I knew she would like.

I sent her rings,  bracelet, pin, necklaces and a few other pieces of inexpensive costume jewelry.

Peggy always had beautiful jewelry and loved to wear it.

Long before she went into the nursing home, her jewelry had to be removed and put away for her daughters.

When I would visit her she would spend time looking at her hands. She knew that she used to have rings on both hands.

Now, she has rings again and a bracelet to wear and other pieces.

It won't matter if they get lost or misplaced. At least she has them for now.

Her husband said she smiled when she saw the jewelry.

So much has been taken from Peggy.

So much more than the expensive jewelry that she used to wear.

But at least now...

She has jewelry to wear again and I am so happy that I made her smile.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Happy Easter.

 Mary Louise

Monday, April 10, 2006


I watched a very touching movie on the Hallmark channel the other night.

The name of the movie was "Though none go with me" and it starred Cheryl Ladd.

She was recounting her life to her grand daughter one afternoon. At one point in the story of her life she told her grand daughter about her husband, Will.

After 50 years together, he began to drift into Alzheimer's disease.

One early morning  Will got up and wrote this letter to his wife.

( taken from the movie... Though none go with me).

Please don't be sad when I no longer recognize you.

Just know that I love you.

My heart will always remember even when my mind doesn't.

I want you to know that this will be the end of my life...Not yours.

I want you to go on and find happiness and know that every time you smile...I'm glad!

Love forever.

These words can also apply to any one who has suffered the loss of a loved one in any way.

These words came to me at the right time.  I have felt guilty that I am well and Peggy has Alzheimer's. I am been angry that Peggy has been taken from my life. I have felt frustrated that I had no power to stop her from leaving.

The words that Will wrote gave me great comfort because I can see Peggy writing the same words to her husband and daughters. Also to me and her other sisters and brother.

I can see any loved one who has passed away writing the same words to those they love. Loved ones who are left behind to deal with the empty places that are left by their going.

I have a little calendar on my desk that has sayings for every day.

Today the saying was.....I will not forget you. I will remember!

How chilling and comforting to read those words as I sat to type this entry.

It was as if Peggy is here with me telling me that it is OK to be happy and go on with my life and not be sad for her.

In the movie, the woman looked at her grand daughter with tears in her eyes and said;

I spent 50 years with your grand father but Oh what I would give for one more hour.

We can all say those words to the ones we loved and have left our physical lives.

Peggy and I touched one another's lives and we made a difference to each other but oh what I would give..........

For one more hour.

"Though no one goes with me still I will follow.

No turning back, no turning back".

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise



Wednesday, April 5, 2006


I talked with Peggy the other evening. I should say that I talked to her and she said "huh" in a small voice.

I wish that she could respond when I tell her that I love her but she cannot.

I was looking at some photographs of us the other day. Photographs that showed smiling faces and warm eyes.

In the photographs, we are frozen in time.

In Peggy's world, she is frozen in time.

Peggy does not know of September 11th or the war in Iraq.

She doesn't know of the sadness caused by Katrina or the other storms that blasted the Gulf.

She is frozen in a world of the moment.

Time means nothing to her and what is happening in the world does not touch her heart. 

Peggys world was frozen in time the day that Alzheimer's  covered her mind with the ice and snow of the disease.

Maybe, it is better for her to know no pain or sorrow.

Maybe, she is better off to have missed the sorrow of the past 5 years.

Could being frozen in time be a good place to be?

I don't think it is because when you miss the pain and sorrow, you also miss the joy and happiness that is always on the other side.

I have added a picture of us when we were frozen in time. The first day of Summer vacation from school.

A place of youth when we were cared for by our parents.

I look at us back then and know that we will always be frozen in that place in that photograph.

A carefree place that I can always visit in my memory.

I hurt that Alzheimer's disease has taken that privilege from Peggy.

She can never go back in her memory to the special places where we lived and laughed.

I feel sorrow for her but she doesn't share my sorrow because she is....

Frozen in time.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise