Wednesday, July 26, 2006


We have satellite television.

Sometimes, the screen goes blank even when there are no storms in the area.

It  will just go off and in the left hand bottom of the screen,  a message appears.

The message says...Searching for satellite signal.

It usually doesn't stay off long unless we are in the mist of a storm.

Last night, I was watching a program, the screen went blank and the message appeared.

I thought about Peggy and how much that message could refer to her.

I have lost the signal to connect to Peggy.

Every once in a while we will connect for a brief moment and then the message appears again.

Searching for signal

 And again, our connection is lost.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Friday, July 21, 2006


JULY 21, 2006

I was able to hear Peggy's voice last night. Her husband held to phone to her ear because she has forgotten how to hold the phone.

I told her that I loved her today and I heard a faint whisper of her voice.

She is talking to herself a lot now in fast whispers.

I wish that I could understand what she is saying. I asked her to talk louder but she just kept whispering at a rapid pace.

I was told that she seems happy and smiles a lot. I am thankful for that.

I got a few pictures of her last week at the nursing home. She looks the same but different, if that makes any sense. There is no light from her eyes. Only dark places where her green eyes used to be.

It was interesting to see her in the pictures in the nursing home with a room full of gray heads. She looks out of place. A young person among the elderly but she is actually more disabled than most of them.

She came back to the phone after I talked with her husband and  I said, Peggy, this is Mary Louise and then she said, Hello! 

I said, Peggy,  I love you, Today!

Her husband said she broke into a huge smile.

Does that mean she remembers me?

Does that mean she remembers my voice?

I will never know because Alzheimer's disease keeps secrets.

All I know is that my sister is living in the land of Alzheimer's disease and I am not welcome in that world very often.

I received a second of remembering last night, not by voice but by her smile and that has to be enough because a second of remembering is all that she has to give.

It makes me sad to know that she isn't coming back to us.

That is a fact of life that the whole family deals with every day.

I could have cried when I hung up the phone last night. I did tear up but no tears streaming down my face.

I smiled because I thought that Peggy remembered me for a second.

For one second, Peggy sounded like herself when she said Hello!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Saturday, July 15, 2006


The desire to be and have a sister.....

is a desire to know and be known by someone who shares blood and body, history and dreams, common ground and the unknown adventures of the future, darkest secrets and the glassiest beads of truth.       

Elizabeth Fishel

I Love You Today, Peggy!

I Miss You!

Mary Louise


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I was driving yesterday and stopped at a red light.

I glanced out of the windows and saw a dark, threatening sky.    I heard thunder rumbling in the distance.

It looked as if the clouds would open at any moment with torrents of rain.

I was waiting for a down pour and all that happened was big rain drops, a few seconds apart hitting the windshield.

I watched as a big raindrop hit the windshield in a large ball and then tear drops ran down from the splat.

 I watched one splat after another hit the windshield. It seemed to me that the splat of water was in shock as it hit and then formed tears that ran away from it's center.

I thought how much that splat of water reminded me of Alzheimer's disease and how it hit our family.

Alzheimer's disease hit Peggy in a splat and it was a shock to all of us. We watched as it continued to hit her over and over again, like large rain drops falling from the sky.

It continues to hit her every day but Peggy doesn't cry. 

It is our tears that run down from the splat that Alzheimer's made when it hit Peggy.

It is our tears that fall as we watch the dark sky over her head.

It is our tears that form a lake in our hearts.

It is our tears that would drown our spirits if we didn't keep our heads up as we cry.

It is our tears that continue to fall as we watch her disappear.

Because Peggy....................

Has forgotten how to cry!

So, it is our tears that will always cry for Peggy.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Saturday, July 8, 2006


Last night I was thinking about Peggy, as I do many nights in the quiet.

It's funny how my mind thinks of the small things about her.

Her laugh or the way she would wave her hand while she was talking. The way she told a joke and would laugh through whole joke as she was trying to tell it. I would get more tickled at the way she tried to tell it than the joke itself. The way she would toss her head so that her hair would move, especially when we took pictures. It was our model pose, turn away from the camera and then back. Sometimes, we would just laugh at silly things and we would laugh until we cried.

So many memories of the small things about Peggy.

Sometimes, I still cannot believe that this happened to her. She was the youngest of four girls and so full of life.

How? Why?

The same questions that are asked by so many family members as they watch someone they love disappear.

Alzheimer's disease is devastating at any age but why did it strike someone so young, so bright, so active as Peggy?


Peggy is the youngest patient in the Nursing home where she lives.

Life is not fair sometimes and it certainty wasn't fair to Peggy who had so many years ahead of her.

That leaves me with questions that no one can answer.

How do I handle her leaving with grace and not only the fear that I too, will develop the disease?

What Peggy's disappearance has taught me is to live every day as if it was my last. I have learned that each day and each breathe is precious.

I really knew all of those things but I didn't truly understand the significance until ......

I started watching my sister...Disappear!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise


Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Dear Peggy,

I know you do not remember all of our 4th of July's.

I miss you today and I miss knowing that you remember. I am just thankful that you are still alive even though your life and all of it's memories have been erased.

Max Lucado wrote this and it applies to you today.

You are valuable just because you exist.

Not because of what you do or what you have done....

But simply because............


I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise