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


inafrnz247 said...

Oftentimes, it's the whispers that speak volumes to our hearts.
Hugs and prayers, Michelle

barbpinion said...

I'm inclined to believe that she remembered you today. I never leave here without telling somebody how much I admire you; about your courage and Peggy.
Big hugs, and always, my prayers

wendy4145 said...

That is how important you are to Peggy? She hears your voice and your name, and she smiles and all of a sudden remembers how to say hello!

That is a small blessing about her disease, it comes and goes.  I'm glad you two caught eachother at a good moment.

I know you are thankful for that moment.


motoxmom72 said...

Mary Louise.......I'm so glad you had that one moment with Peggy. I wish you many "moments" in the months ahead.  

ajquinn354 said...

Oh I don't doubt for a second that Peggy knew it was you when you said I love you.  I worked in a Nursing Home Facility in Illinois and we had several respidents with alzheimer and every now and then they would have their special moments of remembering, which I'm sure your Peggy had when you talked with her.  Mary Louise, I'm glad you had that special time with your sis. Moments like that help us all to get through another day when we have sad, tough times in our lives....AJ

louis929 said...

Mary Louise:  I think she rememberd you and recognized your voice for that brief moment.  It is something to celebrate while dealing with this terrible illness.  There were times, even toward the end, when my sweet husband's face would light up when he saw me.  He could not verbalize much but I know he recognized me and that was enough.  He too went into what I used to term a "whispering mode" when he did the same thing as Peggy.  He would whisper and talk quite fast.  I could never understand what he was saying, but I tried to pretend that I knew.  

I went to the cemetary today, and took flowers.  Funny, all during our marriage he used to bring me flowers on special occasions.  Now I could not believe I was taking them to him, but at a cemetary.  I cried so hard as I miss him very much.  The first week or so after he passed away, I felt numb.  Now feelings are starting to return, and the grieving process is beginning.  The only thing that brings a measure of comfort is that I know he no longer has Alzheimer's.  

So, dear Mary Louise, celebrate those moments of recognition, and keep writing this journal.  Even though my husband has finished his earthly journey, I continue to read your writings.  


pippa1116 said...

Hi mary louise.  I stumbled across your journal today. I have found your comments about your sister beautiful and very moving.  thank you for sharing them with us.  tina

lowis6535 said...

    This was your reward for keeping close to Peggy; you would have been lost in the shadows of her dimming memory system.
     I'm sure that there are brief sparks of memory, & near-memory ... also, I'm sure that it is difficult for her to relate having a memory to making a reaction to the sensation ...   She forgot how to remember.


dornbrau said...

I am so glad that you were there, even if just by phone, when the light shone through.  Perhaps, no...  quite probably... you were the one who held the light up for her.