Thursday, January 26, 2006


When my children were just learning to talk, they would point to something that they wanted and I would say to them...Use your words.

It was easier for them to point and get what they wanted than to search their minds for the word that they needed.

Over time, they learned the word of the object that they wanted and their language skills grew.

With Alzheimer's disease, the words in the mind are erased and searching the mind brings nothing.

Peggy still knows a few words and can still verbalize but most of her language skills have been erased.

No matter how much she would like to say what she thinks, the words are just not there any longer.

I heard a stroke victim say that it was terrifying because she couldn't communicate to anyone what she was thinking.

Is this what Peggy feels or are her words completely erased?

So, how do I communicate with Peggy when words will not do?

I have thought a lot about that in my struggle to let her know how much I love her.

Even a baby who has not learned words yet can feel loved by the sound of a voice or by a smile on a face.

This is the universal language.

The sound of a voice and a smile on a face.

It can be used all over the world to communicate in any language.

Words and the recognition of words are important but the look of the face and the sound of the voice is really the great communicator, in any region or language of the world.

Words are just sounds......

Not everyone needs to hear to understand.

Not everyone need words to communicate.

Not everyone needs to see to feel love.

Once, when I was very angry with my husband he noted...

I would rather have you say something than look at me that way.

I was speaking volumes and not uttering a word.

Sometimes...there are no words to communicate what we are feeling.

I think that even though Peggy has forgotten most words, she still knows exactly what the sound of my voice is saying to her.

It is saying......

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise



Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Today is Peggy and her husbands R's wedding anniversary.

I remember the day in the 70's when they were wed.

All the sisters were bridesmaids and we wore long burgundy velvet dresses.

Peggy looked so beautiful and was as happy as I have ever seen her.

I will never forget that day and Peggy's smile!

My heart is with her husband today as......

He remembers their wedding day....


I Love You Today, Peggy!

Happy Anniversary!

Mary Louise

Friday, January 20, 2006


My sister, Barbara sent this to me tonight.

It was so true and so lovely that I wanted to share it will all of you.

Good Lesson

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will.  

 You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time.    

You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.  

You'll fight with your best friend.  

You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.  

You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love.  

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.  

I Love You Today, Peggy!  

I Love You Today too, Barbara!

Thank you for making me think.

  Mary Louise

Monday, January 16, 2006


Today, Peggy's voice had the quality of a 5 year old. It was soft and sweet.

Tomorrow, her voice may sound strong with an angry edge.

One thing that I have learned as I watch Peggy disappear is that with Alzheimer's disease, you never know who will be on the other end of the phone line. Peggy may have the voice of a 5 year old or 45 year old in a matter of minutes.

She can have the strength of a 50 year old when she speaks or the shyness of a 3 year old.

She can sound helpless or belligerent, weak or strong from moment to moment.

Alzheimer's disease decides who she is and what age she will be from moment to moment, day to day.

We decide who we are, what age we are and how we will react to any situation if our brains are free from disease.

When a pearson has Alzheimer's disease, the disease decides who you will be and how you will react at any given time.

Alzheimer's disease takes away choices.

This disease makes all of Peggy's choices for her.

I never know who will be on the other end of the phone line when I talk to her and that's OK.

I still know that Peggy is in there somewhere listening to my words.

I really doesn't matter who she is or how old she is when she answers my call. All that matters is that...

She can still come to the phone.

She may not talk.

She may hang up on me.

She may lay the phone down and walk away.

But she always says....Hello.

Hello is a nice word even if its the only word I hear her say.

A simple hello from Peggy carries all the memories of a lifetime.....

As sisters.

Hello, Peggy!

I Love You Today!

Mary Louise


Thursday, January 12, 2006


I had written a complete journal entry this morning.

All that I had to do to complete what I had written was to add the pictures.

I accessed my pictures and chose the one that I wanted to use and

To my dismay, I got this message on my screen...

AOL has encountered a problem and must shut down.

As I saw my words vanishing from the screen, I began to shout at the computer in a loud voice ..NO...No...NO!!!! I started to click on save at the bottom of the journal before it could completely disappear.

Nothing helped and I watched helplessly as my journal entry went away.

It vanished from the screen like the words were never written.

I know as a writer, that one can never recapture all of the emotion that went into the entry this morning.

I could never write the words exactly as I written before. I continued to say, NO, NO NO as the words slowly slid from the screen into cyberspace.

I thought that if I shouted loud enough at the computer screen my loud refusal to let the words go would somehow stop the process.

I have learned many things  while watching  Peggy Disappear......

  I have learned that sometimes, there is nothing one can do to stop the losses of life.

No matter how good we are at denial.........

No matter how loud we yell,  NO......

No matter what we do to keep our lives a certain way...

Some where along our life path, we learn that we do not have control over many parts of our lives.

Sometime, we just have to let go.

That is the hardest part of watching Peggy disappear....

I am not ready to let go and I still feel the need to shout, NO!!!

When my words disappeared from my screen this morning, I was so frustrated that I simply walked away.

I couldn't stay away because more words were roaming around in my head. So at 3:22 pm,  I returned to the computer  and wrote this entry that is very different from the one that I wrote this morning and is floating in Cyber Space.

I react to losing my sister as I reacted to the AOL shut down this morning  by shouting,NO,No, No!

My words in this entry are very different from the words that I wrote this morning.......As different as Peggy is today.

But, I keep the memory of the words that I wrote this morning about my sister and write them  again...Only.......

They will be in another form....

Just like Peggy is in another form

I Love You Today Peggy!

Mary Louise

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


We had an interesting thing occur in our home recently. We were sitting in our living room watching television one evening when we noticed the lights had started to dim. The lights kept dimming until the light bulbs became a brown color.

It happened so slowly that we didn't realize what was happening at first.

I thought something was going on with my eyes as I strained to see.

Then, we realized that the bright room had become very dim and it felt errie.

We called the Power Company and were told that our area was experiencing a "Brown Out".

Over the course of a few hours, the lights started to get stronger and stronger. The light came back as slowly as it had disappeared. Finally, the room was bright again.

I wondered if this is how Peggy had experienced the slow onset of Alzheimer's disease.

 The lights in her brain began to dim so slowly at first that she wasn't aware that they were dimming until.....

 She was in the dim light of the disease and could no longer see the light of memory without squinting.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful if I could call a power company and have the "Brown Out" in her brain fixed so that eventually all power would be back on in her mind.

Just a thought about Peggy as I experience my daily life.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise



Saturday, January 7, 2006


I have been transferring everything that I have written about Peggy and our journey to DVD.

So far I have used 8 DVD's and I still have more to transfer and save.

I finished the 8th one last night and picked all 8 DVD's and held them in my hand.

It was as if I was holding Peggy in my hands.

All my thoughts, all of my memories of the past years of Watching her disappear were in my hand.

It seemed a scared moment when I laid them down, stacked upon one another.

Our life together...Pictures and words stored on DVD.

I had the feeling that the stack should have been higher, more impressive because Peggy was a special person whose short life was very impressive.

I intend to make the stack higher in the coming year because Peggy deserves that from me.

She deserves a stack of DVD's that reach the ceiling.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Thursday, January 5, 2006


I tried to call Peggy today but got this message......

All circuits are busy

I will try again later today.

It is interesting that with all the phone lines and all the cell towers...all circuits would be busy.

That is what I think Peggy's brain must be like now. All the circuits are busy and I cannot get through to her.

You would think that I would be accustomed to the fact that Peggy has Alzheimer's Disease and she will never be the same again....

But I am not accustomed to that fact because all the circuits in my brain will not let that message get completely through on some days.

We can use our brains to block unwanted information at will.

This afternoon, I will believe that the lines to Peggy are temporarily down and the circuits will be restored.

I can play that game today until reality restores the circuits in my brain and I accept the fact that Peggy brain circuits will never be restored while she is on this earth.

It is interesting how I balance the difficult places in my life. 

Sometimes, it is OK to pretend that everything is all right  because it makes it easier to navigate through the day.

Today, even though all the circuits are busy, all is right in my world because I said a prayer that the circuits will be repaired....

 If only for a moment.


What shall I give to my sister?

Laughter to sustain when sorrow may bring pain.

A bright song of life.

A belief that Winter ends in the glory of Spring.

A prayer of hope for a peace that will forever stay.

( Lea Palmer )

Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

1st Peter  5:7

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Tuesday, January 3, 2006




Love doesn't try to see through others but............

to see others through. (Author unknown)

I Love You Today, Peggy and I promise to see you through 2006. Everyone who loves you will be there for you in every way that we can.

This is a promise for 2006!

Love, Your Husband and your Daughters.

Love, your Sister's and your Brother.

Love, your Niece's and your Nephew's.

Love and prayers from all the people who know you and have gotten to know you through this journal.

I Love you so much Peggy and I will never stop missing you in my life.

I want to thank you for teaching me that I can live my life, be productive and survive without you standing on the sidelines cheering for me.

You taught me so much in 2005 about strength and determination of the spirit.

I look into 2006 and wait for that second when you will say...Hi Mary Louise and know who I am.

If that never happens again, Peggy, I will remember all the times in my life when you did say my name and knew who I was.

We will always be sisters.....Forever friends because I will remember for both of us.

Happy 2006, Peggy!

I Love You Today!

Mary Louise

Monday, January 2, 2006



A friend sent this to me.  I send it to you just as she sent it to me....Libby.

To my sisters, who are always such great cheerleaders. Thank you.

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and
visiting with her Mother.  As they talked about life, about marriage, about
the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother
clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober
glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the
bottom of her glass.  "They'll be more important as you get older.  No
matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the
children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters.

Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.

"Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your
daughters, and all your other women relatives too.

"You'll need other women. Women always do."

'What a funny piece of advice!'  the young woman thought.  'Haven't I just
gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world?   I'm now a married
woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may
start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!'

But she listened to her Mother.  She kept contact with her Sisters and made
more women friends each year.  As the years tumbled
by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her
Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their
changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are
the main stays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've


       Time passes.

       Life happens.

       Distance separates.

       Children grow up.

       Jobs come and go.

       Love waxes and wanes.

       Men don't do what they're supposed to do.

       Hearts break.

       Parents die.

       Colleagues forget favors.

       Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are
between you.  A girl friend is never farther away than needing her
can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have
to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's
rim,  cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your
behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you.
...Or come in and carry you out.
Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters,
sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces,
cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!
The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I.
When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no
idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how
much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

I Love all of My Sisters out there....... who have supported me in my effort to write about .....

Watching My Sister...Disappear.

Thank You each and every one.

Thank You to all of my Brothers out there.... for the kind words and the support that I have felt from you!

Thank you for walking with me on this journey.


Mary Louise