Monday, May 29, 2006


This is Memorial Day.

A day to remember all those who are lost to us.

I am remembering Peggy.

I am remembering when this journey with her began years ago.

It began with frantic calls to say she had passed out, fell and hit her head.

It began with forgetting how to count money and calling to tell me how embarrassed she was.

It began with getting lost while driving her car and calling so that I could give her directions.

It began with losing jewelry and other treasured items and calling to ask about places to look for them.

It continued with calls to ask where the milk was kept when she was ready to eat cereal in the morning.

There are so many calls from her that I recall as she was sliding deeper into Alzheimer's disease.

Now, there are no calls from Peggy.

Now, she does not have the ability to ask questions.

Those calls were disturbing to me back then but.......

I remember and wish that my phone would ring today and Peggy would have a question for me.

A question that I could answer on this day of remembering.

But there are no calls from Peggy today or ever again and so....

I think of her and remember.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Our family went to a family reunion this weekend. It was for my husbands side of the family. Our children and grand children also made the trip.

It was good to see those we haven't seen for years and introduce them to our grown up children and grand children. After the lunch, we all went to the old grave yard where members of the family were buried.

We walked among the old grave stones and the older family members shared stories of those who were buried there.

Some of the grave stones were so old and worn that you could not read the inscriptions. No one remembered who they were or when they had lived.

Everyone could only share stories of those they remembered during their life time. The ones buried there who had touched their lives while they lived.

I walked among the grave stones and tried to read the names carved on the stones. One stone only said baby girl. I wondered why she was never given a name. Even if she was born dead or only lived a brief time, she deserved a name. I named the baby girl, Grace.

Who were the people whose stones had weathered and time had erased their names? What had  their lives meant to those who knew them? Had they been happy and had their lives touched someone for the better?

There were so many grave stones with names that no one in the family remembered.The memories of who they were and when they lived were buried with them.

It was as if...they were born, they lived their lives, they died and no one remembered the good or bad of who they were.

My mission in writing about Peggy is to educate about Alzheimer's disease and how it feels to watch someone you love disappear. To make sure that as many people as possible will get to know Peggy through my words.

My mission is that Peggy will be remembered for who she was and how she touched my life. I do not want her to be forgotten like so many of the people in the family grave yard.

Peggy will never be just a name on a grave stone because when you can teach people by living your life........

You will never be forgotten.

As long as I can remember Peggy....

She will continue to teach and I will continue to write the  lessons she is teaching me as I Watch her...Disappear.

I Love You Today, Peggy!

I will remember you always.

Mary Louise


Thursday, May 18, 2006


You would think that after all these years, I would  be accustomed to Peggy being absent from my daily life.

You would think that.

I think that I should think that.


Someone forgot to tell my heart!

Lisa Lorden wrote:

My sister is like no one else.

She's my most treasured friend, filling up the empty spaces, Healing the broken places.

She is my rock, my inspiration, though impossible to define.

In a word, she is...My Sister.

I Love You Today, Peggy and I will continue to miss you every day of my life!

Mary Louise

Sunday, May 14, 2006


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!              To all of the Mothers of human children and to all the Mothers of Animal children.                                            FROM PEGGY AND MARY LOUISE               

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Peggy cannot talk to me on the phone any longer. I am losing the privilege of hearing her voice.  With that lost priviledge, I can no longer pretend on some level in my brain.

My layers of grief protection are being pealed away, one layer at a time.

Each time a layer of protection is removed, I have to re-adjust my thinking, my feelings and the grief of watching her disappear.

The disease gets more real to me every day as it cuts off any avenue that I had been using to reach my sister.

As Peggy slides farther and farther away and the realness of watching her disappear comes closer and closer at an alarming speed.

Alzheimer's disease is like watching a train fly down the tracks at increasing speeds, out of control and the horror that I feel is that........

There is no way that I can help or stop the Alzheimer's train from taking Peggy with it as it flies down the tracks.

All I can do is stand by the tracks and watch the speeding train pass.

As the Alzheimer's train roars past me.....

 I see Peggy in the window of the speeding train and I can only watch .....

As she disappears down the tracks.

I Love You Today Peggy!

And I grieve that I cannot stop the train that is taking you away!

Mary Louise




Tuesday, May 2, 2006


Have you ever forgotten a special event, a persons birthday or an anniversary of someone close to you?

The event or special day passes and it never registers until days or weeks later.

All at once, you realize that you have forgotten to recognize someone close to you.

Do you remember what that felt like when you remembered?

Feelings of regret, shame and the apologies that always follow the forgotten date.

Then, dealing with ones own self abuse over the forgotten date.

How could I have forgotten such a special date? What is wrong with me? How can I make it up to the person who was hurt but my forgetting?

When a person has Alzheimer's disease...There is no regret, no shame, no apologies for forgotten important dates to family and friends.

There is only an erased mind who feels the moment.

One cannot feel regret about special days when they have vanished. When they no longer live in the memories that are stored in the brain.

I was the one who felt sad when Peggy forgot my birthday, not Peggy.

There is something good about an erased memory....

There are no regrets in forgetting.

Silences are real conversations between sisters.

Not needing to talk but already knowing what the heart of the other wishes it could say. 

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise