Friday, September 7, 2007


I wrote this letter to Peggy.

I did not intend to share it with anyone. 

I thought that as raw as my feeling were, 

it might be important to someone who has similar feelings.......

while they watch someone they love disappear.



Dear Peggy,

I have felt an angry edge all summer.

I wasn't angry at anyone in particular but felt that I was carrying some angry feelings that I couldn't put my finger on.

Where were they coming from, who was I angry with, why did I feel this way?

I know that you don't know or probably care that I haven't come to see you in a long time.

I didn't even know why I couldn't bring myself to see you, I just knew that I couldn't and didn't want to if I am honest.

I have been searching my mind and trying to figure me out!

Not an easy task for the brightest psychiatrist or renown therapist! 

   You, Peggy Jane could always see right through me and did many times! You could point out things to me before I could see them myself.

I have to admit that it wasn't always a pleasant experience.

You know how much I have always loved you. You were my audience when we were growing up. You were my biggest cheerleader and my friend as we grew into adults. I depended on you and you on me.

So, why can't I come to see you now? Why have I dug my heels in and stood firm?

I have beat myself up over this dilemma, believe me.

I have thought it was because you really wouldn't even know it was me or that I had traveled many miles to be where you live now.

I have thought it was because I hate to fly or drive that far.

I have thought it was because I couldn't stand the thought of seeing you as you are today.

I have thought and thought, analyzed and sorted out reasons.

The truth is Peggy....

I'm scared!

I'm scared that you will not know me and that would break my heart. I have protected my heart all summer and to have it broken in a moment .... I'm not sure my heart is ready for that right now.

I'm scared, Peggy!

You were the most kind and caring person in the world. I couldn't take not seeing those traits in your eyes now.

I know that it is not all about me, it never has been and you know me well enough to know that..if you remembered me and I don't think that you would or could for more than a moment.

Another big thing that I have discovered about me, Peggy is...

I am so angry with you!

I am so angry!!!!!! You know how mad and stubborn I can get in my anger.

I am so...SO Angry with YOU!

How could you do this to me and to everyone who loves and cares about you??

How could you leave like this?

How could you just retreat into yourself like you have? 

How dare you be here in body but not in mind?

 How dare you!!!!!

I know that Mother taught us to be patient and kind to anyone who was ill but Peggy....

She never told us how to handle something like this.... Something like you getting sick and going away but NOT going away at the same time!

I feelso much anger towards you tonight, Peggy!

I just had to write it down.

There is one major thing that I have learned over the years and

it is....................

You only get angry with someone you trust. Someone you trust

and someone who will hear your anger and not go away.

You always heard my anger and never went away, Peggy....

What am I supposed to do with my anger towards you now????

 I have anger towards you, Peggy and you are not here to hear it because you have really....

 Gone away!

I Love You Today, Peggy!  Through the anger and tears.

Mary Louise







chgodiab said...

Mary Louise,
When this first happened to my dad, i was so so angry...He wanted to marry me and have children LOL..Funny but not funny..I was angry at God, medicine, etc so forth. And i realized it was a part of grief; so i cried myself to sleep many nites; and yelled at GOD for making him this ill.
My brothers avoided him, way too hard  for them to handle.
But i thought to myself; who cares who he thinks i am..i am going to be with him just as i would be for any sick person in my self; even if it means he thinks i am going to be his wife LOL.
Just because its dementia of any type; its a brain illness; and if she had cancer, or MS or something else, you would be there for her. As i tell my diabetic pts about exercise ..JUST DO IT, and God will take care of the rest..
My brothers are grieving so hard right now; for not putting aside their anger, and being with him...Peggy is sick, just as sick as a person or sister can be; be there for her

tendernoggle said...

Mary Louise....My mama is going through the same thing, but she is not as far advanced as Peggy...It hurts me so bad to see her and hear her like she is now...SHE IS MY MAMA...always such a strong woman...and now we can not have much of a normal conversation...
   But you know what Mary Louise...I think of all the times she was there for me...all the times she never left my side when I was little and sick...She could have easily walked away, went home when I was in the hospital with rhuematic fever...when I had to be bedridden for nearly a year...when I had asthma so bad that the doctors almost gave up on me...she stayed with me...she was right by my and night...
   And with the last breath of MY body..I will be right by HER side..she will not have to know ME..that is not the most important thing...The most important thing is that I KNOW THAT SHE LOVED ME WITH ALL HER HEART AND WOULD BE THERE FOR ME IF OUR ROLES WERE REVERSED...
   If I live to be a hundred, I will never be able to pay her back.

joan3424 said...


Don't beat yourself up over the anger, its natural... but maybe you might consider going to see her so  you won't be eternally angry at yourself later.  Sometimes, what we imagine is much worse than the actual event.  Wouldn't it be nice to see her smile at you and maybe catch just a glimmer of something?

If you can't do it, that's understandable, too, but maybe if you could get one of your children or something to go with you it wouldn't be so hard on you.  Reverse the roles, you'd want your sister to come and see you, I bet.

You never know how many more chances you will get to see her.  I hope you get the strength to do it.  If not, I hope you don't beat y ourself up.  We are only human.


pharmolo said...

You'll make the right decision, Mary Louise. Fear is sometimes worse than the actual event, the visit. Even if Peggy doesn't recognise you (and that appears to be very likely), you will know that you have made the effort, which should sustain you through months and years to come.

wendy4145 said...

Those feelings seem well DONE to me... (instead of raw)  

It is healthy to feel anger ( one of the acceptance stages)

It wouldn't surprise me if you saw Peggy, and still saw her kindness in her eyes.

I don't think it would be as bad as you dread.  But then, it could be worse...

All I know is...She loves you, from the moment she first and last remebered you.  She never left you... the disease did....  THis earth is not eternal.... but Peggy is.

I noticed that i was sad about a tremendous loss.  Then I realized how thankful for the gift... even though it was a short lived gift....  she is eternally in my heart.

You also have that belssing Mary Louise.

Anger is healthy!!!  I admire your strength and honesty!


amyrangei said...

Wow, my God, this must be the hardest, saddest thing anyone really has to go through!  I pray pray pray my parents never succumb to this, although I feel as if my dad might already be.  His sound wasn't working on his computer the other day and he yelled for my mom "Help!  Someone stole my speakers!"  He wasn't being funny, he meant to say that his sound didn't work.  I'm very very worried.

cmcob2 said...

it is good to vent your anger out with the letters. the love and compassion for our loved ones bings the anger to us in  cycles. i often wondered if the alzheimer progression is a purgatory for us , them, or both.
    vent your anger, and show the love and compassion you will comfort you both.


kirkbyj05 said...

Dear Mary Loise.

I can't help but agree with all the others and their caring thoughtful opinions.
You are going through such raw anger at the moment which is transitional to your accepting that Peggy has truly gone inside herself.  
It's been difficult for you to handle all this because you live so far away.  Your imagination has enlarged all that you have heard or been told. There she sits, not in any pain, but empty of some of the memories of what you had together. Had she lived nearer to you I have no doubt you would have seen her daily if not weekly as she degenerated into her illness. You would then have grown to let go a little bit at a time all the anguish that you are holding inside you. Distance has taken away that intimacy and left you with doubts and fear.  You must go and confront them one day.  She is still your lovely beloved sister. She has just begun her journey 'home' a bit sooner than the rest of us.

Take care of yourself.

kirkbyj05 said...

I'm so sorry I forgot to sign my entry underneath and give you a

Jeanie xxx

salemslot9 said...

tears :(
I have regretted when I wasn't there
too late now
if you can go
would it feel the same
if she was
only 4 miles away?

mslambersfour said...

Mom... I am so proud of you for getting angry... allowing yourself to actually put pen to paper about the anger.  You already know in your heart what to do...  and when and if you are ready... I will fly with you to see her.  Be there for you.  Traveling as silent or as noisy as you want and need me to be.  
Whether for a quick visit... or a week of visits... I am free...I love YOU today Mom!
:::HUG:::  Melissa

magogos said...

Maryn Louise, I can add nothing that hasn't been said already, except that I keep you and Peggy in my heart and know you will do whatever isthe right thing for both of you. Margo

psychfun said...

Peggy is in your memory & heart & that is the most important place. While I am not at all minimizing your sister's disease...some people have also lost their relatives physically...oh to hug my grandma still even if she didn't recognize me. I would still love that. I know that love of a hug would still be felt. I hope you can give her one soon. I know you would feel good from it also. It is in giving that we receive right?! :-)

lacaza3 said...

Mary Louise,
Thank you for sharing I hear you say your angry and sad and scare...It all feels so scarey at times...Your feeling abandon and the tears well we all know about the tears...Peggy is in there...Maybe if you go see her she wont look like she knows you but inside she does...She will never stop loving you no matter what you feel.. and its ok... she would say its ok to cry mary louise it washes the soul
Donna In TEXAS