Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy on television last week.

Meredith's mother has been in a nursing home for five years with brain clutter and forgetfulness of Alzheimer's disease. She spent five years not knowing who or where she was and of not recognizing her only daughter.

Five years of not remembering her life or being to communicate with anyone.

No one understands how a person in this condition can suddenly awaken for a period of time and remember.

The awakening can last for seconds, minutes, hours, days or even weeks. It is a rare gift that can happen with Alzheimer's patients.

I watched the people play the roles and was astounded at the waste of precious time played by both characters.

 Old issues resurfaced during the awakening and though many words were spoken, there was nothing of love or care to one other.

I wondered what I would say to Peggy if she were to suddenly awaken after all of these years?

I could imagine the words would flow like water running over a waterfall at tremendous force. There would be so many things that I would want to tell her.

  I would tell her that I have grandchildren now and recite their names and ages.  I would want to tell her about all the things that have happen in my life since she forgot who I was and that we were sisters.

I would talk fast so that I could get everything in before she slipped away again.            I would tell her all of my accomplishments and disappointments. I would talk, talk, talk just like we used to do before she got sick.

 I would ask her........

And then, I stopped my thought process.

If I have a moment, hour or a day to talk to Peggy again, I would probably skip most of the things that I recited above...

I would hug her and tell her over and over how much I had missed her and how much I love her. I would say the things that I didn't say enough when we were together.

I would ask her questions about where she has been and what it felt like to have Alzheimer's disease. I would ask her if she felt afraid or safe.

We never know how much time we have with the people we love and admire.

In the television show, Grey's Anatomy, I watched as Meredith and her mother wasted the short time that they were given, time that may or may not ever come again.

I have always heard that talk is cheap. I would waste time with Peggy by talking and telling her about my life these past years.

We live in the now..........

To be able to talk to someone in the now is a gift and to hug that person is a gift and to have them hug back is a greater gift.

If I ever have the privilege of speaking to Peggy again, I would just look at her and tell her how much I love her. I would tell her how much I have missed her and how proud I have always been of her and I would add.....

It is so nice to have you back again even for a little while.

It is so nice to see your smile.

It is so nice to see recognition in your eyes.

I want to thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for our growing up years as children, young adults and grown women.

Thank you for all that you taught me along the way. Thank you for always believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself.

I would take her hands and look into her eyes and say...........

Peggy, you taught me a lot when we were together but you know taught me the greatest lessons of all....

When you went away!

I Love You Today, Peggy!

Mary Louise