Saturday, November 28, 2009

Peggy and Peggy

Peggy Lu came for Thanksgiving!  She got in late on Monday night and so she called me early Tuesday morning and said she was going to walk up to Nana's.  (They stayed at Sportsmen's Lodge)
It was early.... I knew she would be sad if she saw Nana still in bed, or in a wet bed, or on the couch, or maybe even pleasantly asleep in her pajamas.... because it's really hard to wake her up and get her going.  So, she came to my house first and we drank coffee and ate delicous zucchini or pumpkin bread that Allen is always up late baking.  It was so nice to see her... Peggy Lu came to Chicago to help with the big move to California, and this was the first time seeing her in 3 months and in her new environment.  Then we went over there, together, and she met Sir Henry and some of the staff, and they all could tell who she was because of her resemblance to my Mom.  We got to her room.... and there was Peggy, taking a nice shower, being helped by Lisa.  I showed her around a little, and she really liked the room and we were standing there and my Mom came out all dressed and fresh and said "Hi Peggy Lu."  We cried and were so happy and my Mom acted as if nothing was unusual or different and that Peggy Lu is always there in her life.... which she always has been and which she still is.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My birthday

I was adopted as a baby by my Mom and Dad and two older brothers.   This is how I remember my Mom telling me.  My birthday usually falls on Thanksgiving...
"I put the turkey in the oven and when the bell rang, I opened it up and you were there instead!

I LOVED this story, I still do.  This is a painting about that.  David and Paul are the two turkey hands hanging on the 70's avocado green stove.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It is a good day.

  Today Gidgey and I went over there and she was still asleep, it was noon.  Sandy had been trying to get her up all day and Peggy kept putting her off.  Gidgey's little smile, some coaxing, show tunes and juice finally got her to the edge of the bed.  We just slowly entered her world.  Sandy is so good and calm with her and never in a hurry so she was able to clean her up and dress her while I talked. She brushed her own teeth, and of course red lipstick.  So... she was up.  What now?  Should I take her out?  For a drive?  Sometimes it feels like so much to do all that, especially with Gidget too.  So, we just sat in the dining room, we had missed lunch but the staff fed us anyway, chicken soup and tuna sandwiches, just like home.  Gidgey had ice cream and watching a little girl eat ice cream, is delicious on it's own, and much less fattening.  Then I asked her if she wanted to sit on the porch.  She said "not right now."  She ALWAYS says that.  So, I rephrased it.  "Let's go sit on the porch"  and she said.... "okay"

So, we sat on the porch, drank tea and I finally got a chance to write to some of her friends back in Wheaton to tell them how she is doing.  (I haven't since she moved in August)  She had many nice friends back there, old one's and new ones and they were all very kind and sad to see her leave.  Mary Garvin, a life long friend made time out of her gazillions of kids and grandkids to see her off and gave her some beautiful stationary from the Morton Arboretum.  (see picture of us) So I got those out, asked her to write something and I said here Mom, write something to your friend.  "Well what do you want me to write?" I said "whatever you want".  And then she handed the card back to me.  This is what she wrote.

It is a good day.  Yep, that's right Mom, today is a good day.  I love you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Dinner

Look at Peggy in the back visiting with Joan, her niece.  All the family is here and she is very comfortable, it was a really special evening having everyone around, for me and for her.   We got take-out sushi (her favorite) and everyone was just happy to be together, including Peggy.

In the front is Eric and Sunny and Lisa and Matteo.  Allen and Bill are in the kitchen and Peggy and Joan are at the table.  Gidgey was SLEEPING!  Thanks for visiting everyone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day Howard Hevern

Howard Is my Mom's older brother, this is a picture of him when he got married to Marilyn, my Mom and her sister's best friend.  He made an impressive career for himself in the Air Force.
  Howard has Alzheimer's too.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This is how my day started out

Although Gidgey had a sudden cough come on in the night, she seemed alright in the morning... Allen took Sunny to school, and me and Gidge stayed home from school.  We played on the computer, painted and then I thought, I'll return a library book and pick up Nana's glasses in Encino. Then she'll fall asleep on the way home.....
Well, she coughed so hard on the way home she threw up all over the car.  Gidgey doesn't like to throw up, so she puts her hands up to her face and waves it all around in hysteric's so that it gets EVERYWHERE!

Okay, poor baby...take off her clothes outside, give her a bath, wash the clothes, Allen came home for lunch, so I was able to go outside and hose out the carseat before it caked on.  The day just went on and on  like that and into the night and this morning... I feel crabby... it's not easy being a "caregiver".
But, I can cross one thing off my list.  I picked up the glasses.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ABC's are hard to forget.

I learned something today, after yesterday. I learned that it doesn't have to take all make Peggy smile.

Gidgey and I stopped by after pre-school and had lunch with her at Sunrise.  It was easy, it was fun, and made me smile too.
Especially when the whole dining room sang their ABC's.

We were there for half an hour and Gidgey fell asleep on the way home.

Okay, ladies...think twice about those Jimmy Choo's

These are her shoe options?  YIkeS!!!  Peggy has a painful bunion and it is very hard to find her shoes that don't hurt her.  I found this site, it's called buck and buck, through a forum on, it's a really great idea, and I think I will order some things, but fashion wise... not so pretty.
View all the fashionable styles here

If anyone out there is an entrepreneur.... think about it.  Women love pretty shoes, no matter how old they are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Optometrist

Sunny helped me take Peggy to the optometrist today after school.  It only took 4hours.... just getting in and out of the car and up and down elevators and pushing and pulling doors is a small trial in patience.  But we did it, and we did great.  Sunny was a superstar, she did her homework in the waiting room, and was very fun to be with.   And, oh don't you think we look good in PRADA??!!

All silliness aside, Sunny was very helpful today.  We were going to stop by Nana's yesterday, but she didn't want to go... she wouldn't tell me why, so we didn't go.  Today she told me that Nana was really slow and it kinda drove her crazy.  I told her the truth... it kinda drives me crazy too.  AND, it's okay to not want to do something sometimes, but we still do it.  I told her, I don't always feel like doing things for Nana.  But, we do it anyway, because we know it's the right thing to do, and we love our family.  Honestly though, it can be a chore.  It's so hard to get her going, or even walking, but once we get going we are good, and she starts to brighten up and she says things like "I like it here".  Up on the 3rd floor trying to rally the troops...
 it's like pre-school in SLOW motion.  Can you imagine? So anyway, our lesson today, patience.

And then later tonight, when I get home from being exhausted from a long day, (thankfully, Allen made dinner like he always does) I sit on the floor with Gidgey and I'm putting on her pajamas and she has the sweetest little body and soft hair and she says to me "I need you."  And I think about my Mom and how I was once only 2 sitting on her lap and "I needed her".... and I, I don't know, it seems natural, it's okay, it's life, more clearly with new glasses.

$1,480 and still counting!!

Thank you so much everyone for donating.  I am really touched by so much support, at the same time saddened by so many stories of friends whose lives have been touched by this disease.  The money will go directly to research and care.  Thank you, again.

If you still want to donate click here, it's very easy over the internet, or you can simple send me a check and I will send you a receipt.  Whatever works for you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Memory walk photos

click here to see photos from the memory walk

Walkin' in LA for Alzheimer's research and funding

Donate to the Alzheimer's Association


I remember when we first started wondering ifPeggy had symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.... it was a scary time.  We weren't sure of ourselves.  We noticed she repeated herself a lot... but wasn't that just getting older?  When she didn't come to see Sunny when she was born, I knew.  These are some tiny litle watercolors I did describing my feelings.