Day 4, 2013

The only problem with getting paid to write for a living is that editors actually expect you to produce written materials on deadline if they are indeed going to pay you. But, interviews go bad, sources ignore you and procrastination kicks in complicating what should be an easy task.

And then there are other pieces that just write themselves. Those circumstances so inspiring that they are inherently worthy of sharing immediately causing words to fly around in my brain connecting to each other spontaneously and effortlessly.

 Such was the case yesterday.

 I grabbed my phone on the way out the door to drive Mac’s carpool to Gonzaga. The entire screen was filled with lengthy texts that I had missed while my phone was on silent. It was 7:15am, so my antenna was up the minute I saw that level of activity so early.

 I stood on the deck and read the first two lines of the initial text of the strand and instinctively looked down the block along the rooftops of my neighbors until I could make out the deck and eaves of the last house belonging to Peg and Ed.

 Years ago, Peg would stand at the rail of her deck and beckon me to come down and sit a spell. We could watch the boys, so little then, from her deck as easily as mine and really there was nothing she loved more than watching the kids.

 The ensuing years, a decade in total, have dimmed my view of their house. Trees have sprouted as have my kids and their schedules. The resulting obstacles left me waving at Peg and Ed from my car with promises to sit a spell sometime soon.

 Now, Peg has been taken from us as has the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful woman who was a gift to all she met.

 In 2001 when I first met them, I wondered why an older couple with grown children would make our neo-traditional neighborhood their retirement home. Their house, with a wide front porch, sat at a four-way stop that was utilized by nearly everyone entering or leaving the community. Children romped on the green space catty corner to that porch and it was akin to living in a fish bowl.

 After one conversation, I knew. This vibrancy was exactly what they wanted. Peg, a nurturer by nature, adored the kids and the passers-by. She always had treats for the kids and dogs who came by as well as a smile and a genuine interest in their lives.

 A source of endless fascination to my kids in those early years was the skeet ball machine they had in their basement. Mac would have played that game for hours and Peg would have let him, just to watch the glee on his face when he got a high score.

 Peg’s generosity extended beyond the neighborhood as she was a tireless volunteer for organizations like the St. Martin’s Pantry, a local soup kitchen. She also was involved in social activities and had the busiest schedule of any retired person I have ever encountered. She was involved in many organizations in the Frederick area and clocked many a mile up and down Rt. 270 to enjoy them.

 As a third grandmother to my children, she often asked to come to sporting and religious events to show support and would leave clippings in my mailbox any time there was a photo or article in the local paper featuring the kids. She also regaled us all with stories about her beloved children and grandchildren, a great source of pride for both she and Ed.

 For years I remembered her birthday and would leave her a little note always trying to find a card with angels on it because she loved them so. And we loved her.

 It broke our hearts when her health began to fail and her presence on the porch was a rarity. Chats over the fence with Ed in his award-winning garden, revealed visits to the hospital and doctors more than trips to Frederick.

 The flowers and trees of that garden bloomed so beautiful each spring, yet the fairest rose was losing her resiliency as the seasons passed. Fortunately, everyone in our family, excepting Reed, had stopped and visited with Peg in the last month on the way to the pool or walking the dog.

 We didn’t know it was goodbye but there is some comfort in the contact and the smile that never dimmed. And now Peg will be a light to us forever.

 August 15th marks the Feast of the Assumption for Catholics. A day to celebrate the Blessed Mother’s Ascension into Heaven amongst the angels and saints. I believe it is fitting that Peg was taken on the eve of this solemn day, escorted into eternal life by the angels she so adored.

 The porch looks empty now as I walk by but the sadness gives way to joy as I think of how full our lives are to have known her and how fortunate we are to have her watch us from her perch above.

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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