This morning at about 11 am, my dear friend Peggy died. Her youngest daughter, Margaret, was by her side. But then, Margaret has always been by her side. It has been almost two years since Peggy suffered her first stroke. A vibrant ball of fire suddenly lost her total independence. She suffered many other strokes after the first and even sustained a heart attack. Because of her limitations she was never able to return home…..or drive…..or anything her previously active life allowed. Peggy and I shared many years of friendship. Ours was based on trust and genuine love for one another. Together we "played" on our journey of life. She could make anyone laugh, and her heart was so generous and kind. She delighted in wearing silly head bands on Valentine's day or St Patrick's day….or any other occasion she could find something kooky to wear. She exuded Joy.
Peggy's husband, the love of her life ,Jack, died decades ago. He was a young man and she was left with 5 children. She couldn't fall apart; she had to keep going because of the children. She did the best she could.
But the years were not easy ones. As in most families there are always situations which occur with a child that require patience and understanding and unconditional love. She had her share of that. But still, she always landed on her feet, remaining positive.
I will never understand why my friend had to die the way she did. It made no sense that she had to suffer. The lack of independence made her angry, furious, actually, that normal was no longer what it had been. In her wellness she was not an angry woman, but her limitations were more than she could accept. So, she fought and fought and fought. It took so much energy but she never gave up…..until today, that is….today, when she finally let go and entered the kingdom.
As much as death in situations like this can be/is a relief for loved ones, it is also so difficult. That, my friends, is the price we pay for loving deeply. Still I would rather be as I am in the depths of my love than one who cannot allow themselves to FEEL.
The last time I saw Peggy was just a few days ago. It was a good visit, as much as it could be. A friend from Arizona was there also, so we were able to surround her with love. On that day I saw a glimpse of what was the essence of Peggy. While it only lasted a few minutes, it was something I will remember always.
I love you, dear friend, and will
Rusty married her high school sweetheart, Jim. They have four children and seven adorable