This is what Peggy wanted—all of us here to celebrate her life with this wonderful music—We are gathered here today to celebrate Peggy’s life. She touched everyone here by her humor, her passion, and her example.
Peggy was a gentle woman with great strength of character who believed strongly in peace and the importance of respect for our environment and every living creature in our world.
And, as she always honored the value of life around her, so did FOUR generations of women who gathered around her bedside as she took her final breaths and passed into the world of beauty and peace she believed was waiting for her. We were honored to be there together and share in that moment of passing. She was peaceful and not alone when she left us.
Peggy had been with Writer’s Relief since its inception in 1994. An integral part of our staff, Peggy was a wonderful proofer and researcher here at Writer’s Relief. Every morning Peggy would walk in the door, drop her keys on the desk, put down her bag, and walk to the back to say Good Morning to her best friend, Hermine, and everyone else. Throughout the day, her head would pop up with questions and commentary about whatever was happening with our clients and their work. Peg had a keen sense of humor that was not lost on anyone in the office. If any of us had a problem figuring out shortcut keys on the computer or struggled to fix margins or tabs, Peg could bail us out quickly. When we think of her, we can still hear her laugh. We know Peg would never have expected all the emails from Writer’s Relief clients—hundreds of them that poured in the days after she died. Peggy was a dear friend to us all, and we will miss her terribly every day.
Peg was not shy about expressing her opinions to us, passionate as they were, about many subjects, including politicians who did not support animal rights, human rights, or the environment. We will miss her tart wisdom, sense of humor, and common sense approach to life.
She was a proactive member of her church community, working behind the scenes tirelessly to bring the beauty of the world to those in the church and those outside. She spent hours and hours planning and orchestrating concerts, cultural presentations, working with the children of the church, and reaching out to anyone who would come and listen.
Peg provided for better education for future members in planning and encouraging a change in the educational program at church. She worked to bring “Generation of Faith” to the church, bringing more spirituality and sense of family to all. She was instrumental in the development of the Women’s Circle, doing good things for others, uniting women of all generations together to work and play and grow spiritually. And, we all got to enjoy the wonderful cookies these women created for the holidays.
Every event at her church was meticulously planned, each word and piece of music selected to set the appropriate tone for the event. For years, Peg was unseen in the choir loft providing celestial sounds. She knew every person who came through the church doors—but only from the back of their heads! When the pastor arrived, Peg descended from her hidden loft to the front of the church to lead the congregation and she learned the names and faces attached to the backs of those heads.
Peg had a wonderful sense of humor, whether popping on a Halloween mask when you’d least expect it or working “Happy Birthday” into the middle of a hymn to see if anyone would notice.
She sparked more interest in the church environment spending hours and hours with Hermine to decorate the church entrance, make it more welcoming, changing its focus along with the changes of the seasons.
Outside, Peg developed the Children’s Garden to instill a sense of God’s beauty in the children, to give them a love of nature and appreciation for God’s creation. In fact, the birdhouse in the back was built by Peg’s father, and every time she passed it, she remembered his love for their church, too.
Peggy’s heart was always open to anyone in need—human or four-footed—or even eight-legged or finned. She actively rescued many animals, kept some to gain their trust, and found good homes for them. Just a few weeks ago, she acted as liaison to bring together yet another rescued animal—a black lab puppy named “Shadow”—to her co-worker Joi’s wonderful family.
Peggy loved music of all kinds. She was not only an accomplished musician, but a composer and poet as well. Some of you may not know that for years Peg was the accompanist of a large community choir where she played in Europe, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. She never wanted to be the center of attention, but wanted the message of our beautiful world to shine through humankind’s destruction of our environment. She worked tirelessly to educate all about the importance of justice, animal rights, preservation of our environment, and peace in the world.
She was a poet, and I’d like to share a poem, perhaps prophetic, that she wrote some time ago about the Snow Geese.
I watch sunrise today and know
the clear blueness of sky
that foretells winter’s coming.
As I glance upward into the vast forever
I see the white flowing string I’ve awaited.
So high they fly so silent to the ear
only imagination hears their calling
urging forward to destination.
And I am filled with both longing and hope
at a time when I have been hopeless
with fear and anger at a world gone mad.
I embrace remembrance of earth’s calling
and go forward.
Peg—everyone here wishes you would have stayed longer. We knew you in different ways:
We remember your anger and wrath when they murdered the geese in Little Ferry—those were the geese you watched and loved every day.
We admired how you spent years looking after your sick mother, and wondered how you were able to sustain your commitment to family in face of such a long-term illness.
We remember your pain when you heard the Polar bears were drowning because of global warming.
We will remember you as a great hugger! Kissing wasn’t your thing, but we could depend on your strong hugs and the strong feeling of support they gave us.
You were great at coming up with great names for things as evidenced by your bread baking business being called Knead The Dough Bakers!
And, who knew you could smack or throw a baseball across the entire field??
We saw your disappointment in the justice system when it proved it had no justice at all.
We remember your impatience at red lights and that you were never, EVER impatient when a friend asked you for help.
You held people and our leaders accountable for their actions. Politicians across our country will see a drastic reduction in their mail deliveries.
We’ll laugh when we think that you never wrapped another Christmas present once gift bags were invented.
We don’t know anyone with as varied a taste in music or the ability to play instruments such as a pipe organ, a drum set, and a dijeridoo.
Cruelty to the animals and the lack of respect for the “Earth Mother” was more than you could bear.
We marveled at the amount of details you could recall on many subjects. Nobody was better at playing “Name That Tune.” We’ll miss you knowing every word of The Honeymooners episodes or what the pope’s hat is called. You underestimated your own intelligence but we all knew how smart you were.
We witnessed your joy and wonder at the Hawaiian Islands, and the Grand Canyon, and are thankful that you achieved your dream of cruising the beautiful waters and witnessing the majesty of Alaska with your best friend in celebration of your 60th birthday.
We loved it when you surprised us with flowers.
Although your path was not always easy, we watched you search and grow comfortable in your personal spirituality. We know you saw God in every rosebud and in the eyes of all your precious animals.
We’ll try to see the humor you would have seen in everyday things like laughing at all of the crazy names in the International Food Aisle or making fun of someone at work wanting us to “lower her colons.”
We are grateful for the time you spent with us doing great and small things. We will remember that you drove five hours EACH WAY to have LUNCH with a lonely kid who had moved far away from home.
QVC will miss you ordering the latest gadget.
We’ll never eat another mozzarella stick or visit Veggie Heaven without thinking of you.
This world was not the place for you any longer—you were much too sensitive, loyal, trusting, kind, honest, and caring.
We heard your music at everyone else’s funeral and never expected to be participating in yours so soon. We sit here in our sorrow and grief and celebrate in your freedom to soar with “Jonathan” to your new home where peace, love, and respect are waiting for you.
Let your “spirit” visit often.——in church,——in the garden,——at the River——and in our dreams—
Peggy—your music play on—
I didn’t know her when I began reading the eulogy, and now I do!
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.