Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Tribute

My Grandmother had a saying that people are like books. Sometimes you only get to see a brief chapter or a couple of pictures. I think it only appropriate that we view Peggy’s life as a book. There certainly were a lot of “characters” in her life.

I grew up knowing her as “Mrs. McClymonds”. She was my neighbor and the librarian at Carmichael Elementary School where I attended in the 70’s. Always driving her old Rambler and sitting behind the desk in the library.

As I grew older, I used to love going up to her house on the 4th of July, which was one day where she let Bob & Bill run wild with fireworks which for a little kid was just the coolest thing.
She and my Mom were great friends who talked almost every day. They also had their little routines. We have a small celebrity in our neighborhood, “Captain Carrot” who jogs by almost every day. Mom & Peggy knew when he would go by and keep watch and then call the other to get them to the window to watch him go by. They were also the self proclaimed “Wild Turkey Watch” of Carmichael. They would call the other to give them updates on flock movements.

After my Mom passed away, she became like a second Mom to me. She never forgot a birthday or an anniversary. I have since come to learn that she had elaborate filing and organizational systems that helped her keep track of these things. She helped me with my knitting questions and was so excited when I knit my first pair of socks.

I learned more about the earlier chapters in her life as I grew older and she moved from being "Mrs. McClymonds" to "Peggy". I learned of her losing a brother in the Normandy invasion . I learned of her having another brother who was a Brigadier General in the Marine Corp. I learned of her youth on ranches in Nevada and I learned of how she met her husband who was just coming to the ranch to buy a pig and ended up with a wife.

The last few months I have also learned about her strength of character. Eleanor Roosevelt said “A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water” . I saw that strength as she battled her failing body these past few months. She never lost her sense of humor or her beautiful spirit.

While this chapter is over, there is an epilogue. She has left her legacy in those she leaves behind. Her family is as close as ever and have definitely inherited her strength and her outlook. They are writing their own life books now, but they have a wonderful reference book to refer to.


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