Happy Birthday, Peggy
You left us in 1982. But even though a loved one dies, you don’t stop thinking about them.
In fact, you think about them even more.
No, this is a letter about what I admire about you.
Peggy, when you made up your mind about something, that was it. You decided you would visit Uncle Bob in California. So you started weighing food so you could lose weight and buy a new swimsuit. And you did that faithfully meeting your goal.
You wanted to sell real estate so you studied hard to do it. You wanted to learn tennis, so you took lessons. You met the goals you made.
I remember one art project you had. You created a 5 1/2 foot paper mache figure. You looked so silly carrying that huge Santa Claus down the street. And then you had one of us take a picture of him by the tree. All because you thought it might help our little brother Steve believe in Santa Claus a little longer.
You enjoyed life
You’d work hard and then enjoy yourself afterwards. You knew how to enjoy yourself. It’s something I never really learned how to do, but I’d like to.
In every picture I have of you, your smile reflects the fun you had. Whether it was a birthday party or a holiday get-together. You were always present.
And it was the same if it was just you and me. Whether we were pigging out on those devil’s food cookies that were white on the outside, or a half-gallon of ice cream.
You liked Heath bars and English Toffee ice cream. You loved doing cartwheels all over the place.
And I remember one early game that we played when you were only two.
It was many years ago, in 1956,
we lived on Jackson Boulevard,
our family had just six.
We had no television yet,
and so, each single day,
we thought up ways to pass our time,
and made up games to play.
Gus was six and I was four,
and Peggy two or three,
and yet, I still remember
what we played so vividly.
Underneath a blanket,
Gus and I would hide
as we yelled out, “Poon-dee-kee!”
and giggled side by side.
We heard the sound of running feet,
our hearts beat rapidly,
as Peggy flew into the room
to land on Gus and me.
And all of us would laugh so hard,
we laughed until we cried,
and then we covered up again
as Peggy ran outside.
When I think back on happy times
inside our little house,
I love to think of Peggy
when she was a little mouse.
Memories are forever
It’s true, our sharing got cut short. Death does that. But it just makes the memories even more precious.
Memories like the birthday party you threw me when I turned sixteen. Or how about the surprise anniversary party we threw for mom and dad?
There were all those times we played house in the basement with George. Remember our little cardboard kitchen set we got one Christmas?
We loved making mud pies in the backyard when we lived with Yia Yia and Papou on Jackson Boulevard.
Or being ballerinas and letting dad lift us up. You and I would stuff our dresses into our underpants to make ballerina tutus. We thought we looked fantastic!
There was a bike ride you and I went on and when a car beeped, I panicked and fell off my bike into the street.
You rode back and said, “When I heard the beep, I knew it was at you.”
We’d play with our dolls for hours, or play Easy Money, or Parcheesi. We’d color, or swing on our swing set in the backyard, singing at the tops of our voices.
You see, I do have a bunch of memories, Peg.
And no matter how many years go by, one thing will never change.
I love you, Peg. I always have and I always will.
We’ll celebrate when we’re together again, but for now, Happy Birthday Peggy. I’m so glad you were born.
In honor of Peggy’s birthday I am offering the Kindle version of Broken for $.99 on April 17th, $1.99 April 18th, and $2.99 April 19th. Click here to order on Amazon.
You can watch the trailer here.
If you know someone who has either struggled with domestic violence, or is struggling now, or if you know someone who wants to understand it better, then let them know about this. Domestic violence can happen to anyone.
About Anne Peterson
I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I'm not writing, I'm telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.