Friday, January 11, 2013


 

Welcome to Blue Antiquities Memories and Thanks Blog Hop hosted by Lori Anderson! Thank You Lori! To visit and see the other participants, click on the blog button on the sidebar of this post.
My piece is ready.
I want to dedicate my post to Marie-Noel, an amazing lady,
and my post is in honor of Peggy Guenther. Originally I had a necklace in mind. But, when making some cuffs for my craft show, I gave a try at a stamp of the following saying by Emerson.  When the cuff turned out fairly well, and I was cleaning it, Peggy came to mind, and so here it is... I hope you like it. I've had a time with it. The patina, the sari-ribbon, the colors, but, in the end, I am pleased with the result.
 
 

"To laugh often and to  love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and earn the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived-this is to have succeeded."


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
"Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and Soul."

We were sister in laws Peggy and I. 
We married brothers, she the oldest, and I, the second youngest.
We were born on the same day, January 26, eleven years apart. 
We became sister in laws in 1990, but close friends many years later. 
She would have turned 60 this month. 

Our connection began when I had moved to Atlanta from our home town
of St. Louis and her son began studies at Emory University. 

Peggy's son graduation day-Emory

During this time, I became pregnant with my son. 
This was another connection as we both had our 3rd babies later in life,
 spread apart from the other two.  I call these babies, the cabooses.

So, our friendship took off from there. It was an easy friendship,
you know the kind, where you just feel comfortable talking and being your self
around the other person.
You understand each other.  There is no awkwardness or expectation.  

That was our friendship.  We didn't live in the same city,
so most of the time we talked on the phone, and we would see each other 
when we came home for vacation.  

One special trip was for her daughter's wedding.
I never saw her happier and I enjoyed talking and hearing all about the plans they
 had made leading up to the special day.
It was so nice to be there and see her so happy.

 
Mike and Peggy- Oct 2004- Happy Day
 
 
Amy's Wedding Day- Even Baby Andrew had on a tie!

After that trip she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With treatment and surgery
 she was cleared to return to work.  Months later, I received a call, the cancer had returned, and Peggy had months to live.  I was in shock of course.  While dealing with cancer, we remained close.  We were able to continue talking on the phone.  She would always turn the conversation to me or something else, because that was Peggy.  It was who she was. 

 She did keep me in the know of her treatments, and she fought hard. 
As difficult as it was later, we were able to talk on the phone for a long time. There were times I hesitated to call, and many people told me not to. But I am glad I did anyway, because she always took my call, and it was the same as it always was.  I think she comforted me more than I comforted her.

If she were alive today, I am certain she would be shy about her life and what it meant to others. In the words of Emerson, Peggy succeeded. These words by Emerson embody what Peggy did in her life. She was loving, kind, and soft spoken.  I remember her voice very well. It was soothing and sweet.

In her job as a nurse, she earned the respect of her co-workers,
who would find her when they had trouble inserting IVs. 
Peggy would come and say a prayer while inserting the needle, with success,
usually on her first try.

Peggy was a family person.  Her family meant the world to her.
She made sure that I felt like a welcomed part of the family, and in conversations,
she  always had a way to make me
feel important in my role as a Mom and in- law, in a large family.  
This was Peggy's gift, she made everyone feel important and special.

All of her nieces and nephews would tell you how much they
loved their Aunt Peggy growing up. I am certain they would have a story
of something special she said or did for them. 

Peggy had a wonderful sense of humor, quick witted and definitely fun!
It was one that I would love to have.
 
As the years go by, I am comforted by something she told me,
 she said, " Laura, I am at peace with this."
  This was in person so I could read her face and know that it was true.
This disclosure helped me so much at the time,
and it continues to help me as the years go by.

Peggy sent me a hand written card on our birthday,
her last here on earth.  She wrote in beautiful cursive writing, 
" Laura, I wish you the happiest of birthdays!"  
I know she is with me, in spirit, especially on our birthday.
As the first birthdays came to pass I was melancholy, missing her, but now,
 I want to honor her message and be happy.
And I cherish that we shared a special day.

  I know that many lives have breathed easier
because Peggy was here.
It's impossible to know all the good deeds
she did and how they affected peoples lives.
You know, the whole pay it forward concept.

Just as it's impossible to know how Emerson's past words
would affect future souls,
perhaps be etched in metal and worn as adornment to honor a special someone.

Just as it is impossible to know how many lives Lori touches
with her Bead Soup Blog Parties.  Or to know how far and wide Lori's message of a special person
of someone she never met, touched her life, and in turn, caused others to remember and honor, a life.
A life remembered.  A life, succeeded.

 From her work as a nurse, to her love of family,
Peggy succeeded in life.
She had a huge heart, and now huge wings.
She is at peace. 
"Peggy, we miss you so."

 
Peggy and I
Party for Eric- our house for graduation

 
 One of Peggy's favorite things- flowers!
I found this vintage angel with wings in my bead drawer and
decided it had to be added to the bracelet somehow.

 
 You cant see them all pictured here but,
I included 26 brass seed beads on the dangle grouping to represent
 our birthday, January 26th. I also added a garnet colored pearl to represent our
birthstone.  I used green sari-silk at the back of the cuff.
 Peggy's daughters both mentioned that
green was one of Peggy's favorite colors.  I know she liked pearls. 

 The cuff is really comfortable to wear even with the
added beads and dangles.

Only a portion of the poem was able to fit on the cuff,
but I think it really worked out well. 

 

I copied the card wording onto heavy weight card stock, added some chalk and
Copic marker to the edges. I attached it to the metal with Gel medium on the back and front.
I ran out of time, so I didn't research this. I hope it stays
on! Anyone have any tips, please let me know.


Thank You for visiting Blue Antiquities!
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Off to see the other goodies!




14 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am touched and inspired by Peggy's story. It is so beautiful that you remembered her kindness and her strength. The cuff is indeed a beautiful piece of jewelry and it is so meaningful that you made her birthday greeting part of it.

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  2. That is a beautiful story about a beautiful person. I think you really honoured her with this post <3
    Thanks for dedicating to me. I am really touched <3
    Hugs my sweet friend
    Marie

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  3. Love your tribute and creation! Enjoyed reading your post! Happy New Year Laura!

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  4. This is a beautiful tribute and your words are to be treasured by your families. We don't always get lucky enough to have family like that. I have a mother in law in her last days of breast cancer. We could get the call at any time. She is in Tennessee and we are in CA so it is difficult. My sweet friend Marie, who has been so brave to share her journey. Always in my prayers. Thanks for sharing. P.s. my grandaughters birthday is Jan. 26. She is a beautiful gift from God. Seems a special day for both of us. Cherrie

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  5. This is a beautiful tribute. Your words are a memory for both of your families. Not every one is lucky to have such a relationship. My MIL is in her last days with breast cancer, and other illness. She is in Tennessee and we are in CA so it is that much harder. My sweet Marie, who has bravely shared her journey. Thanks for sharing, your bracelet is beautiful. Cherrie, ps, my amazing granddaughter has her birthday on Jan 26. A special birthday for both of us. Happy birthday!!

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  7. Laura, this has to be the most heartwarming post I have read in a very long time. I am glad to come to know your special sister-in-law by reading your post - she sounds like she was a truly special SIL, Aunt, Wife, Mother, Nurse and so many other important roles. Isn't that something how much you two had in common! She will always live on in your heart and in those whose lives she touched. Your bracelet is such a beautiful tribute to your special friend and SIL -its incredible how you added all of the special touches from her handwritten words to the poem by Emerson. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

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  8. Thank you all for your wonderful comments! I appreciate your thoughts, more than you know! Laura

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  9. Very touching....and a beautiful piece of jewelry too. Rich with meaning and memories. What a wonderful way to pay tribute to Peggy and all that she was and did.
    Enjoy the hop
    Hugs
    Terri G.

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  10. This is amazing...I grew up in the neighborhood...Mr. & Mrs. Gunther were my sargate parents. I can tell all your pieces you put much thought and love into each and every one. I'm a big fan! I would like to create something for my sister, Kathy Becker, who just lost her son.

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    1. I would love to do that for you, : ) Laura

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  11. What a beautiful bracelet and a wonderful tribute to your sister-in-law. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and yes, I'm sure she's still with you. One thought I would suggest for sealing the card onto the backside of the cuff (I don't think the gel medium will hold up long-term) is to coat it with some ICE resin (this is the brand I use) or the new Envirotex jewelry resin. Mix a small batch and brush it over the cardstock and onto the metal and let it cure for a few days. That should hold up quite well.

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    Replies
    1. Lori, thank you for your tips on sealing the card stock! I should have thought of resin. That is awesome, I cant wait to try it out! Thanks for your kinds words as well! Laura

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  12. I teared up reading your post - thank you for sharing about your sister in law. I'm glad that you had many special days together. Your cuff is truly beautiful - I love the addition of the poem and words Peggy wrote you - and a very fitting, meaningful tribute to the beautiful person Peggy was.

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Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you! Laura