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My friend, Peggy… knitter, beader, crocheter, weaver, woman… wonder

March 4, 2012

 My friend, Peggy Hughs, passed away last week. News of her death was not a surprise. She had battled cancer for 25 months (the doctors had given her 6, but she wouldn’t hear of it!). She fought valiantly; her husband, Jerry, by her side every step of the way. In one of Jerry’s daily status updates, he mentioned that the hospice thought it was a matter of 2-3 days… it turned out to be 7. I saw her on Friday, three days before she passed. Comfortable and lucid when I was there, we had a wonderful conversation about my latest knitting project (the Gap-Tastic Cowl in Berocco’s Bobolli yarn) and I shared a loom end of one of my latest weaving projects with her. She held it in her hand while I was there… I hope she felt the yarn at the end.

The first time I met Peggy and Jerry it was at their son, Jerry’s, retirement party. We had worked together at the County of San Diego for 2 years. We ran into into each other again in 2007 after the wildfires that swept through San Diego. They had worked at the County, too, and when we needed people to work in the Local Assistance Centers, they were ready, willing and able to be “retired rehires.” I was one of the managers of the LAC in Ramona and when we started talking realized we shared a love for travel, fiber (the yarn kind) and cats. Some relationships have been built on less. They shared their pictures of Morocco with me and the stories of living abroad while Jerry was in the Navy. Their travel stories helped fuel my travel dreams. My husband, Paul and I had them over for dinner; we went to theirs… usually when their son, Jerry, and his wife, Cathy, were visiting from Seattle.

We kept in touch off and on through the next couple of years. When Peggy was diagnosed with cancer I realized I didn’t have much time left with her. She was a great knitter, crocheter, weaver and she made beautiful beaded jewelry. They gave me one of their looms, a Leclerc 4-harness beauty. They’re why I started weaving. I will always be grateful for that. They were a great couple, great role models, and being in their presence helped shed light on what makes a long marriage a happy one. Laughter, shared experiences, not taking themselves too seriously, being kind to each other, doing for the other, adoring each other. Loving each other.

Today I taught Jerry how to flip eggs to make eggs over easy. We had a nice time; a nice visit. He showed me some jewelry Peg had made and asked if I wanted any of it. I picked out a beautiful chartreuse stone necklace and a brown/black/red beaded one. Jerry noted in an email to me tonight, “it means a lot to me knowing that many people will be wearing & thinking of Peg as time passes.” We looked through her yarn stash and knitting books. It was a little overwhelming for me to see someone’s stash without them there. I often joke with my friends that I have stash beyond life expectancy, but never for a minute do I believe that any of it will be around after I’m gone. Their granddaughter only wants her knitting needles… her hands touched those and made such beautiful things.

"Peggy's Earth" shawl collection in process.

I’ll be going back to see Jerry and go through Peg’s yarn to figure out how to use it, and donate the rest to Stitches from the Heart. Peggy knit little things for little babies and they can use the yarn to keep making more. I took a little bit today that I can weave into the brown shawls I’m making now… “Peggy’s Earth” collection. I’m weaving them in her memory, using some of her yarn, and will donate the proceeds to hospice. It makes me feel good to know that people will be wearing Peggy’s memory around their shoulders even if they didn’t know her. Hopefully the shawls will bring warmth and happiness into their lives, like Peggy brought into mine.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori B permalink
    March 4, 2012 9:38 pm

    Well written Holls. Made me cry. xo

  2. March 5, 2012 5:46 am

    Very nice Holly

  3. Janice Heather permalink
    March 5, 2012 9:08 am

    What a lovely and touching story. I can’t wait to see the Peggy’s Earth shawl collection!

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