Peggie was my friend. I found her in the summer of 2013. I found her on Etsy. She was a metal smith. She did beautiful work making unique jewelry. I loved her jewelry and was looking for a custom piece for my then future daughter-in-law. One of the things that drew me to her was that she was local so I wouldn’t have to wait or pay for shipping.
My first contact with Peggie was by email. My last contact with Peggie was also by email. During the first contact, I described what I was looking for and she wrote notes then made a few sample pieces using bronze (I think it was bronze). She emailed me pictures and I decided which I wanted. When it was ready, I stopped by her house to pick it up and was invited in. That’s when the friendship really began. We talked for hours. She was from San Jose, as I am. She grew up in the bay area at the same time I did. She was a few years older than I am but we had so much in common. She had also lived in Santa Rosa, as I had. Then her final move was up to Portland, just about fifteen minutes from me. We talked about the bay area, about family, about college (she had attended a community college very near the university I attended), about music, about the 70’s and 80’s. We had a lot in common and that first in person visit lasted over two hours.
After that I would stop by and chat with her for hours. She gave me my first taste of limoncello, which she made at home, and gave me the recipe which is the one I use now. In fact, every time I have a sip of limoncello, I think of Peggie. We became fast friends.
One day in 2015, my daughter told me there was a message up on Peggie’s Etsy shop saying she was putting the shop on hold because of health reasons but would be back in the spring. Concerned, I emailed her to check on her. No response. I continued to check on her by email and through Etsy until I finally got a reply. She explained that she had gotten an open sore on her leg than began to “weep” and would not heal. Finally, no longer able to put up with the pain, she went to the doctor. It turned out to be a septic infection. She was put on bed rest and antibiotic but the wound would not heal. She continued bed rest and the antibiotic was changed and given for a much longer course, three months, I believe. I offered to go by and sit with her or bring her groceries or anything she needed but she reminded me that she had been receiving home delivery of her groceries from a local grocer for the past ten years. She said she really just stayed upstairs and rarely got down to the computer or the phone downstairs. She just wanted to lay in bed and read and watch TV and not have to worry about entertaining anyone. Her mother had died recently so she no longer had to go take her mother to appointments so she just wanted to be left alone and not have to feel like she had to entertain anyone. We made plans to go out for dinner and a drink when she was finally off of bed rest which she thought would be January 1 of this year. I checked her FB page and Etsy but didn’t find any updates; the shop was still closed.
Today, there was a message posted on her FB pages, personal and business. She died.
My heart aches. She was such a wonderful, vibrant, and creative person. She was a songwriter and singer and had some success in the 80’s and 90’s and lived off of royalties. She never told me what it was she wrote. She has a unique name so I might go looking. But right now, I just feel like curling up and crying. This is the second death of a friend in just nine days. I’m somewhat in shock and I want to curl up and have everything and everyone go away.