A Life Lived: Peggy Davis loved her family, church, and a good time
Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023
There’s an old Irish proverb that says: A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.
Peggy Davis was my best friend. July 12th, she went home to be with the Lord at the age of 90. She had spent the past four years at Ivy Hall Nursing Home.
Peggy was one of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure of knowing. She meant what she said, and said what she meant. Yet, she was kind and loving, and had one of the biggest hearts of anyone I knew. Peggy loved her children, her church family, and people, in general.
Peggy was a long-time member of First Free Will Baptist Church and the Volunteer Sunday School Class. She enjoyed singing in the choir, and loved music, especially Elvis, Rod Stewart, and others who were popular during her era. Often when I visited, she was listening to a tape of Elvis or some other favorite artist while she worked around the house.
One of her favorite Sunday School activities was the class’ cooking day. Once a month – before COVID struck and her health declined – she and class members gathered to cook a meal for the homebound, those who lived alone, and others. They would spend the day cooking, then deliver it, and come back and clean up. Most of the time it was an all-day chore, but, Peggy loved it. She not only enjoyed the cooking part of the activity, but also the camaraderie of her class members.
On cold winter days, she often made a pot of vegetable soup or a chicken pot pie, which was most welcoming, and yummy, too.
I never knew Peggy until I became her next-door neighbor almost 25 years ago. We quickly became friends. She was there with me during some rough spots in my life, one being the death of my mother. We shared many meals together, went on a lot of trips, and enjoyed our Saturday morning breakfasts at McDonald’s or Bojangles.
Peggy enjoyed traveling, and had visited a lot of places – to Israel, Egypt, Hawaii, San Francisco, and bus trips to Niagara Falls and across Canada, to Texas and Mexico, New Orleans, and, oh, did she love New York shopping trips. I think one of her favorites was a red-eye trip to New York City. Shoes and pocketbooks were her thing to shop for.
Peggy was a caregiver. She cared for her mother, and when her mother had to be placed in the nursing home, Peggy went every day to see her. First thing after lunch, she would pick up her pocketbook, and off she would go to visit “Grand” as her mother was known. At the time she was also caring for an uncle. And, later she helped care for an aunt and her husband.
Peggy was a genuine person. What you saw was what you got.
She was always for the down and out, and loved to buy for children, especially for those in need. She was most tenderhearted. She wanted to appear tough, but it didn’t take much to bring tears to her eyes.
One of my fondest memories is her praying at her dining room table. The winter after my mother died, I often would go to work around 6:30 a.m. to lay the paper out before the composing room staff came in to make it up at 7:30 a.m. Most mornings I would see Peggy sitting at her dining room table reading her Bible, pencil in hand to make notes. After two or three mornings, I saw her lips moving and discovered she was praying there in the early morning hours, alone at her kitchen table.
Several years later – a couple of weeks after she had gone to the nursing home – Peggy asked that I bring her study Bible to the nursing home. When I went over to get it, the back had become loose so I put some tape on it. I noticed that on almost every page she had underlined verses and in the margin had made brief notations, some of which were prayers. At Psalm 90:10, she had written: “Thank you Lord for the years you have given me, not all were easy, but not all were hard.” Luke 12: 22: “Lord, you have answered to many things I have asked for. I could not work them out, you did. Thank you, Father,” and Psalm 34:19: “Go to the Lord with your problems, and He will guide you to the answer. It may not be what you want, but it will be what you need and the best.”
What a treasured keepsake for her children, Melissa, Mike and Ron. She was also the mother of a deceased daughter, Teri. Her husband, Howard, also preceded her in death.
Peggy loved her caregivers at Ivy Hall, and enjoyed laughing with them and was very grateful for their help.
When COVID struck and the nursing home was shut down for more than a year, I would visit with goodie bags. I would tell her to come to the window and I’d wave to her. Often, all I could see was a hand in the window waving. There are so many stories to tell about that hand in the window, and the woman who was waving.
She had a most welcoming smile when you visited. And when her baby boy Ron visited from out of town, the smile was widest of all.
Peggy enjoyed reading as well as game shows on television and the old shows such as the Clampetts, the Waltons, etc. She at one time quilted and made quilts for her children. She enjoyed reading her newspaper first thing of the morning with a good cup of coffee.
Peggy was very talented and could do almost anything she set out her mind to do.
As long as she was able we would take a walk in the summer evening, then sit on the porch, and have an ice cream. At that time the Greyhound bus would go down Broad Street at around 8:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter. We often joked that we watched for the bus, but never caught it. We knew when the bus passed, it was time to go in.
My, what good times we had.
King Solomon said: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Certainly, her friendship added a lot to my life…and I’ll always remember her with fondness and love.
One day….we shall see each other again.