My husband’s sudden death from a heart attack left me in disbelief and shock. Caring, well-meaning people attempted to comfort me through the days ahead by reassuring me that I would be fine, that it would just take time. The loving care of so many was certainly helpful, but the reality was it took much more than “just time.” “It just takes time” really means that it is too complicated and too scary to say what lies ahead. Maybe it’s just as well. Had I known the long, lone journey ahead, I would not have had the strength to keep going.
Months of crying on friends’ shoulders, psychiatric counseling, and pastoral care didn’t help me understand the feelings of forsakenness, abandonment, and even guilt for not being a more protective wife of a husband who had heart disease in his family. One of my dear support friends introduced me to Peggy Glass. I resisted venturing from my secure home where I felt safe and secure surrounded by my memories and where I could cry without trying not to cry. I could hardly muster the energy to visit with my current friends, and the thought of meeting new people was most uncomfortable to say the least. However, I gave in because of the faith I had in my friend, and I met Peggy.
This introduction was no doubt God’s intervention in my life. Peggy not only understood each of my feelings but also saw how those feelings affected me and caused me to react to so many situations. She had the ability to listen and communicate, and most importantly she responded to my intense pain in a way that no one else had. She saw where I was, and she really wanted me to know she could help me, and she did.
Her credentials certainly gave her the ability to offer me sound financial advice that suited my lifestyle at the time. I had made some grave financial errors by the time I met Peggy, and she stayed with me, working through those errors to right them. I was fortunate that my husband had provided for my financial security, but this also created problems for me. I was afraid I would not be a good steward and would lose that financial security because of my mistakes. Peggy helped me understand my fears and see that my finances were not a curse, but something to be grateful for. As she assisted me with managing my finances, she helped me become more self-confident.
She taught me not to be ashamed of the mistakes I had made before I knew her and not to feel “stupid” - that those mistakes were due to the lack of guidance while I was suffering from shock and depression, and from lack of experience due to the years of my husband managing our finances. There were so many ways that Peggy helped me, and she never once resented the time that she took when I would call her frantically for advice, and that was often. I would receive documents in the mail about business, some creditors, and I would literally have panic attacks. Peggy had asked that I call her whenever something strange or difficult would occur, so I would always call her day or night to ask for help. She would explain it, not in a way that made me feel ignorant, but always in a way of educating me. I needed so much help and guidance, and literally someone to hold my hand to take me through the most troubling, stormy days of my life. She offered me her hand that included knowledge, concern, advice, leadership, and ways to build my self-confidence. It seemed everyone wanted a piece of me, and I was being torn apart, and Peggy understood how that was making me panic and then feel bitter.
She is an encourager and motivator. Now whenever I accomplish something positive in my life, I always like to share it with Peggy because I know she will share my happiness. Once in a while when I am with Peggy I will say to her “Remember when I did not even want to go out of my house?” My transformation definitely took more than “It just takes time.” My transformation just took Peggy and TurningPoints.
As a Christian who lives a life talking with God, and keeping Him in my heart, I was glad Peggy encouraged my renewed spiritual journey, as well. Her spirit is giving, caring, loving and she is one of the most faithful servants of God that I know. I had become angry with God for leaving me here on earth alone, without my husband. Then, losing my mother 3 months after losing my husband really challenged my faith. For me, being angry with God and shutting Him out of my life created even a greater loneliness. I appreciated the spiritual guidance, scripture and encouragement that Peggy could share with me and her encouragement for me to stay close to God.
Now, I have gotten to know myself…experiencing life as a widow does offer time to get to know oneself; however, I could not have done it alone, and I will be forever grateful to all of the people who played a part in molding me into who I am today. I have grown into a stronger, productive, more mature person. I still feel the losses, but Peggy has taught me to live a happy life having experienced the losses. Her gift to others comes naturally. And, as I look over her life, I can see how God led her through all of her education and training, which she thought was for other job opportunities probably, but He has led her to a place where she realizes guiding others into transforming their life of suffering and heartache into a life of productivity and self-fulfilling accomplishments comes natural to her. God has given her a gift, and she has her mission.
I’m proud that I recently bought a new house and planned the move by myself. Still, I sometimes call Peggy just for reassurance. I returned to college and finished my business degree. I am doing work I love and am well suited for and I feel like I am an integral part of my employer’s executive management team. I am much more confident about handling my finances. I enjoy social and interpersonal relationships. I have developed strength and courage to face life's challenges and, most importantly, grown spiritually with renewed faith in God. I thank God everyday for the work He has done in my life through Peggy.