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Happy Birthday Pegala

September 27, 2011

Today, September 27th, is Peg’s birthday, so it seems appropriate to honor her in my life by devoting a post just to her. I can’t tell her I am doing this or (in spite of her being a self described techno-phobe) she would surely find a way to disconnect my web access. She is going to hate this, so everyone make sure you give her a hard time about it! Hah … ain’t I a stinker?

To Peg

You were never deceived by my inadequacies. You always saw me for who I am and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. You love telling the story that at 13 years of age you knew you would marry me some day. It took another 19 years, but you held true to your word. You have been a wonderful partner … the love of my life … and I have never felt lonely in the 24 years I have been with you. This doesn’t mean we haven’t had our differences.

Huh, Peg!

Yet, no matter how much we wrestled with each other (and we wrestled a lot), we still knew we were meant to be together. We taught each other much about life, ourselves, and each other, and continue to do so. Our basic foundation is and always has been: our undying love and respect for each other, meaning that we always know and trust that we never mean to hurt one another, even when it hurts.

More than anyone else in my life, Peg, you have brought me through the journey from self-preoccupation toward learning what it really means to give to others. You helped model for me the reality that my well being is dependent on the well being of others; and that, as isolated and independent as I managed to become at times, you reminded me that no man is an island and that true prosperity develops from the joy and happiness we get from our connections. You knew this long before I met you, and you lived it with gusto.

Even as a child, you used your natural spit and vinegar to protect the underdog. Woe to the person who tried to pick on you, much less on someone less strong or less intelligent than themselves. The way I hears it, you were not apposed to punching someone or wrestling them to the ground for this sort of transgression, and the neighborhood boys knew this and steered clear. If only I had a protector like you when I was the target of bully ridicule. (Wait … I did … thanks brother Mike!)

You have also been an invaluable collaborator when it came to my own art. I was never an easy person to work with, but you always supported me in whatever way you could; and also had an extraordinary capacity for creative aesthetics. An artist in your own right, I always looked to you for your own critical eye to help me discriminate between my own good and not so good work. You helped to refine the look of my art fair booth, as well as the way I displayed my work. You were also a fun partner in the field … often influencing me toward a subject I was overlooking, or even seeing compositions before I saw them myself. This was due -more than anything else- because of your deep relationship with nature. It was often like being with a child when exploring the outdoors with you … always something new and exciting just around the corner.

Yet, the hardships of living with a man so devoted to the ‘beat of his own drum’, the challenge of living with 15 years of chronic Lyme disease, the trials and tribulations of a difficult menopause, followed by the news that your life-long partner has terminal cancer, have all taken there toll on you … and we struggle with that, don’t we. Nevertheless, your indomitable spirit is gradually pushing through as always, and you continue to be one of the deepest hearts and brightest spirits I have ever known. You are hurting and may need a lot of support yourself right now, but this too shall pass. I have no doubt that the riches contained in the depths of your being will nourish others hearts, minds, and souls and continue to make your life a vivid one.

More than anyone or anything else, my relationship with you has brought me from the depths of atheism to an agnostic realization that something as profound and beautiful as love cannot -like a flame- be created and then extinguished. I don’t know what that might mean, or what form that might take, but I do believe that what you and I have created together will continue on indefinitely … and this gives me comfort and joy.

I guess what I want to say is that I love you, Pegala, for so many reasons … and that I am thinking of you and wishing you a very happy birthday.


14 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine permalink
    October 2, 2011 2:10 pm

    What a beautiful, loving, heart warming Birthday Gift for your Precious Peg. Thank you for sharing your “Love Story” with us.
    I would guess, Rick, she gave you her pretty smile as you honored her on her day.

    My Love * A Hug * My Heart * I am there with You and Peg


  2. Ilana Pestcoe permalink
    October 1, 2011 9:35 am

    Wow… much LOVE generated in all of us by your gorgeous piece for our Pegala!
    Keep the wave going. We are many holding you close. Thanx for the inspirations,

  3. Deb permalink
    October 1, 2011 8:47 am

    Know, that from the moment you two wandered into my kitchen, me, weary with an infant, hungry for new friends, I loved you both. You parked yourselves in my heart, and though my focus elsewhere can be intense, you are still there and always will be. Deb

  4. Rikardo Jahnke permalink
    September 30, 2011 12:30 am

    Rick, Your wonderful tribute/love letter brings up for me what an honor it is for me to know, not just the two of you, but also the unity of you two together. For as bumpy as the path of your marriage has been at times, still, the profundity of your commitment and love inspires the rest of us.
    Your profession has been to give us images of the grandeur and beauty of nature. Perhaps your intent was partly to enamor us to nature, so as to further its protection. You have also given us “images” that are seen with the heart, taken from our observation of how you live. Taken as a whole,these include Peg and the warm light that your union emanates, caressing our souls, helping us to see that good still has its way in the world. For all of this and more, I am deeply grateful. Your friend, Rikardo

  5. Ron Byers permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:12 pm

    Love is the only worthwhile thing living for……thank you my dear friend for reminding us divine “fools” who think we will live forever……… where our priorities lie ………..Ron

  6. Marie LaMartina permalink
    September 27, 2011 5:58 pm

    What a lucky couple to have found each other, to learn from, debate with and come back to love. And, the lessons continue…

  7. September 27, 2011 1:07 pm

    Rick…you are indeed a blessed man..Peg is a wonderful woman and be assured that she will be take good care of by us and many others…….what a woman! You pick well, my brother.

    And, by the way, so did she!

    Much love, David

  8. Jo Stothard permalink
    September 27, 2011 12:56 pm

    Wonderful tribute and gift to Peg, and your lives together! May her day be special to you both.

  9. Jane permalink
    September 27, 2011 11:55 am

    WOW Rick, a wonderful tribute to your love for Peg-O and your love together as a couple!
    I sent Peg a birthday greeting this morning and I will do it again here for double the pleasure of Peg being Peg and you being you!
    Happy Birth-day Peg-o, I am so glad to have the honor of knowing you all these years and for you sharing Rick with me!!!
    Let there be peace, understanding and love flowing to you today and every day.

  10. MikeL permalink*
    September 27, 2011 11:46 am

    What a great love story! And also the story of a great love. Few, I believe, could have been a lasting partner for my brother, Rick. His life has been that of a searcher and a loner, both of which can exclude most others from insinuating themselves into it.

    But, as Rick says, Peg knew from very early on that this sweet, gentle, artistic soul was intended to be her life partner and (excuse the cliche) soulmate.

    We, who have known Rick the longest, have marveled at how fortunate Rick was to have been open to Peg’s warm, loving and accessible personality. At one time, Peg was just the pesky little sister of his girlfriend. But Peg herself was herself a searcher and grew from a naive thirteen-year girl old to a women whose ideas about life and love and art and the world complemented Rick’s in many important ways.

    So Peg, your brothers and sisters, in-laws and friends all wish you a happy birthday even though happiness might seem difficult to come by these days. And if happiness can be measured by how much you are loved, then you are indeed a happy woman and we hope that you realize this fact.

  11. Lauren Hunt permalink
    September 27, 2011 9:58 am


  12. Julie permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:51 am

    That was beautiful, Rick. . .the writing and the collage. As Rebecca said so compassionately, this is probably not a Happy Birthday (in the traditional sense) for Peg. Hoping it is a special day though.

    My love to you both~

  13. mokasiya permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:40 am

    Ahhhh! Rick,
    Yes, Yes, Yes,
    beauty, beauty, beauty,
    pure honoring
    heart and soul
    of Peg.


  14. Rebecca Wainscott permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:39 am

    oh Rick, what an absolutely stunning tribute to Peg and the love you feel and have shared with her. The montage is amazing, beautiful and, yes, heartbreaking.

    I am glad to be able to help ease some external stress for Peg with the new front landscape, and we are all there for her, and will continue to be there, as we are needed emotionally, physically, spiritually, through this very difficult transition.

    Peg – there are many things we share, and I envy you your life with Rick, and I know this is not a happy birthday. You will make it through this time. Continue to be as real and immediate with your feelings as you have been, and that journey may not take as long as you think. Soak up our love along the way, and always remember that Mother Earth is your constant support, always there within your soul.

    In deep Honor of you both,

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