Peggy and the Preacher

My mother spoke with a British accent, though American born.  She sipped gin and tonics, partied three times a week, picked at her food, shopped only at Saks, wore heels 24/7, and in her 90s arranged for a college professor to come to her living room to lecture on the Renaissance – so she could “get those old people off their asses”  (her exact words).

Peggy spoke in superlatives — “That is the MOST exciting thing I’ve EVER heard!”   She completed the Sunday NY Times crossword in minutes and couldn’t fathom why others struggled.

She had no time for maladies.  “Oh there are a million things wrong,” she’d admit with not a morsel of self-indulgence.  She had little tolerance for weakness of any kind.

Peggy was an activist, a thinker, a Do-er.

She was also a student of the Bible.

In 1957 Peggy was somehow persuaded to go hear a charismatic young preacher at Madison Square Garden.  As the choir sang, Just As I Am, and Billy Graham beckoned for people to make their way to the main level – giving their life to Christ in a public manner – Peggy and Champe felt compelled to go.

And nothing was the same thereafter.

Peggy went on to lead Bible classes, counsel people on their death beds, write children’s books about Jesus.   She viewed Heaven as the greatest party anyone could attend.  And how she spread the invitations around.

 

So today I picture my mom raising her gin and tonic and toasting Billy Graham — welcoming him into the kingdom where everyone’s “off their asses” and dancing with all their heart – my mom of course in heels.

 

 

 

 

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