I was 22. Had been unemployed for over a year, in the last big recession.
My buddy Jim and I both got jobs at the same time in a factory producing computer disks. (The early 80's). The hours were long, but the money was good, and we knew how to spend it! We were young, gifted and black! (Okay, we were young!)
One of the first friends I made there, (if not THE first) was Peggy. A more glamourous 'older' woman you could not meet. (She was in her early forties!) She always looked out for me, making sure I was eating enough etc. (I had just left home and was making my way in the big bad world!)
We became good friends, a friendship which lasted for a long time. Peggy had her ups & downs, as does everybody, but she always shone through, and never seemed to let things get the best of her. Good times or bad she came to work every day with the 'face' on, hair done, and best 'gladrags' adorning her body!
A few months back I went to visit her in a nursing home. She was suffering from a condition which had her confined to a wheelchair, her body wracked in involountary convulsions, her speech slurred, yet her mind as sharp as the first day I met her. It broke my heart to see her like this, yet her wit was as bright as ever! And she was the one who cheered me!
Peggy passed away yesterday, she had been moved from the home to our regional hospital, suffering from breathing difficulties, and her condition deteriorated rapidly.
She will be missed by the many, many friends she made in that factory that changed the lives of a lot of people (another story!), and even before I go to see her laid out in her coffin tomorrow, I know that she will be glamourous to the end.
Farewell Peggy, I will miss you dearly, you will not be forgotten.