Full of Surprises
"I was a nun," Peggy Mohr began. My mouth dropped open in delighted surprise. All I knew about Peggy before we met was that she had spent the last 15 years volunteering at Friends of Caroline Hospice, so when I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself, I wasn't expecting to hear such a surprising beginning in life! She grabbed my wrist and began laughing when my highly intelligent response was, "Wait.I've never met a real-live nun!" I felt astounded, especially considering that my foreknowledge of nunship involved watching the critically acclaimed (two thumbs up) American classic, Sister Act. "People are always surprised when I tell them that I was once a nun," she continued through a huge grin, "and I was 19-years-old when I began teaching English at Saint Joseph's in Pennsylvania." She added to her statement after a pause, "And I loved English." Peggy had grown up in Catholic school, and had loved the experience so much, she wanted to be a part of it when it came time. She spent her days teaching middle schoolers the ins and outs of our fine language. "And back then," she gestured with her hands, as if she were wearing a cap, "we were in full habit!"
As we continued chatting about all things remarkable, we took turns sipping our spiced chai's as the crisp fall air settled in around us-a welcome change of seasons for us Southerners. And as we felt the seasons of change in our physical environment, we began discussing the seasons of change that followed in her life.
After 11 years, Peggy decided that being a nun was no longer right for her. She quickly took a job working for TV Guide Magazine as an editor. Also, she trained people to use the computer in offices all over America! This sent her on a whirlwind of travel. Bright-eyed, I asked her how much she loved the experiences of jet-setting, and she just giggled, saying, "I would have rather been home making myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!" Fortunately for her, all of her hotel hopping came to an end when she was offered a permanent job in the Atlanta office under the supervision of a fine man named Bo.
Bo became her boss, her confidant, and eventually her husband! They were both in their 40s when they decided it was time to walk down the aisle, and in order to not forget their wedding date, they decided to marry on Flag Day of the Bicentennial year. "Guess who forgot our first year anniversary," she asked me? I looked up at her to find her pointing at herself, while a gingerly smile crept across her face. They spent the next 20+ years living together, commuting to work in the morning together, working in the office together, taking their lunch break together, commuting back home from work together, and then spending the evening together over dinner and listening to classical music. "It wasn't really ever a challenge," she said in response to me asking her about the lack of time apart, "we've been really blessed with a joyful marriage, I have to say."
This truth still stands to this day. After they both retired from working at TV Guide, they decided to volunteer together at Friends of Caroline Hospice. Peggy spends one-on-one time with patients, digging into their lives and investing in their happiness. "The number one thing to know about these patients is that they want to be known for who they are and not for their illness." Bo volunteers as a driver who transports patients back and forth to doctor appointments.
The days to come will be spent doing a few things: rising early to read the newspaper, drinking several cups of coffee before noon, attending every musical event that can be found in our local area, spending time with her 17 nieces, nephews and their kids, and finally, giving back to our community.all with Bo right by her side.
Upcoming Events to benefit the Friends of Caroline Hospice
The 2013 Festival of Trees
Where: The Shed in Port Royal
When: December 5th at 7 p.m.
You can begin viewing the
trees starting at 9 a.m.
The Annual Jingle Jog 5k Run and Walk
Where: The newly renovated Spanish Moss Trail in downtown Beaufort.
When: Saturday, December 7th at 8:30 a.m.
For more info and to register to run, visit www.fochospice.org or call Fripp Langford at 525-6257.