Gig Line: Birds of a feather

Published 6:19 am Sunday, January 5, 2020

We’ve talked about this before, but it’s the perfect time to remind everybody of   this topic again. Is it a huge sale somewhere? Is it a free meal at your favorite restaurant? Will it make you happier? (Maybe) Will whatever it is change your life?  (Maybe) What exactly will it do?

Christmas time is really about the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus Christ. That is what this time of year should be about but in many of our nice, feel good Christmas movies He is rarely mentioned. Even in the enjoyable “family” themed  movies with piles of snow and pretty holiday settings and décor, trees decorated to beat the band, many times the story line is redundant – and in some cases other than different cast members – you know right off the “get-go” what careers the star players will have, that a business is either trying to save itself from foreclosure or the actors are being offered jobs far, far from home.

I’m not criticizing – believe me, I watch them, too and often. Even the ones we’ve seen before are still nice to watch and the classics? They rekindle memories of when we didn’t have a lot, but we cherished what little we had or got, even those bundles of socks! The rituals of opening even one gift the night before Christmas; sticky red and white striped candy canes; the aroma of sugar cookies and banana bread permeating from the kitchen; scented candles flickering; spoken childhood memories; expectations of Christmas morning and family and friends coming together laughing at the ole times, poking fun at each other, talking about gifts that are M.I.A. (to imply we really use them and they aren’t still in a box at the back of the closet) . . . the blessings of Christmas . . . the blessings of loved ones . . . and without a doubt . . . remembrances of those we love so much who are no longer on this side of Heaven to share those joys with us.

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To be totally honest, this Christmas being the fourth since my sweet loveable husband Billy passed, was sad. I miss that he isn’t here every day, I miss that he wasn’t here to put all the lights on the tree or to decorate the deck railings. I miss kissing him just before and through the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. It’s not just the holidays or Christmas time in particular . . . I miss him all the time. He was someone I looked up to, admired, respected and loved deeply ever since God brought us together in 1968. I miss his clean smell of Old Spice, his helpfulness with chores and his big strong shoulders and forearms that held me close, made me feel secure and so loved. I miss that cute little smile when I’d say he was sexy or my “sweetie pie” . . . I value our life together so much and I’m grateful for every day we spent beside each other sharing life, our hopes, our disappointments, our faith, our children and grandchildren and while I thank our precious Lord and try not to question why God took him when He did, I still miss him daily.

Last year I was contacted by Peggy Snead; remember “Mr. Snead” (Eugene C. Snead, to be exact) our legendary State of North Carolina Driver’s License Examiner? He serviced Dare, Currituck, Tyrrell and Hyde Counties . . . remember? That man could cause the fleas to jump off a big furry dog and hop to the hills and put the fear in any man regardless of his statue! But he was also a sweet, good man who grinned when he walked in a room where a waiting driver’s license renewal subject lie in wait . . . for Mr. Snead! He was also a U. S. Army veteran and an unforgettable community character that we respected and loved.

Well, Peggy lost Mr. Snead the same year I lost Billy in 2016. And sometime later, she organized/hosted a class called “Grief Share.0” I think because she read Gig Line, she knew my heart was heavy. She knew personally and first hand what losing the love of her life felt like too, so she invited me to the class. Now folks . . . I realize and hope that you might still be happily married and haven’t been through this heartache, but I’m here to tell you this – Peggy’s class is outstanding, so if you never read another Gig Line, please listen up.

Peggy will be starting another class Thursday, January 9. The class starts at 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. and it’s held at the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church located at 300 Ananias Dare St. in Manteo. There is no charge to attend. If you choose to purchase a workbook, its $15 but it isn’t necessary that you do. In fact, Peggy shows a short video each time the class meets, and the video topics are extremely helpful and they were very personal to me. It was a comfort to hear other people talk about their experiences, their loss, how it affected them and recommendations to cope are offered by the class creators. Sometimes, those grieving who offered testimony on the videos expressed my exact feelings.  Because of scheduling conflicts, I was only able to attend a few of Peggy’s classes last year, but I plan to attend all the classes this year (good Lord willing) to get the full benefit. Also, it’s important to realize that the support group is not just for a widow or widower, it is for anyone who has lost someone they love. Meeting others in the group who also lost a loved one is sad, but at the same time, it helps to realize up front and center that we aren’t alone in our grief.

Peggy conducts the meetings with professionalism, kindness, compassion and respect toward everyone in attendance. She doesn’t expect you to talk or share or even say a word unless you choose to; you’re not put on the spot; and if you feel like crying – cry, because it’s okay. The few classes I was able to attend last year, I found uplifting and helpful . . . that’s why I’m going back, (good Lord willing) and hopefully not miss any classes this time if I can help it!

The meeting times will remain the same, every Thursday 4-6 p.m. unless advised in advance otherwise. All ages of good people being men, women, wives, husbands, children, parents and friends attend and find common ground in this part of life that is challenging and sometimes difficult. I cannot find words to truly encapsulate the benefit this class might be to you or someone you know who has lost a loved one, I can only encourage you to come and see what I’m talking about yourself. After all, we are all in this together and in Peggy’s Grief Share class, you come to realize it even more so. We are after all, “birds of a feather” . . . so let’s stick together!

Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud. Love on our veterans and their families, be cognizant of our troops who are deployed or subject to deployment; pray for their safe return home – remember their families who miss them and worry about them every day until they’re back here on our American soil. We have much to be thankful for, much to appreciate and blessings that are immeasurable. Contact me on my cell at 252-202-2058 or write to me at if you are or know a vet or family member who needs help.

God bless you and those you love . . . love is the greatest gift for all of us. You can’t hide it, you can’t deny it and if you do, then you’re just plain missing out!  Thank you for taking the time to read Gig Line and just know that I, for one, love you! Stay tuned . . .