Monsters and Other Creations

Peg sees the world through the eyes of one who has dealt with chronic health issues her whole life. She sees with empathy and makes her unique creations with care and humor. Her ‘Cancer Monsters’ are intended to help patients ‘give an identity’ to their disease and transfer feelings of anger, anxiety, and grief to these humorous creatures. When she applied to be a volunteer in the program, she said:

With all my heart problems, God has given me life for a reason. When I’m making something from my heart and soul, honoring the creative gifts with which God has blessed me, that’s powerful. But then, when I give it to someone I know, who needs this message of caring, that’s everything! It’s all about giving of ourselves, sharing our gifts, and reaching out to express God’s love. When I’m serving others, I’m serving God.

Some of her “monsters’ had three eyes, were bald, or had strange tufts instead of hair. She intended to give patients something tangible to hold, perhaps project their feelings onto, and help them know they’re not alone. 

Peg can help people discover and value their gifts. Sometimes people will see what she’s making and say, “Oh, I can’t do that; I can’t make anything.” Maybe that’s true, but she encourages them to discover many other things they can do. An example of this concept was illustrated when Peg brought a piece of military fleece to her friend Ruth who had many health problems and was feeling down. Peg had cut the strips on the four sides and patiently showed Ruth how to double knot the stripes to complete the blanket. Ruth discovered she enjoyed doing the work, so Peg started bringing the fleece to her by the bagful. When finished, Peg laundered them and brought them to the volunteer office, ready for delivery to the veterans. With the realization that thanks to the work of her hands, a veteran would be warmed and comforted, Ruth came to appreciate a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth.