With Reedy River rushing through the town and the Blue Ridge Mountains close by, Greenville is definitely one of the hidden gems of the South. Falls Park is located downtown in the city’s historic West End, and people gather there to work, play, and celebrate the city. The area boasts six state parks, and if you ever wanted to find out what moonshine tastes like, you can sip it at Dark Corner Distillery in town. Don’t miss the countless museums, restaurants, and independently owned shops that line the picturesque streets of Greenville.
Meet Our Leaders:
Andrea Peter, Chapter Leader
I am a solutions analyst / project manager in IT for the 29+ years. I was raised in Upstate New York. I met my husband, the last of week of classes, while attending college. He was a senior, about to graduate, I was a sophomore, about to transfer to a new school.
My college transfer put me in a position where we were able to continue our relationship. We married in Oct , 1984, 5 months after I graduated college, at the age of 22. We were young, in love, and ready to tackle the world. We were blessed with our first child, in 1990, and twins in 1992 (thank goodness for modern medicine). Our 3 sons became the center of our world. Family was always the center of our being, but with the birth of our 3 sons, we felt complete. We were a family unit – we did everything together. In 1997, we relocated to Greenville, after Jeff was offered a promotion. The first time away from our families (all still living in Upstate NY) – we became even closer as a family. Our move was an adventure. We quickly made new friends and fell in love with Greenville and all the area had to offer. Greenville became our home.
Jeff died suddenly and unexpectedly on December 1st, 2011, at the age of 51. A day which forever changed the loves of my sons, myself, our family and friends. Our lives were changed in an instant. I was no longer a wife, I was a widow. All 3 sons were away at college. It was the most heart wrenching experience I have ever been through. Somehow, through the overwhelming grief and shock, I knew I needed to be strong and become the family leader, to ensure my sons that we were going to be OK. It was not an easy thing to do, but I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do. There were many mornings, when I would awake and hope that this was all just a bad dream. With a strong faith and the loving support of family and friends, over time, I became a little bit stronger each day. In many ways, the bond I have with my sons today is even stronger than it was before.
I lost my best friend, my partner, the love of my life that day. I became instantly aware that my life was never going to be the same. The dreams we shared were gone. The ‘we’ was no longer. The memories were too painful to think about. We have come a long way over the past 4 years. We have set out on our knew journey of life. Although, we have not forgotten, we have accepted that it is Ok for our lives to move on. In particular, my life has not ended – I have a lot of living and loving to do. There is so much to see and do – and so much to give and receive.
While reading the paper on February 15, 2015, I came across an article in the local newspaper about the Modern Widows Club. The article resonated me with. I knew, first hand, there were no support groups to be found in the Greenville area. I had met several women, over the past few years, who had been through a similar life changing experience with the loss of their spouse. I instantly knew this was something I needed to be a part of – to take my experiences – and hopefully help someone else. With friendship, love, and compassion one can see that becoming a widow is not the end of life, but the beginning of a redefining period… the beginning of a new normal.. the beginning of living once again.
Michelle Muller, Co-Leader
I was born in Southern California. We moved quite a bit growing up. Our family landed in Arizona when I was 13. I met my husband, Ian, in Arizona when I was 20 and we married when I was 23. We had two loving children together, Ian and Alicia. We found a new home in Greenville in late 2007.
My husband passed suddenly on November 3rd of 2012. Our family was devastated. I quickly came to realize that tragedy highlights all the things that are broken in family dynamics. Thus, started a long journey to healing, rebuilding and discovering ourselves as a family and as individuals. We have come a very long way.
The growth has become part of our daily experience and we are better for it. Coming to terms with becoming an independent parent (filling both roles), learning to accept the term widow and committing to embracing both terms as parts of who I am while recognizing I am also gifted with SO much more is an affirmation I give to myself daily. I aspire to share this attitude with as many widows as I can. MWC is the perfect avenue for me to meet, bond and relationship build with widows in my community. I am so proud to be part of such an important organization as Modern Widows Club.