good bye, good bye, good bye.
In a few minutes, my husband and I are leaving and heading to a church about 40 miles away. It's the same large church we were at to celebrate Shawn's life, and today, we're there again to say goodbye to his widow and our friend, Penny. The pain she felt this past year since Shawn unexpectedly passed away was not something those of us around here were unaware of, but the depth of it? The power it had over her when all of us who loved her couldn't be with her? Unimaginable. I don't believe I can say at this point in my own life that I can understand what it must have felt like to be her these last months, but I can say - even with grief so fresh and a heart so broken - that I don't feel angry at her, Penny, for the choice she made.
I'm not sure that makes sense. Very little right now feels like it does.
But back to the beginning of this post. We're leaving in a few minutes, and when we arrive, we'll be surrounded by friends, as well as those whose only connection to us is that they, too, knew and loved our Penny, and after we huddle together and feel sad in our moment, we'll then turn to her boys and we'll do all we can to protect and love them. Right now, that's the simplest, most necessary thing we can do.
I can, however, take just a moment and say thank you to all of you. Thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for your words, and thank you for your prayers. I want to respond to each of you, but, in all honesty, since writing of Penny's death on Sunday afternoon, aside from a few moments scattered here and there, I simply turned the computer off and did not look toward it. It was a gift, then, to open my emails late last night and know there are people out there extending a hand or thought toward me, as well as Penny's family. What a world. When I can, you'll hear from me.
Right now, I'm ready to join my friends and church family - many of whom will be wearing their most amazing shoes and sporting pink, which were, on a list that also included her family and working with and advocating for people with disabilities, Penny's most favorite things in the world. "Never, ever let anyone tell you a redhead can't wear pink," she once told me. I'm nowhere near the redhead my dear friend was, but every time I slip into pink, I think of her words. Always will. I thank her for them.
And I thank you all, too.