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Born a Texan, but traveled the US extensively.  Now staying on the East coast.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Going too deep - Penny

This post is on something which happen long ago, beginning almost 30 years ago.
While I am over much of it, there are times it still affects me.
This post is dedicated to one of the followers of this blog, "Lori" and to "cherie", who is big on giving rewards!
Shortly after moving to Connecticut, one of my closest friends introduced me to Penny, a girl who was from North Stonington, CT. She was living in Bridgeport at the time, working at an HMO with my friend.
Now when I say friend, this is one of the 7 people who are in the closest circle in my life and I trust him completely, without reservations.
Penny came from a Baptist background, I from a Greek Orthodox, but we were drawn to each other immediately. We were also only a year apart in age.
For my part, I was in my mid twenties and very immature emotionally, so to say that the relationship was smooth, was not real. My immaturity and in reality, fear, created a lot of missteps.
But we were both drawn, not only to each other, but the Spiritual Community that I was already part of and both became involved with what became known as The Community of St. Luke's, operating through the Episcopal Church in a poor area of Stamford.
So we are talking a huge amount of commonness between the two of us.
During one of my "disappearances" from the relationship (I told you I had no idea how to handle a serious relationship and would back away and this went on and off for 5 years), she became engaged to another member of the Community (another on of the 7 people I count on deeply).
I bring this up because at that moment I learned that they as my closest people to my heart were more important than anything else I might think of and so there was no jealousy or anger and I was not even upset. They were just plain special people to my heart and what ever was best for them was alright with me.
I did not know at the time, but was later told, that the marriage was not going to happen, things were happening and it was not going to be, but I had no idea and I remained very close to both.
Then Penny was diagnosed with Leukemia.
They began treatments, she lost her hair, the Leukemia went into remission and I felt her heart with mine often. We knew what was going on with each other and some times did not have to say a word.
She was scared, but would not show it. I could feel it. She walled everyone off, not so different than when I first heard about my tumor.
She slowly grew back her hair, it was peach fuz and she was embarased by it and I would rub her head and tell her it was beautiful.
The they decided to do a bone marrow transplant from her brother, it did not take.
Then they told her that the treatments meant that she could not have children and she has heart broken and gave up and died.
The day she died, no one was expecting anything bad to happen, i was in the lab working when I heard her voice clear as anything, "Joe. I've got to go now, tell every one I love them. Goodbye."
I sat down, knowing she had died and was in shock.
30 minutes later I got a call from someone telling me she had died 30 minutes previous.
I told him I knew and why.
At first I blamed the procedure and the doctors. I was angry. I would not participate in the bone marrow registry that the lab hosted for a number of years.
I also could not even think of dating for almost 10 years and even then it was very half hearted.
Others told me that they were mad with her for giving up, I did not understand that for a long time. I do now.
It was not the procedures fault, it was not the doctors fault, it was not her fault.

It was "her time" and I am okay with that, tho I still miss her greatly.

Now to post the awards that Cherie gave me.
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