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December 02, 2016
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A Penny for your thoughts

Contributed photos

Penny and Don’s romance was, according to her, “just what the doctor ordered,” and as they spent more and more time together, I found the best way to keep up with them both, was via Facebook. It was through social media that I recently learned that Penny was entering the final stage of her years-long struggle. A woman I didn’t know had written, “Asking my friends to please send prayers for my friend Penny, who is nearing the end of her battle with lung cancer.” Scrolling down the page, I was overwhelmed with the response. With more than 50 friends in common, I recognized many names sending prayers to Penny, Don and to her family, but it was the incredible outpouring of emotion from those I didn’t know that affected me more. “You are a beautiful person,” one wrote, “I’m so happy you got your wish to celebrate your 50th birthday.” Hundreds of messages have appeared on Penny’s page and Don keeps us updated hourly on her journey, which is drawing to a close. Words like “admiration, strength, courage, inspiration and love” play across the screen as so many share their thoughts during this difficult time. Sitting at my desk, I scroll through the years. “I have the most amazing friends!” Penny wrote in March of 2012 and then in September shared this: “I would like to thank all of the people who have made the telling of [our] story possible.” Don posted a few hours ago with these words: “The family wants to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support you are showing Penny. I know she can feel it… and just to be sure, I am whispering it all in her ear as they come in.” Turns out that “A Penny for your thoughts” is priceless.