Jul 18

In Honor of Penny

Sunday, July 18th, 2010 | posted by: Chip

Penny Bushaw passed away on July 4 after a 13 year battle with cancer.   She was an employee of Merritt Glass Company but more importantly she was a loving wife and a devoted mother to her fine teenage sons.   Penny, like so many others fighting cancer had a quiet strength, enormous courage, and enough optimism for all of us.   There is no way to pay tribute to her in words.   You had to know her.

This past Saturday a memorial service was held in her honor. It was moving and a fitting tribute to her and hopefully offered comfort to her husband, sons, other family members, and friends.   It is important to note that Penny’s parents have lost two daughters to breast cancer.   It is a cruel thing for a parent to lose a child.   It has to be horrific to lose two.

Cancer is a damnable disease.   Significant progress has been made and yet we are still fighting for a cure.   You hear about it everywhere and it is easy to become a little numb to all the requests for funds to support research to defeat it.   But when it happens in your family, among your friends or in your workplace it is all to real.   Families suffer from this disease as well.   Cancer doesn’t take its toll just on the person with it but also on their family.   It’s as if the whole family has it because they deal with it on a day to day basis.   Cancer patients know this and it is from them that the strength and courage that the family needs comes from.

We all know organizations where we can make donations to fight cancer. What we often do not know how to do is to recognize the loss the family is going through. I am not an expert on it but I do know that they feel it and it is okay to acknowledge it.   It is there and it will be part of them for a while.   Penny understood this.   On my last visit with her she was more concerned about her family than she was about her health.   She asked that we look after her husband and sons when she was gone.   This is what Penny was about.

The employees of Merritt Glass Company will return to work in the morning but it will be a little different.   We have acknowledged her death and memorialized her as best as we could.   The little difference will be in how we go about our day and undoubtedly think of her throughout the day.   In the end memories are what we have and it is the memories that keep people alive for us.

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