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The Death of My Friend Penny Vocals and lyrics by Mary McGrath Copyright 7/22/21-All rights
A good friend of mine passed away yesterday. She was 82. Lung cancer got her, infecting her internal organs and orchestrating her demise.
I know she smoked, and even though she had stopped for several decades, the damage had been done.
As I approach 70, 82 seems pretty young to me, although it’s about six years beyond the national average. When I was growing up, 50 seemed ancient. Not any more.
Back then, death of a loved one was very remote, almost as if it took place in another country. It was Aunt Kathryn or Uncle Harold, relatives I barely knew. I was aware of their absence, but it didn’t really affect me.
But the death of my friend Penny has hit home. It’s personal. She and I were pretty close. Penny was an integral part of our singing group for many years. We had a tight knot of friendship until she moved away after her husband died.
Now, the departure of my friends and family members seems to be happening with more regularity, like parched autumn leaves dropping in the fall. I know death is part of the cycle of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Maybe when you get news like this, on some silent level you just breathe a sigh of relief and feel grateful that it's not you.… Yet.