Penny is a friend of mine that I have had for far too many years to count. Okay, about 43 years. When I was in 2nd grade, she was my Sunday school teacher and taught me Sunday school and Vacation Bible School until 6th grade ended. 6th grade was, at the time, the last of Sunday school at our church.
King of Kings Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Renton Washington
Penny was and is a wonderful model for living a Christian life.
After Sunday school ended, Penny and Buzz (her husband) and another couple were our youth group counselors. They took us on camping trips, retreats, concerts. And for a church youth group, we sometimes were less than church-like. At the time, Penny and Buzz had two young kids of their own. And this many years later as I am writing this, I just now realized the parental sacrifice they made to be involved with the youth group while Warren and Leasa were growing up.
Penny was (and still is) a huge, huge influence on me when I was a teenager. I spent a lot of time with her, I babysat their kids, I spent the night with them. Every teenage girl needs to have a friend like Penny in their life. This is certainly not saying anything at all negative about Mom, by any means. Sometimes, we all just need another adult to guide us.
I remember thanking her once, and she just told me that if I could be to Leasa what she was to me, that would be okay. I have never kept up a relationship with Leasa, and for that I am sorry. But with every young lady that crosses my path, I do try to offer encouraging words, a sympathetic ear and rational advise. The rational advise is sometimes uninvited or heeded, however.
Emily -I know that you know that I love you beyond measure.
Penny and I fell out of touch for quite a lot of years. I am embarrassed to say probably close to 15 or 20 years. A couple of years before we moved to Texas, Debbie said she had read an article in the Kent paper about Penny and Buzz celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and I decided to call her. After all those years, I still remembered her phone number. I am not going to fall out of touch with her now. No way, no how. You are stuck with me, Penny!
I called her recently and got her answering machine. Just to hear her voice on the voice mail message lifted my heart. I wanted to call back and have Randy hear her voice just so I could share her with him. (Randy has never met Penny).
Oh, how I love and cherish my friend, Penny.
Have the BEST day ever!