You have no idea how difficult it is for me to sit down and write this. Writing this is painful. It’s real. Penny is gone.
I first met Penny in 2010. I met her thru Cecile (Chuvaness). From then on we became ‘good friends’. Every time I see her it’s like we haven’t seen each other for 10 years.
Pennyyyyyyyy… Tinaaaaaaa… screaming at the top of our lungs. We kissed and hugged and very happy to see each other.
We always talked about good stuff, happy things and we giggle a lot. Penny loves to giggle. It was so easy to make her laugh. The minute I open my mouth she’s already giggling.
That’s why when Cecile told me that Penny was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 2 years ago, the first thing I said was NO.
No, no, no. Not Penny. Why Penny God?
But Cecile assured me that she was going to be okay. I told Cecile if something’s going to happen to Penny I wouldn’t know how to take it. I told Cecile I would be very, very sad.
From then on we never discussed it again. Every time I see her she would not mention about it. I would not ask her about it. It was like it never happened.
We continue to giggle and laugh every time we see each other. Talking about good things, shopping (which we both love), food and everything. Except her being sick.
It helped that she didn’t look sick. If you see her you’d never know that she was sick.
Cecile never mentioned it again. And I was afraid to ask.
See… she’s okay. She’s going to be okay.
Until early this year when Cecile told me Penny is already stage 4 and has spread to her lungs. But Cecile insisted she’s going to be okay. Patrice told me she’s going to be okay. She looked good, her disposition was good, she was happy. So, I told myself, Penny is going to be okay.
The last time I saw her was during Cecile’s birthday dinner first week of May. She was leaving for Italy the next day and we (Penny, Keri and me) planned to have lunch when she gets back from her trip.
When she left that night she kissed me and told me: “good bye Tina. I love you.” I cried walking to my car. I felt that she was saying good bye already and it hurt. It really hurt. I walked away and told her “I’ll see you when you get back. I love you, too Penny.”
I was waiting for her to come back. I waited for her text.
I left for Cebu last Thursday and Saturday afternoon Cecile called me. She told me Penny was rushed to the hospital and she was going to go anytime.
I told Cecile no, no, nooooooo. Please tell her to wait for me.
After that call I was not myself anymore. The next day (Sunday) they were looking for B+ platelet and as far as I was, I texted people if they can help look for B+ blood for Penny.
Every time my phone would ring I would get nervous and scared. I did not want to hear anything bad.
Please Penny don’t go yet. Don’t leave us.
My flight back to Manila was Monday at 3:00pm. Coming from Daan Bantayan which was 3 hours away from the City, we arrived in the airport past 11:00am. I was planning to go to the hospital. Drop my luggage at home and go straight to the hospital.
As we entered the airport the dreaded call came. Grace called me. The minute I said ‘hello’ and before Grace could say anything I told her no, no, no, noooo Grace. Please NO.
“Penny is gone, Tina. A few minutes ago.”
And we both didn’t say anything for a few minutes. There was nothing left to say anymore.
Penny is gone and I am very, very sad. I love Penny. She was my Penny.
Penny was 37 years old and survived by her husband Jasper and her kids Ethan, Colleen, Sofia, Chloe and Maddie.
Penny and Me