Penelope Anne Cole
Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club: Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at
See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at
Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com
Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Monday Madness - Another Hodge Podge
Thursday we got some devastating news. The mother of one of my daughter's high school friends died of cancer. We hadn't even known she was sick. My girl had visited with her friend just a few months ago and nothing was said at that time. How could this have happened? How could she not know she was sick? Or if she knew, how could she not tell her family? Perhaps it was sudden, aggressive cancer. Cancer doesn't always let us know it's there, does it? We'll find out more after the funeral.
This mother and grandmother was in her 50's. I'm not sure of her exact age, but most parents of college age kids are just entering their 50's, unless they had their kids very young, then in their 40's. She also had an older daughter, so I'm pretty sure she was in her 50's. That is still too young. And too young for her daughters and granddaughter to lose their mother and grandmother. She was very "with it," very involved in her daughters' lives. A smiling, gracious woman. We were totally blown away by this news. Now, instead of singing at the Maundy Thursday service, my daughter will be going to a funeral to support her friend. How do you continue without your mother at that age?
We reevaluate. I'm now even more committed to my health and daily exercise. If at all possible, I'm going to improve the quality of my health and hopefully, extend my life. I'm already older than most of my daughter's friends' parents. Optimistically, I have a head start on longevity. Realistically, I have less time left, so health, fitness, safe living, and joy in life are my watchwords.
Over the weekend, I believe we felt more intensely. We observed life more closely. We made more plans and enjoyed our time together more. I even perused Facebook to see what my family was up to. You never know how much time you have left, so make the most of each moment. Of course, doing so sacrifices some sleep -- need to be careful there -- sleep seems to extend your life and helps repair your body.
That gave us a lot to think about as my daughter launched into the second week of her new quarter. This morning she got great news in Math, 80 out of 100, so a real B! We rejoice in these small victories. She can bring her GPA up, she can keep her good student/good driver insurance discount. It is uplifting to both of us to see her successful. When you deal with special needs kids, you are grateful for these moments and pray for more.
Yes, there's a bit of madness in daily living. Nothing works right all the time. You sit at a lot of red lights. You swerve to miss a crazy driver. You get "ticked" at losing a parking spot or losing a discount that you'd counted on getting. Sadly, you lose friends and family. But then there is a bright light shining on a lovely "B" grade, so very satisfying. It makes the sky bluer, the grass greener, the flowers prettier, the roses sweeter -- "and I say to myself, what a wonderful world. . ."
Have a wonderful week!
Tags: sadness, cancer, death, loss, teens, friends, mothers, grandmothers, math, good grades, victory, triumph, daily life, beauty in nature, love, hope, gratitude, thankfulness.