I never do the “memories thing” on Facebook.
I wrote the little bit below these words a few weeks back and was reluctant to share it. We weren’t real-world friends; we were weirdoes connected by only words. And maybe it’s arrogant for me to share it at this point. That makes me laugh because Penni would say, “Hardly anyone uses social media to talk about the depth of their life, the good and the bad. They’re going to think whatever they want to anyway, and that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?”
Penni: For Your Thoughts
I had a fan for years. She read anything I ever wrote across all of my platforms. One of the reasons I made an impression on her was that she, too, lost a spouse suddenly when she was younger. She encouraged me to share and overshare. To jump into being an imperfectionist and just write. She enthusiastically asked for and read many things that no other person had ever read. She often got amused because it was obvious she outclassed me in intelligence and humbly deflected my insistence that it was true.
Her burden must have been incredibly heavy. I don’t know how, at my age, I can still be shocked. But she would have laughed at that and told me that of all the people in the world, I should know everything’s eventual. And no matter how wild the stories sound, they were all lived and earned.
Her stories are over now. I don’t want to get deep into the thicket of what happened; truthfully, we found out about her death in the weirdest possible way. Her passing wasn’t in the news. It was an exercise in craziness just to get a confirmation of her death from the police.
It’s obvious that the only way to show my appreciation for her enthusiasm and support is to do what she always told me to keep doing.
I’ll include one of the few messages I kept of hers.
“…remember when you explained the 10% or the Bald-Head rule to me? People around you aren’t going to see the same light others do. Their familiarity with you and the idea of you they have in their head will blind them. X, you’re creative. And you are your own worst enemy. You already say you’re an imperfectionist. Run with that. Be weird. Write about whatever the hell you want to. With your heart on your sleeve and a curse word on your tongue. Just don’t stop. You’re going to do it anyway. Eff the critics who never take a chance. If I can appreciate you, others do too. You’re going to get into trouble with people if you do it right.”
Now, I note her absence in my posts and on my blog. Just silence.