Penelope Ayers

A Memoir

In Penelope Ayers, Amy Julia’s first book, she invites readers into a family story about hope and healing in the midst of a cancer diagnosis. Amy Julia and her husband Peter become caregivers for Peter’s mom, Penny, a colorful, sad, single woman who has been seeking peace throughout her life. When she receives news of the cancer, Penny reaches out to family and friends for support and reconciliation, and a beautiful journey of healing begins. This is a story about a young couple learning to love one another, confronting the big questions of faith and grief, and experiencing the beautiful fragility of hope.

“The tumor is malignant,” she said. “I have primary liver cancer.” Her voice remained steady, but the words came out quickly, as if they were out of her control. “Okay,” Peter replied. He pressed his index finger along the curve of his eyebrow as he asked, “What happens next?” “I’ll go to a surgeon tomorrow to find out if they can operate. If they can’t, it’s not good.” “Do you want us to come down?” “No, no that’s too much trouble.” “Are you sure?” he asked again. “It would be too much,” she repeated. “And you couldn’t get tickets the weekend before Mardi Gras.” “Do you want us to look into it?” She waited a moment to reply. “That is just so sweet of you,” she said, her voice shaking. We landed in New Orleans twenty-four hours later.

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The Reality of Hope: 3 Essays on Finding Meaning In The Midst of Grief and Loss

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