PENNIES, HEAVEN-SENT

2014-04-15 19.28.10

I don’t remember when the first pennies started appearing after dad’s passing. I do, however, remember pulling up to the local drugstore in town, a day or two after, and my daughter, Tracey, telling me that Somewhere Over the Rainbow was playing — her favorite song — and we took it to be a sign from dad that everything was ok! That was where he was, and it was all good. So I, for one, made a mental note that Somewhere Over the Rainbow would be dad’s song to us.

But it wasn’t soon after that, that the pennies started appearing. Now, I completely understand: pennies are like that; they do just seem to appear. And they appear randomly at most times in everyone’s life. They can be found commonly dropped in parking lots, streets, homes, sidewalks. They can and are dropped by people everywhere, in every avenue of life, and in every place that is traveled by any human who just happens to drop a penny.

So, I don’t remember when the pennies started to become personal to us. Or which one of us was the first to ask the question, somewhere along the lines of: “are you finding pennies lately? I mean, are pennies showing up everywhere?” Or comments about finding so many pennies in so many different places — one after another, enough to get our attention. But, as a family, we definitely started noticing when pennies started showing up in the most unusual, most unlikely places, and at the most important times. This caught our attention and started us wondering …. what is this?

Tracey: I’ve looked down on the floor of my room and a penny will just be there. I have saved them over the years and really should label when and where I’ve found each one. I just know that they appear when I’ve needed help the most. Sometimes over the years we’ve found them on the floor when we went to the Vermont house. I also remember finding a penny on the floor of my dorm room when I first moved in. They are usually found in areas in the center of a room, where it would have been really easily noticed. However, often it seems as though pennies will suddenly appear in the center of a room and were not there before. I remember finding pennies during transitional moments in my life, as well as during times when I needed encouragement — in the dark times and times of uncertainty.

Terrie: I was going to take an important clerical test, and I was really nervous. When I got into my car to go, there were 2 pennies on the seat. The first time I remember taking notice of pennies, was on the walkway coming into my house.

Kim: I don’t remember the first one, but I remember the most unusual was at the foot of my podium when I was teaching a class.

Colleen: The strangest one was on top of my car after my interview for my internship.

Pennies have appeared, for each of us, in many unusual places — in the shower, balanced on top of a picture frame, sitting on the curb as my daughter stepped up to enter her graduation hall and, most recently — two pulled from my husband’s shirt pocket on the morning of his surgery — nothing else in that pocket — just two pennies. They come in all forms too: shiny and new, old and flattened, sometimes green with oxidation or bright and polished. As crazy as it may seem, we like to think of these pennies as being a form of dad’s “talking” to us; a form of his being “with” us. But, in any way they appear, we like to think that dad is there … in spirit … with us, still supporting us, still encouraging us. He’s still our biggest cheerleader and the loudest, too. And from over the rainbow, he sends us his love. How about you? Find any pennies today?

Aside

The Glory behind the Story of ImageIN THE DESERT

After the death of our dad, my mom, sisters and I were drained. Losing someone who brought so much life — my dad was fun, fun-loving, adventurous, always moving, never still — was hard, and so were the adjustments we now had to make.

For me, my dad’s passing began a season of several losses. My life began changing in ways I had not expected, and I couldn’t seem to stop them from happening. I wanted life to stay the way it had always been; to stand still, at least for a moment, while I got my bearings! I found myself scrambling. I was trying to find what my direction now was. If only I could understand what was happening …

I have a bad habit of always looking back, as if I can change what has already passed. And, during this time of losses, I was obsessively looking back to a time before they had begun. But this view of the past was distorted, not quite in focus; the colors blended together in a swirl as if I were looking through a bowl of water. I wanted to reach out and grab the pictures, but the water just rippled the images away from my grasp and they were gone.

I remember thinking that God was moving and He wanted me to move also — to cross over to some other side. But I really had no idea what this meant. Not feeling particularly adventurous, I didn’t want any more changes — I felt alone. I was waiting. During this time, a scripture kept showing itself to me:

Arise, shine for thy light has come — Isaiah 60:1

I struggled to arise and shine, but nothing I did worked. And the more I struggled, the more trouble I created for myself and others.

The answer, which took me years to discover, was not to struggle, but to surrender. Let go. Let go and let God. I thought about that. Surrender. Surrender to grieving the loss of my dad, surrender to the changes in my family, to the changes in my life. I had resisted doing that … because I had been waiting, waiting to get back my old life, not realizing that it was just ripples in the water. So now I know —

And I am making peace with where I am. This took traveling through the dry desert to get to this place of acceptance — it came in time, not over-night. And, I find that joy, happiness, and laughter are here, too. The season of losses has shifted my life; my life, now, is in adjusting to this shift. And it’s all going to be ok —

 

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In The Desert, Waiting on You