Monday, April 6, 2009
Pennies from Heaven
Years ago I was walking with a friend and we came upon a dime lying on the ground. Seeming disappointed, she stooped to pick up the coin saying she thought it was a penny. When I asked why she wanted a penny, she looked up at me and said, "Don't you know the story of pennies from heaven?" After I told her that I'd heard the phrase, but didn't know the story, she explained that anytime you found a penny someone in heaven was thinking of you. I laughed aloud and said that Phil so enjoyed being different I wouldn't doubt he would drop a dime from heaven instead of a penny...just on principle. She stopped in her tracks, looked me in the eye, handed me the dime, and said "Then this must be for you."
That small exchange has given pennies a new meaning for me. From that day forward (ignoring Phil's need to be different) every time I found a penny I thought of him. And of course I began finding those copper pieces in odd places. I found one on my pillow on the anniversary of his death. Once while having a very difficult day I found one perfectly centered on the seat of my car. While opening my Christmas stocking at my parents house I found a lone penny at the bottom of my stocking. My penny discoveries have continued since that day, and they always make me smile. I don't really care if they are a "sign" or not...they remind me of Phil and that is enough.
But I do have to say that every now and then the placement of these shiny tokens is unnerving. There are moments in my life when I am desperate for a bit of reassurance from Phil. I want to know he is proud of me. I wonder whether or not he would approve of a decision I have struggled to make. Sometimes I just want to know he hasn't forgotten me. Is it possible for finding a coin to be the thing that says...yes, I am still here? Can randomly discovered one cent pieces confirm that a decision made is a good one? Would Phil really use a penny instead of a dime to send his love? As with all things widow, the answer lies somewhere between of course and who knows. No matter how badly I wish it or what I would give up to change it...Phil isn't coming home. And though I do believe he would be proud of me today, I also know that at the end of each day I have to find a way to be proud of myself. And then for my own confidence in the decisions I make to be enough.
All that said, I am currently in Australia for the first time. Taking this trip was a big decision, and some life changing possibilities are being explored here. When getting out of the shower on the first morning after my arrival, I looked over on the counter and found a lone penny. American currency on the counter in an Australian home? Yep, I think things are going to be okay.