October 2008 – Pennies from Heaven
My grandmother passed away in 1997 at the age of 86. Outside of her final days in a nursing home, she lived the last five years or so of her life with my mom and dad. I was still living there myself until 1995 when I left for school in Toledo, but I still came home for summers and holidays. “Nanny” was a very special person.
At some point after she died, my mom confided that every time she found a penny on the ground, she considered it a sign from Nanny that she is watching over us and is with us. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I have found pennies in the most unique circumstances. Many times when I am stressed out with a project at work or worried about a problem at home I find a penny on the street or sidewalk right in the midst of my fretting.
When my cat, Abigail died two years ago (Abigail was just a tiny kitten when I was still living at home with Nanny) and I was feeling down – I found a penny on the floor that reminded me Nanny was with me. Many, many times on special occasions and special dates I have found pennies out in public.
Maybe this isn’t a huge deal because more and more people just toss their pennies away like discarded cigarette butts or a used up napkin. Pennies are worthless litter to many. But that doesn’t take away the comfort in a reminder that a loved one passed on to the next life is watching over us during tough times on a bad day.
Early in October, as I was driving home for lunch, I passed some road construction work at a busy intersection in town. I sat at the long red light and watched the heavy equipment digging and moving and I remember mom telling me about how mesmerized my two nephews under the age of ten were with the trucks and equipment as they dug out and resurfaced mom’s street a year ago.
As I imagined my nephews sharing a special moment with their grandma my thoughts turned to things I shared with Nanny as a child. Nothing specific, just generalities. I don’t think about her as often as I used to.
When I got home and stepped out of my car, there was a bright shiny penny in the street right by my rear tire. “Hello Nanny, I had fun reminiscing too!”