Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chronicles of Life ... Pennies From Heaven

We all probably grew up hearing the saying, “See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck. See a penny, let it lay, and bad luck you’ll have all rest of the day.” However, luck is not a concept I buy. My Granny used to tell me Christians have no need to believe in luck. There is no such thing as good or bad luck. Only blessings and favor from God.

So no, I don’t say good luck. I say best wishes. I’m blessed, not lucky. Yes, I break mirrors without the slightest thought. I cross paths with a black cat quite frequently. I pay no mind to stepping on cracks. I’ll walk under a ladder in a heartbeat, if it’s the quickest route. And a severe rain storm calls for opening an umbrella inside before heading out to face the elements. The only thing I actually do is pick up pennies.

I saw a penny on the ground while walking into Wal-Mart Monday, and I picked it up. But luck has nothing to do with it. Instead it reminds me of a story I once read in a Dear Abby column. A reader sent in a letter saying when you see a penny on the ground it means someone you love in Heaven is thinking of you and wants you to know it. I remember reading this while still in elementary school. I put the story in the back of my mind, until it one day became of use to me.

Sometime later my granddaddy died, which tore me up. I was 12, and that was my first real experience with death. Not long after he died, I saw a perfectly clean penny on the ground. This reminded me of the letter. So I picked up the penny and thought about my granddaddy missing me as much as I missed him. For once I didn’t cry or feel sad. Now I was hooked on the penny legend.

Over the years, several loved ones have died. Each death is never easy, but finding the pennies help provide me with some comfort. When I find a penny, I simply look up and say, “I miss you too,” to whoever sent it. Each penny is attributed to the latest loved one that died.

I have determined this penny is from that same granny that taught me about luck. She died in February 2008. That was yet another hard death for me to take. There are good days when I don’t cry and bad ones that leaving me red in the face from sobbing. I miss her even more during the holidays. By finding that penny, I know she misses me too.

To some this is just a crazy old legend. And I’m crazy for even buying into it. But is it any crazier than believing in luck? For now, I’ll believe in pennies from Heaven. It’s nice to know you’re missed too. Now that’s something I can buy.

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