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Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Family Connection

My father, the editor of his local newspaper, writes a weekly column.  He's shared many stories, including an amazing tribute to my mother the Sunday after she passed away.  His writing has a way of speaking to your heart.  This is today's article and it touches my heart again...

Harry Deitz: Pennies from heaven bring rich message

Sunday November 15, 2015 12:01 AM
By Harry Deitz  

For years, my wife had a secret that she shared with only me. She worried that if others knew about it, they might consider her a bit crazy. She wasn't. In fact, she may have been blessed.
In unusual places and at unexpected times, she would find pennies. She would walk to her car and and one lying on the ground. Pennies would show up on tables in our house or in drawers or pockets of coats. She would walk into a room and find a penny where there was nothing a few minutes earlier.
There will be skeptics who consider those discoveries coincidence, but we came to believe they were special signs. Perhaps, they were pennies from heaven.
Initially, finding the pennies frightened her. More than once she asked me if someone was playing a trick on her. I assured her no one was playing games.
Eventually she shared the secret with her close friend and partner in the preschool they founded and operated. At some point, our children were let in on the secret. No one else knew.
Through the years, as she and I discussed her unexpected treasures, we decided they were affectionate signs from her father. Believing there was a connection to her father removed some of the fear because the two of them were very close. He, like my wife, was a kind and giving person. When she was younger, he always made sure she had spending money.
The appearance of pennies started soon after he died in 1990.
During the past few years we talked less about the pennies, but she continued to find them until illness limited her memory and ability to get around about two years ago.
A day or so after my wife passed away in September, our son walked to his car and found a penny on the ground. He found another after that. They too were very close, and I know my wife always used to make sure our son had money in his pocket. defines pennies from heaven as unexpected benefits, especially financial ones. Most of us know the phrase from the 1936 "Pennies from Heaven" film, starring Bing Crosby, who sang the song of that same title:
"Every time it rains it rains pennies from heaven.
"Don't you know each cloud contains pennies from heaven."
Perhaps those pennies that fall, or just appear, are meant to lift our spirits or make us stop and pay attention to the little things in life. If so, it worked for my wife, and for me, because every penny she found made us stop and think about what it might mean.
I have no doubt that there was something special about the penny phenomenon that was part of my wife's life for 25 years.
I believe in heaven and that those who have died are watching over us. Perhaps there are guardian angels, although I'm not necessarily convinced that the spirits of those who have passed on surround us at every moment. That's part of the mystery of life and death that I expect to understand someday.
It wasn't just pennies that gave us that hope. After my wife's father died, her friend gave her a rhododendron to plant in our garden in his memory. At the strangest and unexpected times, that rhododendron would blossom. We called the plant "George," her father's name.
Four years ago, when we moved, the last thing we did at the old house was to dig up George and take it to our new home.
We can choose to ignore those signs, or we use them for comfort and to build our belief in life beyond this world.
Maybe we're not meant to understand things such as this. Maybe we're supposed to have faith that there is a connection to others who have gone before us. Perhaps they simply are there to lift our spirits or give us encouragement.
Real or not, those pennies and that plant created a special enduring connection between my wife and someone who was special in her life.
That connection was priceless.

And for what it's worth...I found a penny today :)

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