This is my story. And then, after this, enough about me!
Although pennies are prominently featured in my book Better in the Morning, for me, it all started with a rose and a fly.
About twenty years ago, my mother told me how she and her grandmother, Rose, used to hold hands and gently squeeze each other’s back and forth. She was reminded of this one day, while reading in bed with our cat Shelby next to her, as she gently squeezed Shelby’s paw and Shelby pressed back. Back and forth. Then, she opened her book to the page she left off and it happened to say, “Rose.”
Could it be?
Was it just a coincidence? Or was that a sign? And if so, what did it mean? I had never explored these questions before but it opened something in me.
A short time later, I was thinking about my aunt, my dad’s sister, and specifically praying for her in that moment when a fly started flitting around, in my face, and would not leave me alone.
I swatted. And went back to praying. And swatted. And went back to praying. And swatted. “Get the frig out of my face, you annoying – (gasp) – Gram?”
Could it be?
My father’s mother had died about five years earlier and as I prayed for her daughter, this fly appeared. (She’s been flitting around ever since, like in the middle of February in a hospital room when my first niece was born. “Hi, Gram.”)
So, that’s how it all began.
The pennies happened a couple of years later when my mother’s father passed. She kept finding pennies in unusual places, like behind the TV, and, one day, asked him aloud if it was him and, if it was, to send her three pennies. The next day, there were three shiny pennies waiting for her at the checkout counter of the store.
And we never stopped believing.
He’s been popping up ever since, usually when I’ve needed him most, like in a random office drawer at 3AM while looking for a stapler, not just to clock myself in the head because I was so miserable in that moment, but also to staple something. “Hi, Grandpa. I needed to see this right now. Thank you.”
What does it mean – the rose, the fly, the pennies and a leaf too? (Me: “Gram, when you pass to the other side, send me a leaf and I’ll know it’s you.” Gram: “Okay.” She was so agreeable.)
Sometimes, it means, “I’m seeing what’s happening. I’m seeing you struggle, as you grow and your soul evolves, and I’m here with you.”
Sometimes, it just means, “Hi. I do not have a body anymore but I’m still here and I love you.”
I never want to diminish anyone’s grief. To feel like “I don’t want my mother to send me a damn ladybug, I want her here, alive, with me” is something I cannot argue with. A sign doesn’t make up for anything. The purpose of the stories I’d like to share here is not to diminish anyone’s grief or try to convert anyone into believing. Not at all. What I am trying to do is connect with people who have had similar experiences. If you have your own story of how you came to be shown certain signs and what they’ve meant to you, and if you are willing to share it here with other readers of this blog, please reach out. I would love to hear from you and share your story.
Thank you for reading!