Friday, August 26, 2011

Pennies From Heaven ... and a Dime and a Quarter, too

I admit to being superstitious.  I believe in dreams as omens and I believe that those we have loved who have left this world have ways of communicating with us ... sometimes humorous ways.

Today's blog is about one of those communications.

I have to preface the point of this story with some background.  (My husband kids me that I have to start every story with, "I was born in 1944 ...."  LOL.  I think he's right)

Background: a number of years ago a friend named Mike told me of a friend of his who would always find money in parking lots, stores, etc. Mike's friend had died a few years ago, but before he died, he told Mike that every time Mike would find money, it would be the friend communicating from the other side.  Mike kiddingly said, "Well, when that happens, could you make it quarters and not pennies that I find."

A few years after Mike told me that story, my sister, Colleen, died.  She had always had a great sense of humor and I missed her and her sense of humor tremendously following her death.  Since I am one to always be picking up stray pennies (I used to find them in my daughters' wastebaskets .. they didn't think they were worth much!) I decided one day shortly after her death to use that as my touchstone for communicating with Colleen. (Secondary purpose:  I'd be able to find out if there actually is a Heaven!)

I thought a trial balloon was in order, so I sent a message heavenward to Colleen asking her to let me know that she was okay and that she was in heaven.  Sure enough, within a day or two, I found a few pennies on the ground.  I thanked her and asked her if she could try sending quarters the next time.  Periodically, I would find a quarter or a nickel, but most often it would be a penny.  I resigned myself to calling these little messages "Pennies from Heaven." Colleen's been gone almost 4 years now, but I still hear from her now and then in the form of a stray coin.

Now to the point of my story today!  About 10 days ago, I woke up very nervous.  Our golf league's Club Championship event was that night. I  haven't golfed well this summer and so didn't expect to do well.  Not sure why I was so nervous, but my stomach felt like I was about to leap off a tall building NOT tethered to a bungee cord.  

I had errands to run during the day, and all morning I found myself focusing more and more on my nervousness.  At one point, I was at the gas station and, while walking in, I saw a penny on the ground.  I picked it up and repeated the good luck saying I had learned as a kid: "Find a penny, pick it up.  All the day you'll have good luck."  I immediately thought "Hmmm, maybe I won't do so badly tonight.  Thanks, Colleen, for sending that my way."  

I took a few steps and then thought, "Okay, Colleen, if that really was you, send me another coin." I wanted to say "And make it a quarter," but I didn't have time.  I was looking down as I walked and the words were no more than out of my mouth and BINGO! There was another penny right in front of my left foot.  I promise you I am not making this up. I laughed and picked it up and found myself instantly calmed.  I put both pennies in my pocket and went about my day, still a bit nervous but nowhere near the panicked state I had previously experienced.

I stopped at a daughter's house on my way to golf.  Standing in her driveway, telling her the story, we were commenting on Colleen's great sense of humor.  As I finished chuckling, I looked down and there was ANOTHER penny in front of my foot.  We really giggled then (although a little nervously at that point) and I added that penny to the other 2 in my left pocket and left for the golf course.

As I was driving and thinking of the coins in my pocket, I couldn't help but think, "Well, this is really nice, but still no quarters."  Shortly after arriving at the golf course, a friend of mine walked up to me and said, "Here" and dropped a quarter into my hand.  When I asked why, she reminded me that she had borrowed one last week and she was simply returning it.  I couldn't help but laugh at the efforts my sister was exerting to help me relax and not worry about the golf game ... and to let me know that she was okay.  I added the quarter to my pocket.  

About that time, I started wondering if it was just Colleen who was trying to send me a message.  I have 5 family members who are gone:  my father, a brother, my father-in-law and my mother-in-law, as well as Colleen.  Were there 5 people in Heaven sending calming messages my way?  Since I only had 4 coins, not 5, I doubted that was it ... I attributed them all to Colleen.

I went out on that golf course and played like I hadn't played all summer ... in other words, pretty darn good.  Before every shot, I patted my left pocket where the 4 coins were and it had calmed me each time.  (I should have remembered to do it when I was putting .. unfortunately 3 and 4 putts haunted me that night)

When I came into the club house after those 9 holes, I walked over to an empty table and 4 chairs to wait for my golf buddies to come in.  The table and chairs were on the deck in the middle of a whole bunch of other ones that many people were walking past.  As I pulled out a chair, right in the middle of the chair seat was ... a dime.  There was family member #5 weighing in ... I attributed it to my brother, Steve who loved to collect coins, but it could have come from any one of them.

This past Wednesday night was round 2 of the Club Championship event.  I carried all 5 coins with me and patted my pocket frequently as I played.  Again, I shot better than I had most of the season and was even involved in a playoff for 2nd place in my flight.  

I didn't win the second place spot .. but I didn't care. I had won so much more.  I now knew for sure there is a Heaven and I know 5 people who are up there watching over me and rooting for me.  What more could a person ask for!

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