The Big Take-Away

Nope, no pennies from Heaven this morning!

I called my brother yesterday to tell him the "Penny Tales."

"What're you doing?" I ask. He's an electrician, so I ask because it wouldn't do to freak him out while he's wiring something. Call me overly cautious but I just don't think you should fool around when you're working with live wires.

"I'm wiring in a new panel box," he says.

I give him the headline, so he's forewarned. "I think I heard from Dad."

"What?! What did you say? Did I hear you right? You heard from Dad?"

I think he put the screwdriver down. I tell him about the pennies and what Ellen's said about signs. I'm kind of holding my breath in case he thinks I'm nuts.

"Wow! I'm gettin' shivers! You know, when Vicki's dad died she got the sign from lady bugs."

I breathe a sigh of relief. I may be nuts anyway, but at least my brother doesn't seem to think so, at least, not about this.

When I get off the line with John, I go on into my next nursing home of the day. I want to say something, tell somebody, but there's just nobody here I'd trust with that kind of story.

Clarence, a thin little man who resembles a plucked, beakless chicken wearing a tweed fedora is sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway. "Hey," he says. "There's my sweetheart," he croaks. He smiles and I stop to hold his hand and reassure him that I am his sweetheart.

I walk away and behind me I hear him saying "She's my sweetheart! She loves me. She said she loves me. Hey, you hear that? She loves me!"

I enter the social work office and sit there doing paperwork, listening to Clarence out in the hallway. "Do you know my mama? Do you? Do you know her name? Tell me her name?"

Throughout the afternoon I pass Clarence, each time stopping to take his hand and tell him all over again that I am his sweetheart. When I am leaving I give him a hug and hear all the way down the hallway and out the door "She hugged me! She hugged me! I told you, she loves me!"

And really, I do.

I walk to my car feeling better than I have in a good while. I feel maybe like Clarence, comforted by the knowledge that I am loved- by lots of people; and blessed and not as alone as I've felt, not as lost.

I feel like I haven't really lost Dad- which I knew but didn't feel. No one can take the Dad out of me.

I guess my take-away from this entire penny deal is this- It doesn't matter what the pennies signify to anyone else. It only matters what it means to me- how it makes me feel. For me it is a huge cosmic hug.

This morning I found this article. I think I agree.

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