There is an old wives’ tale that when you find a penny it may be a Penny from Heaven. Personally, I had never given it much thought, except that it was silly. However, I had a complete change of heart about it in 2002 when I was going through an especially rough period.
My dear Mother had died suddenly in her sleep and I was devastated by the loss of my best friend, my biggest cheerleader and my confidante. We had always been very close and I found myself crying for hours at a time. In fact, I was afraid I would never stop. For a long time, I was mad at Mom for leaving and I was mad as Hell that God had taken her. It just wasn’t fair that I never had a chance to say good-bye. I felt terribly alone and abandoned.
Then one Sunday morning during Mass, I noticed a single penny sitting on the narrow wooden frame of the upholstered chair in front of me. I would have sworn that penny was not there when we first sat down, but there was no denying its appearance. When I picked up the penny, it felt surprisingly warm in my hand. I immediately felt a powerful sense of peace and comfort. In that split second, I became a believer in Pennies from Heaven. This one told me that Mom was happy in Heaven and that she loved me.
During the years since then, I have frequently found other Pennies from Heaven. Each time a coin appears, it reaffirms that I am not alone. Most often, sighting a penny lets me know that Mom is sending her love. Sometimes she even helps me solve problems. One snowy winter night, I was leaving the office in another state long after most people had already gone home. After tramping through 5 or 6 inches of pristine but rapidly accumulating snow, I had unlocked my car and dumped in my computer bag, my purse and my briefcase.
When I reached for my car keys, they were nowhere to be found and thoroughly searching the car was to no avail. It had been an especially long frustrating day and I was cold and tired, hungry and discouraged. I laid my head on the steering wheel and silently prayed for help. With a little glimmer of hope, I got out of the car and searched again. Repeatedly sweeping my foot back and forth through the snow, I finally heard the distinctive tinkle of keys! As I jumped back into the car to start the engine, I was gratified to spot a shiny penny on the floor mat. Mom was with me once again.
Each of my found pennies is a personal treasure. I may never convince everyone else, but I believe that Pennies from Heaven provide comfort when I need it the most.
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