Pennies From Heaven

I’ve recently been working on a chapter in Kept Secrets that touches on life after death. None of us really knows what life in the hereafter will be like, but since most people aren’t comfortable with the unknown, we’ve attempted to fill in the blank with everything from an eternity of drinking and carousing in Vahalla (Sorry ladies, Vahalla is for male warriors only) to an ideal existance where angels wear white flowy gowns and everyone looks like the perfect blonde, blue-eyed specimen of European humanity. I have my own ideas, but I’m not too concerned with trying to figure it all out because it’s pointless. We’ll all find out when the time comes. One thing I am certain of is that those who have passed on like to hang out in our world when it suits them. The signs are everywhere. You just have to pay attention. And sometimes those signs come about in unexpected ways. Like pennies.

After a six-year battle with cancer, my mom passed on in 2000. It was hard for her to let go. Anyone who works in hospice will tell you that the dying often have to be assured that those they leave behind will be all right. She was worried about Dad who had Parkinson’s. We assured her over and over again that we would take care of him. And we did.

Once the house was sold, he split his time between my brother’s house in Austin and ours in Arizona. The strangest thing happened after he came to live with us. We started to find pennies on the floor and the staircase on a daily basis. It was never nickles or dimes or quarters. Just pennies. There weren’t heaps of them–never more than a dozen or so. Dad, who had been an engineer and liked everything in its place would shake his head and wonder out loud where they came from. I had no answer for him.

It was kind of cool. Every morning, we would look to see where they were. If you’re suspecting that he was playing a joke on me–and at one time, that would have been very likely–his Parkinson’s made it impossible for him to get up in the middle of the night and toss pennies around. A few months into the penny mystery, I decided to do an internet search and was surprised by how much came up. The idea I liked best was that departed loved one’s drop them when they come by to visit. The pennies went from being kind of cool to being very super cool. The next morning when Dad came up with his daily Where did these pennies come from? I told him I thought Mother left them. He didn’t quite know what to make of that, but he didn’t argue. The funny thing is, if I had said the same thing to my mother before she died, she would have crossed her arms and said, “That’s just silly.”

I have the craziest daughter ever! I don’t know where she gets these outlandish ideas.

After Dad passed on, the pennies stopped. But that didn’t mean the visits stopped.  They both come by, now. I can’t prove it. There’s nothing tangible. Nothing I can point to and say “See, I told you they were here.” I’ve even suggested to them that they leave money on the stairs since it worked so well before. Quarters or folding money would be nice. So far, they haven’t listened. I doesn’t really matter. It’s just nice to know they’re around.

I’ve decided that when I return from beyond to visit my children and grandchildren, I’m going to do things a little differently. Instead of leaving pennies on the floor, I’m going to turn the television up really loud, mess with them while they’re trying to unlock the next level on whatever game they’re playing and flush the toilet at random intervals. They’ll know it’s me. It’s going to be fun.

From sunny semi-warm Arizona, have a great week!!!

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About Diana Douglas

Diana Douglas, author. Coorganizer of the Arizona Novel Writers Workshop. Transplanted Texan. http://www.meetup.com/Arizona-Writers-Workshop-com http://twitter.com/#!/themodernscribe
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20 Responses to Pennies From Heaven

  1. Char Bishop says:

    Diana, I totally agree–they are with us, maybe for just a short while to be sure we’re okay, or maybe it takes them longer to let go of that in-between world.

  2. Trish says:

    Diana – that was a really sweet post; I loved it. My parents visit me in dreams. My father passed away in 1998 and never once appeared in a dream until after my mother died almost a year ago. Now, just recently in the last couple of months, they’ve been showing up together in my dreams. It’s nice, comforting to think they are together. I agree with you – there is no doubt there is something there, on a different plane. I’m willing to wait a good long time, though, before I find out.

    • I’m glad you liked it. It’s cool how those who have passed use different avenues to reach us. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories… I’m convinced the next step is pretty awesome, but until my body gives out, I’m happy to stay where I am.

  3. Even though I’ve heard you tell this story before, it still gave me chills to read it. It’s such a sweet story, and you tell it so well.
    Pretty much everyone has a ghost story, so there’s gotta be some truth behind it.
    Nice post, Diana.

  4. Marcia says:

    Very cool, Diana! I’ve never experienced anything like that, except once when I was 11 I could sworn I felt my grandmother, who had passed just months before, sit next to me as i lay in bed trying to fall asleep. She looked at me, patted my hand, and smiled.
    I have felt also that my dad who passed 3 yrs before I met my husband, had something to do with us meeting. Nothing specific tells me that, just a feeling.
    My kids tell me that the house my daughter lives in is haunted by the old man who died there. Who knows? But I, too, am happy right where I am until my body quits working. :)

  5. What a great story about your grandmother. I hope you weren’t scared–it doesn’t sound like you were. And as far as your dad setting you up with your husband, I’d trust my feelings on that one. It seems perfectly reasonable to me.

  6. Neat story about finding the pennies. I believe every word of it. All things are possible.

    I had a near-death experience in which I think I (my soul) was in that place “in between” life and death. It was so calm and peaceful. The thing I remember most was that everything made perfect sense. All the “mysteries” that confuse us here on earth were revealed and I remember thinking “Well, of course! It’s so simple.” I don’t remember what the “of course” was after I “returned,” but I know that if I had to stay, it wouldn’t have been sad for me at all. It was so wonderful to understand everything and feel completely safe and whole.

    Use it if you like…

  7. Almost everything I’ve heard or read about near-death experiences paints a picture of a calm and peaceful transition to a greater understanding. I’m also pretty sure that time and space become irrelevant and that someone (hopefully somebody you know) comes to get you when it’s your time. I have to say that I’m glad it wasn’t your time. Otherwise, Lorna’s Voice wouldn’t have come about and we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know you.

    • Aw. Thanks for that. I actually was pushed back here. I was willing to stay, but was told I had one more thing to accomplish. Can’t for the life of me (pun not intended) remember what it was, but I remember thinking that it was “a piece of cake.” Odd, huh?

  8. Wow. Does it drive you nuts trying to figure out what it was? I guess it doesn’t matter. When whatever it is needs happen, you’ll make it happen.

    • There were 3 things that I was supposed to accomplish in this life; 2 were already completed by the time of this incident. I spent many hours of conjecture wondering what the 2 were that I already did and the one left undone. In the end it really doesn’t matter. How could I know until I get back there–and I’m not planning on that any time soon!

  9. molly says:

    Interesting story Diana, also enjoyed the comments in response … my nature leans towards scientific objectivity, and perhaps that is why I have numerous inexplicable experiences. Two of which saved my life, one definitely saved my sanity and twice it appeared to bystanders that “my” quick thinking saved another. Although I’m adamant and crystal clear, I didn’t do the thinking nor the action that saved. My persona and body was used. I felt suspended in time on both occasions, a “watcher” as the action took place, which was why I rushed off stunned and deeply embarrassed when effusive thanks were attempted, cheers catchul8r molly

  10. I’ve gotten some of the greatest comments on this post. It just shows how relevant that ‘other world’ is to us. When our son was 19, he hit a pothole on a country road in a 4wheel drive and the truck flipped over 3 times. He had on his seatbelt and his friend who was in the passenger seat had buckled his about 10 seconds before the truck rolled. Being typical, not too bright teenagers who thought they were immortal, this wasn’t typical behavior for them. They both walked away without a scratch. Someone or something told them to buckle up and I’m so thankful that they did.

  11. hawleywood40 says:

    I love this story, and so agree with you. I really do believe those who have gone on can and do come back to visit. I’ve never had anything like this happen. But once years ago, I was traveling with my then-husband and we were stopped at a light at a busy intersection. Someone in the lane next to us bumped the bumper in front of him. The man who was bumped jumped out of his truck with a shotgun, yelling and screaming. I was terrified, and my instinct was to feel trapped and want to throw open the door and run. Then I got this sudden feeling of calm, and clear as day I heard the voice of my beloved and recently deceased great-uncle in my head, saying “Stay still girl – it will be ok.” Luckily this was in a very busy area and cops arrived on the scene immediately. No one was hurt. Later when my husband and I talked I convinced myself that my own mind had conjured up this uncle’s voice to calm myself down, because he was such a loving and positive figure to me. But you know what, I really don’t think so. I think he knew I needed him to keep me from being dumb and conjured himself : ).

  12. I think you’re absolutely right. They help us when they can–but not everyone listens. I’m happy you did.

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