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!!!