By Sallie A. Rodman
When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal.
“Bette, how can I go on?” I said, pleading for an easy answer.
“Sallie, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other every day. It is not a destination but a journey,” she counseled me.
My mind drifted back to that ugly day when this journey had begun. Paul, my husband of forty-six years, had died suddenly at the age of sixty-nine. I was set adrift in a sea of grief. My days were filled with sadness and crying. I longed for his touch, his laugh and his presence. My children had grown up and had families of their own; they were scattered in far off cities.
I also missed the way we ran our household as a couple. Paul took care of the outside and all the maintenance on our home while I took care of the inside. I missed this stability in my life. Broken sprinklers, dying dishwashers, big purchases such as garage doors and home repairs were foreign to me. I was swimming as fast as I could to cope with not only my loss, but also my new duties as head of the house.
Everything was upside down in my world and my spiritual side was shaken too. How could a just and loving God take my sweet husband from me? We had known each other since high school. He was my rock. We were supposed to be together into old age and beyond. I wanted him back and longed for him every day.
In desperation I turned to an eighty-year-old friend and spiritually wise woman named Bette. I asked her if I could drop by for some tea and sympathy and words of wisdom. She had lost her grown daughter years before so she understood my grief. I was begging for some reassurance that Paul was still around me, just outside my realm and reach.
Bette’s words brought me back from my reverie.
“Sallie, are you listening to me?”
“I’m sorry Bette. I was just remembering. I know it’s a journey. Even though I know it isn’t possible to get Paul back, I want to know he is with me. I want some sign that he hears me, loves me and watches over me from the other side,” I said, tears starting to flow.
“I know sweetie,” she said, giving me a hug. “This is what I want you to do. Every time you go out, ask Paul for a sign he is with you, and I’m sure you will get an answer.”
I followed Bette’s advice and the strangest thing happened. I started to find pennies everywhere I went. There were pennies in the apple bin at my health food store, pennies under the clothes rack at the boutique, pennies when I walked the dog, pennies in the garden. Pennies, pennies, pennies. I doubted they were from Paul. I mean, really, everyone finds pennies.
I called Bette.
“Bette, I keep finding pennies all over the place. It’s so simple but could it be a sign from Paul?”
“Of course,” Bette replied. “I find pennies from my daughter all the time. They are pennies from heaven letting you know your loved one is with you.”
I continued to doubt, but I guess Paul wanted to be sure I understood the message. I am a cynic sometimes, so he delivered the message loud and clear.
That following week I stopped at my local pharmacy. I was in a hurry to get home because I was expecting a package delivery. As I stepped from my car I looked down to make sure that in my haste I had parked between the lines. When I returned to my car no more than five minutes later, it looked like someone had emptied a piggy bank in front of my door. I stared in awe at the piles of pennies. I opened my car door and crumpled onto the seat sobbing. How could I have doubted that Paul wasn’t nearby?
I gathered all the pennies and went home to call Bette.
“Bette, it’s true! Paul is with me! I just found a bucket of pennies in front of my car,” I sputtered out excitedly.
“I know, Sallie,” she said laughing. “I know. Isn’t it grand?”
The pennies keep coming and I talk to Paul every day.
“Thanks honey. I know you’re there as my special angel. I’ll love you forever.”
I have an earthenware jar that I put my pennies from heaven in. Someday soon I will buy a tree to plant in Paul’s garden to honor our love. And at the base with be a plaque in his memory. At the rate I’m finding pennies it won’t be long now.
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