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PENNIES ARE SO SPECIAL
June 8 2009

PENNIES ARE SO VERY SPECIAL TO ME. EACH TIME I FIND ONE, IT TAKES ME BACK TO A TIME IN MY LIFE WHEN THINGS WERE SO VERY DIFFERENT. THEY REMIND ME OF PEOPLE FROM MY PAST, OF MEMORIES MADE TO LAST.
ONE PERSON THEY REMIND ME OF IS MY BIOLOGICAL FATHER. OF COURSE, I WAS TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER THE EVENT. HOWEVER, THE STORY HAS BEEN TOLD SO VERY MANY TIMES. MY BIOLOGICAL MOTHER GAVE BIRTH TO A SON. THE FIRST SON, WHO WOULD CARRY THE NAME OF MY FATHER. THE SON DID CARRY THAT NAME, FOR THREE WHOLE HOURS OF HIS EARTHLY EXISTENCE. THEN HE CARRIED IT BACK TO THE REALM FROM WHICH HE CAME. WHEN THEY LAID HIS TINY HUMAN FORM IN IT'S EARTHLY RESTING PLACE, MY FATHER PLACED 3 PENNIES ON THE MARKER AS HE LEFT. HE WAS LEAVING HIM ONE FOR EACH HOUR OF HIS EARTHLY VISIT. EVERY YEAR FOR MANY YEARS ON THAT DATE HE WOULD VISIT HIS SON, AND LEAVE 3 PENNIES. THAT WAS MY FATHER'S WAY OF SAYING, "I WAS SO THRILLED TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE FOR THAT SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME, AND TO HAVE YOU CARRY MY NAME."

MY GRANDMOTHER IS ANOTHER PERSON THEY REMIND ME OF. SHE ALWAYS SAID, "PENNIES ARE FROM HEAVEN BUT, IF THEY ARE TAILS UP, YOU MIGHT HAVE BAD LUCK OR PERHAPS YOU SHOULD JUST RETHINK WHAT YOU ARE THINKING." MANY YEARS AFTER SHE CROSSED THE RIVER, I WAS SENT A PACKAGE FROM AN UNKNOWN SOURCE. IT WAS MY FIRST GRADE ROY ROGERS LUNCH BOX. INSIDE IT CONTAINED MY GRANDMOTHERS BUTTONS, ONE OF MY BABY TEETH, AND TWO PENNIES, TAPED ON A CARDBOARD, ONE HEADS UP, ONE TAILS UP, TO REMIND ME TO THINK BEFORE I LEAP.

ANOTHER TIME PENNIES AFFECTED MY LIFE IS WHEN I WAS WORKING AT A HOSPITAL CAFETERIA. IT WAS A VERY SMALL HOSPITAL AND WE ONLY HAD TWO PATIENTS. THE STAFF WAS MINIMAL AND I ONLY NEEDED TO COOK TWO SPECIAL MEALS. THE STAFF COULD MUNCH ON SANDWICHES, OR IF THEY WANTED I WOULD COOK BASIC SOUP, SALAD, ETC. HOWEVER, THE TWO MEALS FOR THE PATIENTS WERE FIRST AND FOREMOST. ONE OF THEM WAS A "LAST REQUEST" MEAL. THE PATIENT WAS NOT GOING TO LIVE THROUGH OUT THE NIGHT. HIS ILLNESS, INJURIES WERE TOO GRAVE. THE OTHER PATIENT HAD JUST ENDURED SURGERY SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE AND WAS DOING FAIRLY WELL.
AS I READIED THE SPECIAL REQUEST MEAL, AND THE SURGICAL MEAL, I HEARD A NOISE COMING FROM NEAR ME. I KNEW I WAS ALONE, AND TURNED TO SEE WHAT WAS MAKING THE NOISE. A PENNY HAD COME OUT OF THE CEILING, AND WAS ROLLING, NOT FALLING DOWN THE WALL TO THE FLOOR. STAYING ON IT'S EDGE IT ROLLED OVER AND LANDED AT MY FEET. I SWALLOWED HARD, THINKING SOMEONE MUST BE PLAYING A JOKE ON ME, THEN CONTINUED ON QUICKLY PREPARING THE TRAYS TO TAKE OUT TO THE PATIENTS. HOWEVER, JUST A FEW SECONDS LATER, THE SAME THING HAPPENED. ANOTHER PENNY, ROLLED OUT OF THE CEILING AND DOWN THE WALL, ALONG THE FLOOR AND LANDED AT MY FEET. I VERY QUICKLY EXITED THE ROOM WITH MY CART. AS I NEARED THE NURSES STATION THE CHARGE NURSE LOOKED UP, ASKING 'IF I WAS OKAY, THAT I LOOKED A LITTLE PEAKED.' I EXPALINED WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND ASKED IF WE FEW PEOPLE WERE THE ONLY ONES THERE. SHE STARED AT ME FOR A MINUTE AND SMILED.
THEN WHAT SHE SAID, I WILL NEVER FORGET.

"CONSIDER YOURSELF BLESSED. YOU ARE THE SECOND PERSON TO RECEIVE THE PENNIES FROM HEAVEN. THE OTHER PERSON WAS THE OLD DOCTOR WHO HAS ALREADY CROSSED THE RIVER. HE WAS DESPERATELY TRYING TO SAVE AN ACCIDENT VICTIM, WHEN HE THRU UP HIS ARMS IN DESPAIR, SAYING,, "GOD, YOU HAVE TO TAKE OVER, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT ELSE I CAN DO." IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT, WE ALL EXPERIENCED THAT PHENOMENON HAPPENING. TWO PENNIES ONE BY ONE ROLLED OUT OF OUR CEILING AND CAME TO LAY AT THE DOCTOR'S FEET. I WOULDN'T HAVE BELIEVED IT, IF I HADN'T SEEN IT WITH MY OWN EYES. BUT IT SURE MADE A BELIEVER OUT OF ME. THE PATIENT LIVED. lIKE I SAID, CONSIDER YOURSELF BLESSED. YOU OBVIOUSLY DID A GOOD DEED TONIGHT, YOU PREPARED A LAST MEAL, AND IN DOING SO, YOU HAVE BROUGHT HAPPINESS AND PEACE TO SOMEONE, AND YOU HAVE BEEN REWARDED. NEVER DISCOUNT THOSE PENNIES, THEY ARE VERY SPECIAL. I HAVE A FEELING I NEED TO CALL IN THE OTHER FAMILY AS WELL THO." SHE DIALED THE PHONE AND THE OTHER NURSE DELIVERED THE MEALS. BEFORE I LEFT THE DOCTOR HAD SHOWN UP. BOTH PATIENTS UPON COMPLETION OF THEIR MEALS CROSSED OVER.

A SIMPLE THING THAT MOST PEOPLE TREAT AS A MERE NOTHING, 'OH, IT'S JUST A PENNY, IT CAN'T BUY ANYTHING.'

YES IT CAN, IT CAN BUY PEACE, IT CAN BUY HAPPINESS, IT CAN BRING A SMILE TO THE FACE OF SOMEONE WHO IS BROKE. FOR WHEN YOU FIND A PENNY AND YOU HAVE NO MONEY AT ALL, YOU ARE NOT BROKE ANY MORE. DON'T LET THE LITTLE THINGS OR EVEN THE BIG THINGS IN LIFE GET YOU DOWN. AND THINK WHEN YOU FIND A PENNY,, IT IS A GIFT THERE IS A REASON YOU FOUND IT. I PREFER TO THINK IT IS A GIFT FROM THE OTHER REALM, THAT MY ANGELS SO TO SPEAK ARE STILL GUARDING ME. HELPING ME MAKE IT THRU.

(c) A. J. ANGERSTEIN,, JUNE 08, 2008.

TOMORROW WOULD BE MY GRANDMOTHER'S EARTHLY BIRTHDAY. SHE WOULD BE EXACTLY 100 YEARS OLD. SHE RAISED ME, FROM INFANCY. I WAS INDEED A VERY LUCKY CHILD.
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