Friday, August 31, 2007

Pennies From Heaven

Dear Abby [syndicated advice column]
30 August 2007

DEAR ABBY: I read one of your "pennies from heaven" columns more than a year ago. I thought the idea was quaint, but didn't pay it much mind because I've always felt that when someone's life ends -- that's it! I never believed in an afterlife. Well, I do now. [...]
[A likely incomplete list of other Dear Abby columns about people attaching spiritual significance to a penny they've found. -- bc]
Dear Abby
3 May 2001
Dear Abby
6 June 2001
Dear Abby
25 July 2001
Dear Abby
25 Dec 2001
Dear Abby
13 April 2003
Dear Abby
25 April 2004


Dear Abby
1 March 2009
[Pennies, nickels]
Dear Abby
6 April 2010
[Italian lira]

Dear Abby
24 October 2010

New Yorker

3 Jan 2011

Talk of the Town
LegaciesFour Hundred Dresses
By Gay Talese

[...] [Diane Becker, Elaine Kaufman's business partner, recalled that the recently deceased owner of Elaine's restaurant] "had a longtime habit -- something she picked up as a kid born at the start of the Depression to Russian Jewish parents who emigrated to the Bronx. Whenever she passed a public phone, she'd stick her fingers into the coin return, fishing around for change. At the restaurant in the afternoon, she'd often sit near the two phones and absent-mindedly check for change. I'd say to her, `Elaine, since people started using cell phones, you haven't gotten change out of those phones in years.' She'd check anyway. And she never got any change.

"A few days after she died, I was at the restaurant, telling Richie, our awning cleaner, that story," Becker continued. "For effect, I stuck my hand into one of the coin returns and, to my surprise, I pulled out a quarter. When I put my hand into the other phone, I pulled out another quarter. Only this one was accompanied by a penny. That was Elaine getting the last laugh and wishing me luck."

Woman's World , 26 March 2012, p. 38.

My Guardian Angel

Dimes from Dad
Angels don't just send pennies from Heaven -- any coin can be a sign! as Woman's World reader Lyndal Knight of Carmichael, California, discovered. She writes:

Even as my dad's illness made his world smaller and smaller, the twinkle in his eye never faded. And, cracking jokes and pulling pranks, he could always make me laugh.

One day I found him with such a serious look on his face, I kissed the top of his head. "A penny for your thoughts, Dad," I said.

"I think they're worth at least a dime," he quipped.

Soon after, Dad could no longer speak, though he could still show his feelings with his eyes. And when I brought the wonderful man I was dating, Ron, to visit him, Dad winked, signaling his approval.

They, all too soon, Dad slipped away. We knew it was his time; that, blessedly, he was no longer in pain. But knowing that didn't make it any easier on our hearts. It didn't help us miss him any less.

Aching with grief, I often found myself talking to Dad as the months passed.

"Oh, Dad," I'd sigh, my eyes welling with tears. "I wish you could've stuck around to get to know Ron -- you really would've liked him. I wish you were here cracking jokes the way you always did. I just miss you so much..."

Just then, I happened to look down -- and beside my slipper was a dime, heads up and twinkling.

And what's that? I wondered. Because inexplicably stuck to my slipper was a sticker -- and when I pulled it off, I gasped. Printed on the sticker was an angel's wing and the word Knight, our last name!

Blinking with amazement, I smiled as Dad's message dawned on me loud and clear: Dad would always "stick around" me.

But that was only the beginning. Over the next few years, my mom, sister and I began finding dimes everywhere -- always coinciding with when we were really missing Dad.

Then, last year, I had a bad fall, breaking my wrist. As I awaited surgery, everyone told me how risky it was, with the shattered bone fragments very close to an artery.

Dad, I found myself praying, please guide the doctors...

After the procedure, I was in recovery when, as two nurses were helping me roll onto my side, one commented, "There's a coin on her back!"

Even through the fog of the fading anesthesia, I felt a surge of love. "Is it a dime?" I murmured, knowing already that it was.

"Yes!" the nurse said. "But how on Earth did it get there?"

"It's from my Dad," I said.

"But that's against regulations. Everything has to be sterile..."

Smiling, I explained about Dad's sense of humor and signs, adding: "I bet he wanted me to know he's got my back."

Amazed, the nurses taped Dad's dime over my heart where it stayed, twinkling up at me as I healed completely -- thanks, I knew, to my dad, my angel.

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