Pennies from heaven

If you know me, you know that I have a thing for feathers.
They mean something to me;
they serve as signs from the Universe and they remind me that my lost loved ones are near.
They are a part of my deeply superstitious nature,
and I believe in their power.
But, feathers are not the only symbols that have a deep, profound place in my being.
There are, in fact, many signs that I keep an eye out for,
to let me know that my angels are watching,
or that strength is near
or that everything is going to be OK.
So, while I’m on the lookout for feathers,
my eyes are also peeled for pennies.
My Nanny also had a thing for pennies.
When she’d find a heads up penny on the ground, she would call them “Pennies from heaven”.
I wrote about this in my college Thesis,
entitled, “Just a Little Bit of Dancing: A Cubist Family Portrait Through Writing.”,
which was a collage of love and life and loss in my dad’s family.
My Nanny’s love of pennies was something that many family members would mention when interviewing them for my Thesis works.
It was something that I held on to.
I grew to love pennies,
and to check them out, whenever I would spot them.
In the weeks leading up to my finding out that I was pregnant, I saw scores of feathers;
They were everywhere I’d look. I knew that they meant something.
But, just in case I needed a little extra proof, my Nanny left me one extra clue,
not only to let me know that yes, I was expecting,
but that she would be there for me,
and with me,
every step of the way.
The night before I was to receive my pregnancy test results,
I was jumping out of my skin. I could focus on nothing else, especially not the graduate work that I had to complete. But, I had to do some reading for a “Vernacular writing” seminar, and had not yet been able to find the book I needed, so I put all of my energy into the quest to find it.
Finally, I was able to track it down at my local library, but only in large print. Fine.
That would do.
I perused the large print book shelves until I found the title that I needed, and when I grabbed the book, I noticed that there was a slight space between some of the pages.
I folded it open to find that there was something stuck in page 36.
A penny.
Heads up.
From the year my husband was born.
Nanny was telling me that she was with me. That it would all be OK.
And it was.
Nanny came around throughout my pregnancy, leaving feathers to let me know that all was well.
One, most powerful instance came when she visited both me and my dad.
In trying to find something to wear, I reached into the back of my closet and found a sweater that she had bought for me before she passed away, nearly 12 years earlier. She allowed me to pick it out from the Adult GAP, which was, of course, a really big deal at the time. And, because it was something I needed to grow into,
it still fit.
I wore that sweater on a date night with my husband.
He brought me, on a whim, to a neighborhood sushi restaurant.
He didn’t realize that it was the sushi restaurant I had always gone to with my Nanny and Poppy. It was our special place. They were the people with whom I tried Ikura and green tea ice cream, and it was just our thing.
So sitting there, in that back room,
at the same table that I had shared with my Nanny,
in the sweater that she had bought for me over a decade earlier,
I felt her.
I felt her presence.
I felt her excitement.
I felt her love.
I was anxious to tell my dad, and called him first thing the next morning.
My mom picked up the phone, so I began to tell her the story, unable to contain my emotions.
As I was saying the words, “Nanny is around.”, my dad picked up the phone, interrupting us,
saying the exact same thing.
“Bex, Nanny came into my dream last night.”
And he went on to tell me that she was in the dream, at the hospital when the baby was born, and that he saw her holding my child,
a little girl,
with blue eyes.
I cried.
She was, most certainly, around.
At that time, I said, “Well, I believe it. But, let’s wait and see how my baby turns out to be. We will see if Nan was right, after all.”
5 months later,
my baby was born,
during a scary, unplanned C-Section
as my Nanny’s favorite song filled the room,
having come on the radio,
just in time for her to wail along.
She is a girl.
She has blue eyes.
Nanny was right.
She always was.
And so, this week, when I started to see pennies around, I didn’t have to question whether or not it was my Nanny.
I just knew.
So, it didn’t come as a great surprise to me when my father picked up the phone in the morning,
to tell me that Nanny had visited his dream once more, and that he got to watch her playing with my daughter.
Nor did it come as a surprise to him when I told him that I had been feeling her around.
That I had been seeing feathers.
And pennies.
One of my students even brought in a book for me to read, about a grandparent and grandchild, and their love for lucky pennies.
Okay, Nan.
I get it.
But, no sign was as powerful as the one she sent me last night,
as I saw my daughter crawl over to an object on the floor and begin to play with it.
I ran to grab the small trinket from her hands,
before it found it’s way to her mouth,
and had to gasp when I saw what it was.
A lucky penny.
Held heads up.
From the year that I was born.
A penny from heaven.
If you know me, you know that I have a thing for my angels.
They mean the world to me.
I depend on them for strength and I believe that they watch over my daughter,
as she plays each day
and as she sleeps each night.
And no matter what you believe,
I know, in my bones,
that there is a reason why these signs appear for me;
they keep my loved ones alive,
and let me know that they are not missing anything about this most special time in our lives.
And for this, I am not only blessed,
but I am also

1 Comment
  • Maureen
    January 23, 2011

    Becca, thank you for yet another wonderful & inspirational story! You are very “lucky” and blessed to have a heart full of love & the ability to share it with others. Thanks for all you share… What a great way to start my day!!! My love to you, Maureen

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