There are days when I miss my mom more than I really think I can bear. Those are the days I look for her in everything. And find her everywhere.
One day when my oldest daughter was very young right after my mom had died she found a penny on a sidewalk. Without even thinking about it I told her that was Grandma Joyce telling her she loved her from heaven. We all smiled and she held onto that penny for dear life. Its been 13 years and still seems like a raw wound.
When I was in the unsure days prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, but after the diagnostic mammogram and ultra sound my husband and I cleaned out the bonus room, you know, to keep us busy, close and get some order somewhere in our lives, we knew what was coming. I didn’t want to but did so anyway and in the last box to unpack and order were about 50 pennies. I smiled and figured it was my mom sending a lot of love my way and reminding me I am not alone, she is with me. I didn’t hold on to the pennies but I started a stack, a reminder stack.
We needed order that day because I had gone in for a diagnostic mammogram, that resulted in a ‘few more pictures’. And an ultrasound where the radiologist came in at the end to ‘get his own views’ and the technician held my hand while he did so. That was frightening, I knew there was a radiologist, but never met one before just got the interpretation. This was the Friday afternoon before labor day. He explained to me that I will need to get a biopsy, sooner rather than later, early diagnosis is the key and he would make some calls.
I got to my call and called my primary care provider, thankfully she is wonderful and talked me back into a normal human voice instead of the frightened dolphin voice I had started the call with. She said she would make some calls.
As I arrived on my driveway, my PCP called to say I had an appointment for a biopsy on Tuesday morning. I was scared, who makes calls on a holiday Friday afternoon, who answers them and schedules things for first thing Tuesday morning after a holiday weekend? I was scared.
We cleaned, we found pennies and we knew we were not alone.
That Tuesday we met the breast surgeon, she did a biopsy, you will need to have my husband recount that experience, I went to my ‘not here’ place and held onto a penny for dear life. For a long time after that I found a penny on the ground everywhere went. I put them all in the stacks. A lot has happened between then and now. My hair grew back in white/gray curls, I figure my mom sent them since I keep stacking the pennies, this way I have a reminder she is with me that I cannot put down.