“Hey, daisyfae! Your Mom’s been here!”
Studley was on the lanai and grinning. He had fixed our drinks and headed for the pool, as i finished the conversation with my sister, T, about the latest Trailer Park “scores and highlights”.
daisyfae: What the hell are you talking about?
On the concrete, next to T’s pool, was a single penny.
daisyfae: You’re fucking with me, right? You put that there!
Studley: Nope. Came out, set our drinks down and there it was…
daisyfae: T! Get out here! Did you put this there?
Of course she hadn’t seen it. Her partner, T, didn’t know anything about it either. Her home is pristine and sparkly clean and modern. Nothing out of place. The penny had not been there earlier…
i was rattled.
Mom was a firm believer in “pennies from heaven” – the legend that states that when you lose a loved one, they will often throw you a penny when you need to find it. A token to know that they are ok, and doing fine on the other side.
She almost got us both killed a few years ago chasing one such token. We had taken Mom on a cruise to Alaska after Dad died, and she was at her peak “pennies are a sign from the afterlife” frenzy.
i’d rented a wheelchair for the trip because she’d lost a good bit of mobility by then. Wheeling her across a street in Ketchican, Alaska, she suddenly put on the brakes, Fred Flintstone style. Jamming her feet to the pavement, she said “There’s a dime! It’s from your Dad!”
i looked up to see a tour bus headed directly for us.
daisyfae: Mom, i can either pick up the dime or dodge the bus!
Her feet remained planted, and i snatched the dime from the street, popped a wheelie with the chair and avoided disaster.
My sister and i both remember Mom’s firm belief in the pennies from heaven. T was rattled, too, and said that the kayak had recently been cleaned near that side of the pool, and perhaps that’s where it came from.
i grabbed my drink and got into the pool. Studley had already jumped in, and lost his swim trunks. He was still amused. Shaking my head, i swam over to him and grabbed my drink. To say that i was further rattled by what was on the can of Diet Coke holding my whiskey would be an understatement.
There is a promotion by the Coca Cola corporation in the U.S. to randomly tag cans and bottles with names and nicknames – the “Share a Coke with…” campaign. Of course this was random.
daisyfae: i’m a fucking scientist… i KNOW this is not a sign from the great beyond. It is coincidence – confirmation bias.
Studley [still grinning]: Yep. But you’re rattled, aren’t you?
A week later, i’d taken a day off of work to head to The Park to work estate-related issues. That was the day my niece, DQ, surprised me with the little musical fella that Mom had asked her to give to me.
Arriving home, i was pretty beat. Decided to park him on a decorative “table” i’d crafted from my Dad’s old steamer trunk. The trunk that holds the few sentimental bits and pieces i’ve kept since he died.
Imagine my surprise to find a single fucking penny sitting on the trunk… In the spot i had decided to park the music box….
i am a scientist…. both by nature and by training. i fully comprehend the concept of confirmation bias — we see what we expect to see. Without a reservation, i can tell you that the penny must have been there for a month or more, and i just hadn’t noticed it.
But yeah… i was rattled…. again…