It didn’t add up. And yet, there stood the jar of pennies on the bedroom dresser.
“When I was a little girl, Grammy would always say, ‘You need to pick up those pennies from heaven,’ ” Stacy Hall said, reminiscing as tears spilled at the memory. “Because then we would think about that person.”
But in June of 2012 it was Stacy’s grandmother who was gone — and that’s when pennies appeared one-by-one.
“I’d find them in the morning in the same spot,” the Richland, Wash., resident said, thinking back to the copper coins nestled in the carpet near her clothes closet. “And I’d think, ‘She’s OK’ or I’d think about something she had said. It depended on the moment.”
To this clear-thinking elementary school teacher — and former television reporter — finding the pennies from time to time had to have a logical explanation. In some ways, she felt her faith was in conflict with the idea that money could just drop from heaven.
“Either my husband Jim is dropping a lot of pennies or … .” Stacy’s voice trailed at the thought. “So I decided to put them in a jar.”
It’s the kind of story featured in the pages of Guideposts magazine’s Mysterious Ways section; events that are more than mere coincidences and seem to point to God’s love. In this instance, the pennies — only discovered at home — brought encouragement and special remembrances to a grieving granddaughter, one who had a lifelong relationship with her sweet “Grammy.”
“At the end, we knew she was going to die,” Stacy said, thinking back on the difficult moment. “Grammy asked me, ‘Is this hard for you?’ ”
Wrapped in painful emotion in that moment, the words didn’t come easily for Stacy at her 98-year old grandmother’s bedside. “It’s hard for me,” the granddaughter had confided to her grammy, “but I know you’ll always be there with me.”
Then the diminutive grandma had gently taken Stacy’s hand as she answered quietly, “Yes, I will.”
Later those last shared thoughts resonated as found pennies began to fill the jar — an inexplicable occurrence that spoke volumes to Stacy’s grieving heart. It was an experience she held privately, sharing only with family and one close friend. Concerns about how people would view this story and her credibility made her hesitate to share.
“So yesterday evening I’m at school and I’m unpacking boxes,” Stacy said about preparing her elementary classroom for the first day of school. “And I’m saying to myself that I’m not going to talk to Lucy (for her column) because it seems superstitious, silly. I had made the decision to not tell the story.”
But then something happened that changed Stacy’s mind. There in the bottom of the last emptied box sat a shiny penny.
At that moment, the thought to share the story of a grandmother’s loving promise made sense.
Lucy Luginbill is a career television producer-host and the Spiritual Life editor for the Tri-City Herald. In her column, she reflects on the meaning of her name, “Light Bringer.” If you have a story idea for Light Notes, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.