Find a penny, pick it up….

When I was about 13 I came home from school one day to find my mom in her room, folding laundry in the dark, crying. She said she had tried to call one of her best friends, who she had lost touch with, to see how she was doing. My mom said she had been thinking about her a lot lately and had this overwhelming feeling that she needed to call. So she managed to find the number to their home phone and called. Her husband answered. About a month before her best friend died. My mom felt horrible because her friend had been on her mind a lot in the months prior but she just didn’t pick up the phone. She realized that all the dimes she had been finding on the floor, everyone of them reminding her of her friend, was her friends way of trying to communicate with her. Some people might think this is crazy but I don’t. A few months before, we had come home from the store and our house smelled like mechanic oil and rusty pennies and men’s aftershave. My first thought was of my Grandfather, whom I’ve never met. My mom said that was his smell and it warmed my heart. So to hear about the dimes my heart sank. If only she had picked up the phone sooner she would have been able to say goodbye to her friend.

Just the other day my sister called me and said she saw butterflies, well one butterfly, twice, miles away from each other and she asked me if I thought it meant something. I take it as something new and beautiful coming her way. She had just passed her test to be hired on to a great new job and had done her orientation that day. She got off the phone feeling excited, ready for the new road ahead of her and happy that the sign she was so clearly receiving was for the good and not the bad. Only time will tell if the butterfly was meant for her new job or something else but either way I believe it was meant for good.

There are a lot of times when I think about people from my past and wonder how they are doing. Some of them I have on social media and can quickly check on them. Others I have to go searching through pages to find some sort of trace of them. For the most part these people are doing good. Good health, jobs, homes, families. Some are just trying to get by and only a very few have passed on. I learned of an old high school friend passing on the news one morning, that was hard to take. He had turned his life around since high school, really on a great path. Wife, child on the way, good job and something just, just snapped I suppose. No one really knows what really happened. All we know is that he was chased by the police and shot in a backyard. My heart went out to his pregnant wife. He was the second friend I had ever lost.

Today, after many thoughts, I decided to look up someone I had been involved with a few years ago when my boyfriend and I had been separated. I had kept an eye on him before and he had seemed to be doing well. But there was something about him that made me check on him a few times a year. Maybe it was all the deep things we talked about or maybe it was the way things were left with us, I’m not sure. But I hadn’t checked on him in a while and the last time I really thought about him was a year ago. I was working a lot and had so much going on and kept finding pennies. Every time I found one I thought of him but didn’t realize what was going on. I didn’t look him up. I didn’t try to call or email. I just went on with my life. Little did I know he had passed away.

I looked him up on Facebook and saw that he hadn’t posted anything new so I tried to look for his girlfriend to see if she had anything posted. I got a little side tracked and found his Instagram account but didn’t see anything new there either so I looked on his followers and found his girlfriend. I went through weeks of her photos in the matter of minutes and found one of him and it said “…rip baby…”. My heart stopped. No, this can’t be right…. I searched his name on Google and it suggested obituary. I didn’t have to look too far down on the searches before I found his full name. I didn’t know how to feel. I still don’t. I want to cry but at the same time I don’t feel like my tears are justified. It’s only now that I sit here writing this do the tears fight their way out. I wish I would have paid attention to the signs. The song that we shared interest in keeps playing over and over again in my mind. His voice so clear as day. How I wish I could have said goodbye. I guess this is as close as it gets….

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