I was researching an emotionally difficult issue when I retrieved a voicemail from Cousin Tom, official advisor to this blog. “Anne, I’ve been reading the blog and it’s getting a little depressing,” he said. “I mean, I read the John Mellencamp post and now that he’s dating Meg Ryan, maybe you can do a positive post on that.” Heady stuff cousin Tom, heady stuff. If you wondered at all, I have lots of positive things to share. I mean, I find pennies. I’ve been reluctant to share this because it seems sometimes pedantic, and I haven’t quite figured out why I find them. So I talked to my work colleague Gloria about it, asking, “Hey Glow, am I making this up or do I find pennies a lot?” She pondered a moment. “Gallagher, I never find pennies except when I am with you. You find them all the time. I never do.” Glow and I were walking out of our office the other day and there one sat. “Where did that come from?” she asked. “I just walked through here and there was no penny.” I picked it up and smiled. I find them all the time. I’m not quite sure what they mean but I think they are a sign of some sort. I interpret them to be signs telling me to continue on with things I am not always comfortable with, like writing this blog and working to complete the longer memoir on it. “Glow, what do pennies mean to you?” I asked, hoping she had some insight I lacked. She did. Some people see finding pennies as good luck; others see a penny with the ‘tails’ side down and flip it over to the “heads” side so someone else will have good luck; we throw pennies on ponds and wish on them; they are a sign of something or other; and for some people, they mean absolutely nothing. I find pennies and they encourage me though I’m not sure why. Do you find pennies? Do you find anything? What do they mean to you?
Saturday night we went to the John Mellencamp concert at the Chicago Theater and when he sang, “Rain on the Scarecrow”*, I remember us playing that song after my dad’s funeral in December 1993. When the funeral ended, we drove aimlessly around the Green Bay farmland. The snow barely covered the ground and you could see the fallow dirt. The crops were long gone and what remained looked sad and straggly, drained of moisture and color. It was fitting for that day. During his entire life, my father never once mentioned my accident. He was doggedly supportive of me; never turned down a good idea if I had a plan to go with it. He became ill when I was only 17 , and when that happened the focus shifted to caring for him as his health and mental acuity diminished. I wish now I had the courage to ask him about the accident, to understand his thoughts and feelings. When I heard that song Saturday night, I remembered the aimless farmland drive as well as all the things I hadn’t had time to ask him before he died. I wondered then if he ever wanted to talk to me about it. Many years later, I got my answer by going to a woman who channelled guides. Out of the blue, she told me she had a message from him and I got the answers I had been wanting. It felt like a miracle. When the universe has a plan for you, there is no stopping it. Have you ever felt that?
Rain on the Scarecrow
Scarecrow on a wooden cross, blackbird in the barn
Four hundred empty acres that used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did, my grandpa cleared his land
When I was five, I walked a fence while grandpa held my hand
Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the land……….
- Rocker John Mellencamp likens Internet to A-bomb (omg.yahoo.com)