Saturday, July 8


Just sharing a nice story. Got this from ChickenSoupForTheSoul. Read on.

First Penny
By Bernice Bywater

My husband and I had birthdays six days apart. We always celebrated on a day in between by giving ourselves a joint present. One year we decided to buy a rosebush. So, on a cold, blustery January day, we set off eagerly for the nursery to make our selection. After much thought, we chose a gorgeous, velvety, deep burgundy rose named 'Mr. Lincoln.' With tall, straight stems, it's as stately as our sixteenth president.

It was sure to do well in our Northern California climate. And since my husband's name was Abe, we thought it a good match.

We followed the planting directions and by early July, the 'Mr. Lincoln' bush was loaded with lush burgundy blooms. I cut bouquets for most of July and well into August.

Years earlier, my husband and I had started a tradition. We loved to take early morning walks together. On our walks, the first one to spot a penny could keep the coin for the day's good luck. At the end of the day, the "First Penny" was deposited in a small crystal dish. When there were enough pennies in the dish, we'd go out for an ice cream treat for two.

Years passed, happy years when the roses bloomed and the copper coffer grew.
Then, it was over. On a July second, when 'Mr. Lincoln' was in full bloom, my own Abe died. There would be no more walks, no more talks and no more First Penny contests. I went to the garden that day, cut a bountiful bouquet of the roses and tearfully closed a chapter of my life.

Or so I thought.

A decade passed and on another July second, I set out on my solitary walk. As I passed our rose garden, I thrilled to the bounty of blossoms on the 'Mr. Lincoln' bush. My walk took to me to a nearby park, and, as I came up behind the bandstand, there on the path, shining in the morning sunlight, was a bright copper penny! When I got home, I took the long-unused crystal dish out of the cupboard and put my First Penny in it.

Each morning in July after that day, I took a walk and found a First Penny - sometimes shiny bright and sometimes tarnished - but always there. I began to look for it eagerly. I sensed that a countdown was underway, though I didn't know to what. One penny, two pennies, three pennies - more. At the end of July, thirty copper coins were in the crystal dish.

August first brought me the shining realization that the pennies were counting the days till our wedding anniversary on the eighteenth. If I found one every day between the anniversary of Abe's passing on July second and our wedding anniversary on August eighteenth, I would have forty-eight pennies.
Suddenly, I had a thought. Could it be? I counted out the years. Yes, it was true: This would be our forty-eighth wedding anniversary!

I'm not a superstitious person, but I got hooked. The small ritual became a consuming passion. Eighteen days until our anniversary! I scarcely slept at night waiting for the dawn and First Penny. I found the penny on the path in the park, in front of the convenience store, in the parking lot at the mall, and in front of the grocery store. Not a day was missed.

August eighteenth arrived. There were forty-seven pennies in the crystal dish. Would there be that last forty-eighth coin?

On the afternoon of our anniversary, I drove to the supermarket to pick up some groceries. On the way back to my car, I looked down and there it was: First Penny, shimmering brightly in the late-morning sun!
But there was more. When I returned to my car, there, on the hood, lay a single, long-stemmed 'Mr. Lincoln' rose!

I picked it up reverently and pressed it to my lips, allowing the tears to flow unashamedly. How could this be? How had he done this? As I stared at the lovely flower in amazement, a young man closed the trunk of the neighboring car and walked up to me.

"Oh," he said. "Sorry! That's for my wife. It's our anniversary."

"That's quite all right," I said, smiling at him through my tears. "Thank you. Thank you so very much." I handed him the rose, and he smiled at me.

"You must be thinking of someone special," he said gently.

"Yes," I replied, "and he's thinking of me."

Love makes wonder indeed!