A penny and a prayer

By Diane Hrabe

What do you do when you find a penny lying on the sidewalk? Are you among the superstitious who consider if it's heads up (lucky) or tails (unlucky)?

I have heard many stories about pennies. I remember my mom telling me that an angel is nearby when you find a penny unexpectedly. Others believe it's simply good luck to find one.

Signs of good luck - a robin flying into the house, sneezing three times before breakfast, a four-leaf clover, spilling wine while proposing a toast, cutting your hair during a storm, avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, a ladybug on you, dolphins swimming nearby a ship - have been around for centuries. Even golfers are said to experience more success on the course if they start their round with odd-numbered clubs and use balls with numbers less than four.

Superstitious or intuitive?

I don't consider myself superstitious, but I do consider myself intuitive and do notice signs around me.

So my take on pennies is a bit different. It all began when my husband Ed and I sent our first-born off to college this past fall. It was an exciting time for Josh, an anxious one for us.

It seemed I just couldn't relax and let go of this letting go. I actually said a silent prayer, asking God to keep Josh safe, as I'm sure millions of parents do. I sent him out the door with this blessing. No one could have prepared me for this separation, no longer having his great sense of humor, wit and energy full-time under our roof.

The first penny found

I remember my first penny encounter as clear as if it happened yesterday. Packing up the last of Josh's stuff and going back into the house to look into his room one more time, I saw it. There on the floor near his door, a single penny, heads up. A sign? I believe it was. I sent up a silent prayer, thanking God for hearing my earlier plea. I did feel more at peace with this move right at that moment, that He was showing me His promise of protection for our son.

Before leaving New Prague just minutes later, we stopped at Holiday for a pop for the drive to River Falls. I stepped out of the truck and found a penny on the pavement in the parking lot. Coincidence or another sign? It kind of gave me shivers, but I took it to mean - no worries. I promised I'd look after him

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