The Hidden Gifts

penny gift.jpg

At first glance those of you who know me will think this musing is about the penny seen here and will lead to me talking about Russell who I always connect found pennies to these days.  In some ways it is but it is about so much more.  It is about the gifts behind the gift we think we are receiving.  It is about the love and caring of others that I can totally miss in my excitement at finding something I look for in my everyday life.  It is about the hidden gifts that magically can break open the dark places and send burst of joyful light wash over me without me even realizing it.

A few weeks ago I came home at the end of a long day and found this penny sitting on a leaf on my front door step.  I knew it hadn’t been there when I left so it felt like an extra big, magical hello from Russell. Anytime pennies show up in spots I know they weren’t just a little while ago I start hearing the Twilight Zone theme song playing in my head.  It’s eerie and exciting all at the same time.  I quickly took a picture to share, pocketed the penny, went inside and put it in my special storage space. Then I thought nothing more of it, including forgetting to post the picture.

A few mornings later one of Avalon’s boarders, Jessica, asked me if I’d gotten the present her daughter, Lauren, had left for me on the front porch. My mind blanked as I tried to recall a gift left for me.  I’m sure I looked like a deer in the headlights trying to figure it out. Jessica went on to tell me that Lauren had left me a penny with a written note on a leaf for me.  I was stunned as I realized it was the penny I’d found at the end of a rough day.  I was moved almost to tears.

I immediately looked at the picture I’d taken and sure enough I could see there was writing on the leaf.  I’d totally missed it in my excitement to find a penny.  I was stunned!  When I saw Lauren that afternoon I thanked her profusely and shared with her how much that penny had meant to me that day.

In my excitement finding something I look for I had missed the real gift completely – that a young woman in Avalon’s community had found a penny, thought of me, wrote me a note and left it all for me at my home.  What an amazing gift of sweet love and caring she gave to me.  And I’d almost missed it.

It’s taken me weeks to be able to write about the musings around this wrapped up penny gift. I’ve realized there are gifts every single day that I am missing because I’m so focused on the obvious, right before me things.  But it’s the wrapping around those obvious gifts that mean even more.   It’s the fact that Lauren and so many others think of me in seemingly random ways and then they share that with me.  That is what I am in awe of all of the time.

Lauren will probably never know how much her gift has meant to me.  Thank you can’t ever adequately describe the depth of my gratitude for people like Lauren just sharing their love and care of me and my kids.   But that’s okay.  I know what it means and I know how it’s opened me up to look at things with a wider, deeper lens.

In this time, this moment I am grateful!





Ahhh, interesting insight this morning as I woke up feeling refreshed and hopeful about my day then suddenly had the air knocked out of me and tears started to flow when a quick grief burst hit. For months, a few years really, I’ve been struggling to articulate why the second and third and now the beginning of the fourth year after Russell died have felt harder in so many ways than the first. Don’t get me wrong that first year was wicked hard, but the years since that have been even harder. I have much to write about all of it but this morning’s flash of insight is all I will share until I have more time to write.

The continuing journey of healing has been harder for me since that first year anniversary because the grief has gone underground. That hit me like a flash of lightning this morning. Oh I’ve known it but the sudden clarity that my grief is like an underground warren of tunnels makes so much sense. In my first year of grieving everything was on the surface. Everything was out there for the world and me to see. Nothing was hidden because the shock wouldn’t allow it to be.

But as life has gone on as it must that grief has moved under the surface and it is only when something triggers it that the grief is made visible again. Otherwise, most of the time, it is just a quiet, twisty mess of emotions that can leave me constantly feeling like I am on edge and the world is never just right even in the best of moments.

I am in awe of how my journey continues to unfold and the wisdom of my deepest self speaks to me. I have every confidence that this new insight is going to open up some new areas of healing and transformation for me. I know I’ve got to figure out how to bring somethings closer to the surface again so that they don’t eat at me, leaving me feeling twisted up in the tunnels and stuck all of the time. And I know I have more strengthening to do so that the grief bursts don’t leave me incapacitated. I want to be LIVING in joy, hope and strength so much more than I am.