The other day my six-year old nephew, Josh, found a nickel on the ground. Clutching the coin in his hands he ran to his mom and said, “Mom! Uncle Shawn was just thinking about me!” His grandma has always told him that Grandpa leaves pennies as a message that he’s thinking of us…he loves us. “I guess Uncle Shawn leaves nickels,” my sister-in-law concluded.
I think of Josh’s wonder and amazement and realize that we all wish for that kind of connection with those we love and those we miss. We don’t forget them and we don’t want them to forget us.
Like the other night tucking my son into bed, Jordan was sad that he couldn’t remember any of his “good memories.” I started to list off memories of Jordan’s dad until he was rubbing his eyes with sleep, listening to me as if the memories I told were better than a lullaby. “Keep talking, Mom…keep telling me anything you want…keep telling me more memories..” Jordan’s voice trailed as he drifted into pure sleep.
Earlier in the evening Jordan said that he would ask his dad all of the things he ever wanted to know at the Golden Gates someday. He smiled with an expression of relief at the thought of talking to his dad privately and told me it’s, “kinda like taking care of unfinished business.”
Jordan is right about unfinished business. Because love isn’t something you finish. Love occurs daily in the smallest of ways. Love appears with pennies and nickels–messages of love appearing when one just might need that reassurance most. One cannot finish something that has no end. Love has no end. Especially through loss we learn to love more.
So for Josh and Jordan I say collect those pennies and nickels. Save them. Take care of unfinished business. Never stop loving or missing or remembering your good memories until you fall asleep. I believe you, Josh. Uncle Shawn was thinking about you.