Up in Smoke…

Tonight I saw a friend in pain. In our profession, you don’t let your guard down in front of anyone.

It was a busy night and luckily, a coworker was close by and came in to help.

We were all running in different directions and I knew my friend had to be experiencing some emotion as to what was going on.

His grandparents former home was burning down. His family no longer owned the property but he had spent many days and nights in that home.

His grandparents have been gone for many years but the residence was still known as their place, for those of us who knew them.

When everything settled down, he and two more guys came into my office; by now the room that was so earlier crowded with people was now empty except for me.

He came in and for a few moments he allowed us to see that there was pain. He talked about his grandparents even telling some amusing tales on himself.

As he spoke, you could see the emotion on his face. He spoke of his grandfather and how his music room was up stairs.

When he talked about the kitchen, I could see it clearly. I have been in the house many times. I could almost see his grandma sitting in her chair in the kitchen, her cup of coffee beside her and a cigarette in her mouth. You see, this is where she held court, where she welcomed visitors into her home.

As he continued, he said well, both my grandparents houses have burned down. My heart broke for him.

The place where so many memories were made is now gone, not once but twice for him.

I live in my grandmother’s house and I have so many memories of her and I, just having real conversations in this house. My cousin lives in my other grandparent’s house.

I can go back anytime and look at the wall where I wrote my ABCs in crayon although they are long gone. I can visit the place where I spent my years before entering kindergarten.

My friend no longer has a place to visit. That went up in smoke. He does however have some great memories of grandparents who loved him so very much.

I hope in my heart of hearts that his healing began in those wee hours of morning, just four friends sitting around, sharing his memories and his pain.


The Coin



I would like to tell you my story. Now, to you I may look like a normal silver dollar and if you found me, you might spend me or you might put me in a treasure chest or a piggy bank. I don’t have a great deal of value on the market but I am more valued than you will ever know.

When I was new, a man gave me to his father in law. I was new and shiny. I was fresh out of the mint. I was brand new. The word liberty was stamped was stamped on the front of me over a picture of President Dwight Eisenhower in profile which was in the middle and my year of birth was along the bottom of the coin. On the left side of the front of the coin were the words ” In God We Trust”

Tattooed on my back was an American Eagle, “The United States of America ” and “One Dollar”. My edges were ridged. I was beautiful.

The father in law thought so much of me, I went every where he went. I went to work with him, when he worked in the field, I was right there. Even when he ate his meals, I was there.  When he slept at night, I was on the chest at the foot of his bed. The next morning we would start all over.

I lived in his pants pocket. I met other coins but the came and they went. I was the only one that stayed. For 23 years I was with him every step he made.

When the man got sick and knew he was going to die, he placed me in the hand of his daughter. Give this to your youngest daughter. She said she would and she  put me away in a safe place.

For another 23 years I stayed locked away. I didn’t see any light. I just laid there, waiting. The other day,  I saw light for the first time in a long time.

Yesterday, the daughter spent the day with her mother. They did a little shopping, took  a nice long drive and went back to the mother’s house.

The mother reached into her pocket and pulled me out. She handed me to her daughter and told her my story.

With tears in her eyes, she (the daughter) ran her finger across my surface and felt how smooth I had become. Some of the letters in Liberty were gone. She had to strain to see the words “In God We Trust”. The eagle was still perceivable. The words on the back, they had all but disappeared. My edge was now smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Here I am old and worn. I have be aged by time and pressure. I am not shiny and new anymore but yet in this woman’s hand, I was treasured. I was LOVED!!!  I am of infinite value and she wouldn’t sell me for a million dollars. You see,  she knows the value of the fact that her grandfather wanted her to have this precious thing.I matter to him and now I matter to her.  He wanted to make sure that I was taken care of after he was gone and now I am on my new home. Tonight, I am  in her pocket as she works. She introduced me to her person today. He held me on his hand, he seems like  a great guy. She is her happiest when she is with him.  She also  showed me to some of her coworkers and they all seemed touched by my story.

When she gets home from work tomorrow morning, she will remove me from her pocket, she will lay me up on the chest at the foot of her bed, just like her grandfather.

My journey begins again, only with a different person to love, just like her.

Maybe that is why she is supposed to have me. She knows what it is like to be loved for a second time. This is going to be another awesome journey. We are both excited to see where it will lead.