It’s now been two and a half years since we said goodbye to our first little love, Lewy. Thirty months. As that marker approached, I found myself thinking of him constantly. And I started noticing the pennies again. My mind tells me that they’re always there, but I typically just pass by them unaware. My heart tells me that he leaves them for me. To say hello. To give me a little squeeze. To say he misses me too. There was one waiting for me on the ground when I stepped out of my car at the grocery. On the floor of my patient’s room. In the threshold of a door in my house. I know they’re dirty and I should leave them be. But I can’t help myself. I pocket them all.
Recently, we visited the zoo for a second time with Marshall. He was so much more interested in the animals this time. And he was surprisingly fearless–even when he was staring a tiger in the face with just a thin sheet of glass separating them. It was remarkable to watch his reactions to all the animals.
It was pretty hot the day we went, so we paused here and there under the shade of trees. At one point we found ourselves stopped on a bridge over a creek filled with coins. Visitors had turned it into a wishing well. I pulled out a few of the pennies I had been collecting. I hesitated for just a second, thinking that maybe I didn’t want to let them go. But how could I resist letting my second little one make a wish with a penny from his big brother? Jon and I showed him how. Then with the biggest grin he could muster, he took the penny I handed him, tossed it over the side of the bridge, and then leaned way over trying to see where it landed. I’d venture that his only wish was to do it again!
My wish was the same as it always is. A wish I know can never come true.