happy birthday, pop – i love you!
pop built the house in westfield that my brother thomas lives in today. westfield wasn’t far from martinsville where i grew up so we got to see them alot. gram & pop came over almost every sunday and we went there for most holidays. they were great grandparents. they always had stuff for us. pop collected old coins. we used to check every penny we came across during the week to see if it was an old one. you knew it was old when it had a 2 blades of wheat surrounding the words ‘one cent’. we called them “one cent” pennies. every sunday when gram and pop came to the house we would run to greet them – pennies in hand. we were so excited to give pop our pennies – not so much for the nickel he would give us in return, but because we thought it made him really happy. we continued collecting pennies for pop until he died.
pop passed away on december 6, 1996. the last time i saw him was thanskgiving about 2 weeks earlier and in between i had found a ‘one cent’ penny that i planned on giving to him but never had the chance. i brought it to his wake and placed it in the casket with him. i served as a paul bearer and helped my 3 brothers and 2 cousins carry pop from the church. after the funeral service i was reliving memories of pop with my brothers and my cousins. as it turns they too brought their ‘one cent’ pennies and sent them off to the after life in the casket with pop. i think it was thomas who said, “dam – that’s why the casket was so heavy!”
now pop sends me ‘one cent’ pennies from heaven. all i have to do is ask.