Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Penny

Rue over at Rue's Peanutbutter and Jelly Life tagged me so I am to add my favorite saying. I have thought long and hard about a quote that I live by. There are so many that play a part in my everyday life. However, The one that has stood the test of time is "A penny saved is a penny earned". Now I am terrible at this. I tend to spend to much, not budget and not think about the financial future. Yes, young and stupid.

Well here is my story.When I was 16 my family and grandparents visited Yosemite National Park. My parents were fairly well off at the time and money was not an issue. My gramps and I were taking a walk and I passed by a penny on the ground. My grandpa said "Heather pick up that penny" I replied "It's just a penny gramps." Frustrated at me he again said "Heather never leave a penny on the ground. Someday it may be your last and a Penny saved is a Penny earned." I rolled my eyes and picked it up just to make him happy. Not at all realizing the impact this would have on my life.


Months later my life as I knew it fell apart. My father's business took an awful turn for the worse and my parents lost everything. I mean everything. My dad moved to California to find work. My mom and us kids stayed behind to wrap thing up and we lived off of "PENNIES". Saved pennies purchased groceries to feed us. Oh, the irony.

The lesson stuck hard in my young mind but it gets deeper. Years later as I became a mommy my wonderful Gramps passed away. He was a mentor in my life and I can not even begin to describe the sheer since of loss I felt. From that horrible moment on when ever I have need of advice a "Penny from Heaven" is always on the ground at my feet along with a a gut feeling of what to do. I know that he is with me and it adds great comfort.

This weekend my beautiful and smart 12 year old Savannah competed in a State tournament for Odyssey of the Minds. It is problem solving creative thinking program for gifted kids. After her completion and before the awards we went to lunch, the movies and of course Starbucks. As we stood in line she and I looked down on the counter and there was a shiny new penny. I said "Pick it up Honey that is for you. Gramps is with you today. Hold on tight." She placed it in her pocket and we returned to the awards.
Now there are many schools at his competition ranging from Elementary, Middle School and High School. She is in 6th grade. Her division came up and we listened with all ears. Only the top 2 teams go to the World finals. 4th no, 3rd no, 2nd no, maybe 1st no. Oh I was so upset for her and her team. They had worked so hard. She turned to them and said, "It's alright. What an honor that we made it to State". What a kid. At the end of the awards they give the biggest award of the night, The Renatra Fusca award. This team has captured the true essence of Odyssey of the Minds and had done a above and beyond performance..."Benchmark 6th grade Elementary" !!!!!! Holy cow!!!!! That's her team. They had soared above all teams. All schools, all grades, everyone. They were the Top Dog and going to Worlds with incredible Honor. I cannot even express the joy and pride I felt seeing the look on my angels face. This sense of accomplishment will be with her for the rest of her life.
"Thanks Gramps"


twintoo10292 said...

What a wonderful story. So true. Live each day to the fullest and take nothing for granted. Your family went from rich to poor but that is when you realize you already had what mattered most-family. Aren't grandparents the wises people? I have to remind myself that with every new wrinkle comes alittle more wisdom. I'm not a grandmother but someday when I am I hope I give my grandchildren a life lesson that touches their hearts. Twin

Rue said...

Woman! I've told you not to make me cry!! I love that story, but the end is wonderful with Savannah going to the finals :)

rue :)

Judy said...

I love your "penny" story. I know of another incident where a deceased loved one was "present" at the wedding of his granddaughter as he left pennies at the reception. I'm going to ask my BF the story again and post about it cause it is sooo wonderful.


Terrie's Love, Live & Laugh Blog said...

I just wanted to say how much I love your blog. I love your story about a peneey saved is a penney earned. I had forgotten all about that saying. But, it is so.. true!

goddessof4 said...

A very touching story!!! I need to follow that advice.I sometimes pass up pennies,but not anymore!!!!

becky said...

What a touching post! I always pick up pennies, but now I will remember your story each time I come across one. Thanks for sharing!

...and congrats to your daughter!!!

Chrissy said...

Heather, even though we have never met and may never meet,I think of you as a friend and let me tell you my friend, that was a wonderful, inspiring story!! I know how it feels to be so proud of your kids that you feel like you will burst..... way to go Savannah, way to go!! xoxoxoChrissy

Mrs. B said...

Wow! That is so awesome that your daughter's team did so well! You must be such a proud mommy! My 6 year old daughter competed in Odyssey of the Mind just last month. The young teams don't actually receive prices like 1st, 2nd, etc., but they did pretty well. I know this can be a lot of hard work for the coach, the kids, and the parents!

An Enchanted Cottage said...

Oh my gosh, I have such a lump in my throat reading this post... Thanks for sharing - and congratulations to Savannah!!... Donna