Like this 60 year old penny that caught my attention when counting change recently.
Can you imagine all that this one little coin has been through?
The places it’s been for the last 60 years?
My parents’ marriage was “minted” 60 years ago too – March 12, 1953.
Now they both bear the rich patina of age.
In 60 years they’ve experienced
-early married life in the US Navy
-homes in seven states
-lean tuna casserole years
-prosperous travel years
-myriad changes in societal norms
-sickness and health
-years of camping and outdoor fun in the mountains
-day after day after week after week after month after month, which turned into year after year spinning and looping into decade after decade before stacking up to sixty years.
How many times did their sense of commitment keep them by each others’ side?
Only they really know.
How deeply did their love reach to have enriched their journey so far?
Only they can fully feel.
How often was their faith called up to strengthen their resolve?
Only they can wincingly recall the trials and tests.
And tell me, where does a penny go for 60 long years?
How many children’s sticky hands grasped this one penny on the way to ice cream or comic books?
How many piggy-banks was it plopped into over the years; a small part of how many dreams?
Which cash registers did it pass through?
-a Macy’s in Chicago?
-a ski shop in Aspen?
-a coffee shop in Seattle?
-a surf shop near the sands of Venice Beach?
Who knows this penny’s history?
Only the penny, really.
And pennies don’t speak.
Except when they cling, for a breath of a second longer at your fingertips to give you a chance to hear.
And I heard.
What it whispered, which gave me pause,
was how very long sixty years really is
yet on the flip side, how very quickly sixty years pass.
A 1953 penny, I discovered, is now worth 80 cents to a collector.
As for my parents’ marriage of 60 years?
Well it’s of immeasurable worth to them, I’m sure,
as it is to me, born from their union.
Two sides of one coin they are.
To have made it this far?