My late husband Howard picked up coins. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters would appear in his path, and he always, and I mean always, stopped to pick them up. Stooping down from a height of 6’4” was no easy feat, with football knees and medically flat feet, but he did it. He always said, “It’s free money!” The financial planner in him knew the value of every cent.

I met with my small group co-leader Jenn and her new beau Kevin shortly after Howard’s passing. While we were chatting a beautiful black butterfly with iridescent blue markings flitted around the flowers next to me and I said, “Hello, beautiful.” It was at that moment I knew it was a gift from God as He knew I needed a love note from Howard. Jenn and I talked about it later, and she had felt the same.

Then, I was a little peeved. Why butterflies? They are seasonal. I want these little love tokens from God specific to Howard all year round, not just during the warm months.

After my dad died, God sent me hawks. My dad was an Iowa Hawkeye so it made perfect sense. At important times, I see a hawk and know it’s God’s way of telling me that my dad is somehow in the moment. When my bff Leanne and I were on our way to the cemetery to meet my good friend and neighbor Ron to select Howard’s and my final earthly place, a beautiful hawk swooped overhead and I felt such comfort.

I get to see hawks all year long. But, butterflies? Yeah, I was kind of disappointed.

Then, I cleaned out the RV trailer. It was an extremely emotional undertaking as Howard was everywhere in that trailer. I relived our great trips with the kids, the fun family vacations we’d had. What caught me by surprise was the acute awareness of the trips not taken. You always think there’s time, until there isn’t.

In the pass-through storage space I found a dime. Now, most people would think, ‘oh, there’s a dime’. But it wasn’t just a dime, it was a gift from God. You see, there is no way that a coin would be there. If there were coins in the trailer, which there weren’t in any other place, they’d be in his bedside cupboard where he kept his wallet and other personal items. Or, they’d be in the kitchen, the catch-all place. But this coin wasn’t. It was in a very odd place.

It was God giving me coins in memory of Howard. Because I can still see him coming to a full stop in a parking lot and stooping his large frame down to pick up that ‘free money’.

So, now I have butterflies and coins for Howard. If you’ve lost someone dear, my darling friend, and it would mean a lot to you to have a special token, ask God for one. He’s a generous God and He gives lovingly to His people.

“Those in Heaven now are sometimes allowed by God to see or know things about what is happening on the earth. But only those things that God, for his good purposes, allows them to know. Otherwise their eternal happiness and bliss would often be compromised.” ~ Fr. Paul Massey (ref: Luke 15:7,10; Hebrews 12:1; Revelation 6:9-11)