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The votes are in and our July Writer of the Month has been selected! Join me in congratulating MERRYM BRUCE on being selected as 2TheHeart's newest HeartWriter! Merrym's profile will soon be up on the HeartWriters' page! You can email your congratulations to Merrym at merrybruce@msn.com




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1 in 5 will not make it to their 5th birthday.

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"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." ~Thomas Moore



For those of you unable to view the photo of the 2TheHeart stepping stone that Melodie Tilander made for me, for some reason, the photos on that page rotate, so just wait a few seconds or refresh the page and the stepping stone picture should show. Here's the link again!
www.2theheart.com/july26_04




"Pennies from Granny"
by Betty King


We had moved from Cairo to Mt. Vernon, Illinois, away from my grandmother when I was eight years old. I missed her terribly. I was told I was her favorite grandchild; she was my favorite "Granny." She was my Father's mother.

Two years later my mother and father separated and they were soon divorced. I felt as if my world was falling apart. My heart ached for that part of me that was slipping away. Mother must have sensed my longing, for she would take my little brother and me back to visit my Granny on occasions, even after the divorce.

I was always aware Granny loved us. It was something you could feel with your heart, even when your world was turned upside down.

She didn't live in a fancy house or have expensive things, but I never noticed; I just knew she loved me and I loved her back.

We had lived, for a time, next door to her and grandpa in a duplex while my father was away during World War II.

Granny had never had very much in the way of money or material things. But it was the little things she gave me that had always mattered. Things like letting me dip my fingers in the sugar bowl, which was always sitting on her table or the coffee she let me sip from her cup. She allowed me to sit on top of her kitchen table as I partook of those privileges. Yes Granny had spoiled me as a child, much to my mother's dismay, and my delight.

Granny took the time to explain the function of her weather vane, hanging on the wall, which predicted the upcoming weather. How that little wooden boy and girl knew what door to come out of, when it was going to rain, amazed me. But Granny understood.

She also had a vinegar cruet that sat high on a shelf that was beautiful, in my eyes; I asked if I could have it someday. It was given to me in a box after her funeral. She remembered; love is like that.

I used to spend a lot of time with Granny when we lived in Cairo, next door to her and grandpa, in the duplex. But times and things had changed. Grandpa had died; we lived a hundred miles away, and dad, her youngest son, my daddy, no longer lived with us. I didn't get to see dad much, and I don't know if Granny got to see him very often either. But, he was her son, and I knew she loved him. Love is like that; it can see past the pain.

Though she didn't have much, neither did we, but she did something for my brother, Tommie and me. I will always remember; she saved her pennies in a glass jar. I am sure Granny could have used those pennies herself but she saved them to give us when we came to visit. Because I was the oldest I was in charge of dividing the pennies equally between my brother and me.

"One for you, one for me," I would repeat until the jar was empty.

I don't remember how much we collected on our visits, nor was the amount important. It was the idea that she remembered us, and cared about us, when we were away from her. I'm glad she did. I needed that assurance of her love especially after my parents divorce became final.

Those memories, of when I was a child, still give me warm fuzzy feelings on days that I need them.

A Granny's love stays with a grandchild, down through the years, even when that child becomes a grandma herself.

I often wonder, after all those years, when I am lucky enough to find a penny lying on the ground somewhere, if it could possible be Granny tossing me pennies from heaven.



Betty King copyright 2004
baking2@charter.net


Betty King is a newspaper columnist an author and a speaker. She is a 2TheHeart Writer of the Month. She has a story in Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Soul and has two items coming out in the Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul in Jan. Her own third and forth books are nearing completion. She has several stories in 2TheHeart archives including God's Glue, and God Helps Those Who Help Themselves. Visit her website at
www.bettyking.net




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The Letter Box:


Marion Dear.......

You made the tears come. Oh how I do find myself so linked to your separation anxities, only in a different way. You see my husband, Ken, is undergoing major Super Bug problems currently, and when he is rolled away for another long stint in the hospital, or even a mere biopsy (or, autopsy, as he forever humorously calls it), my heart skips beats. I have such an urge to be THERE, wherever he is at that moment, just to kiss his cheek. After 52 years the THERE part has become automatic with us. Your THERE will become automatic too, no matter what goes on within you.

So, dear girl, how glad I am that you found someone to relate to, a someone who changed your day and gave you peace of mind. Sounds to me like you have a great husband. Hold him always and know he will continue to adore you and the two of you will be THERE for one another always.

Kathe Campbell
bigskyadj@in-tch.com



Melodie, I wish I could have had the pleasure of knowing your Grandma, and I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for sharing a bit of her with us....and, Evan....all I can say is, Oh my Goodness....if your THIS good at eleven....we better watch out....Fantastic ! young man.... Sandy Smith



I loved your story, Melodie. :>) Inside each of us is a footstool, something of intricate quality. I'm praying that the master craftsman will use the material I have to make something lasting. In His hands, everlasting.

You write great. thank you, Robert (<:




sooz,
what a special treat today--a great story AND a great poem. thanks to all for sharing. keep hope alive, mike segal





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