take it easy

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My coworker told me the other day she’d give me a reason not to hate pennies. She’d just tried to trade me a bunch for a dime, and I told her to keep them because they’d just clog up my wallet. Then she told me about her sweet sister-in law who died a year and a half ago and how lately her daughters have been finding pennies all over the place, and they’ve been wondering if they’re from their aunt. Now every time they find one, they think of her and wonder if maybe it’s on purpose. My coworker had five lined up on her desk and found another one over this last weekend.

I love things like that. It’s nice thinking some of the little things, big things and unexpected things happen on purpose, and that maybe there’s an angel you know who’s making them happen.

A few weeks ago, my friend pointed me to the blog Baby Boy Bakery, written by a woman who lost her 3-year-old in some kind of accident last May. Even though our losses are different, when she writes about them, they seem similar to me. Her son loved Disney and Mickey, and some of the ways she explains grief are just exactly how I feel. She also has a beautiful Instagram account that I started following, and I love how she finds ways to see and feel her son in ordinary things – in pancakes, in red shoes, in Mickey stickers found randomly on the ground, in the sun that sometimes leaves rays in her photographs.

She wrote a post about going to an Angels game after her son died and how it was fun, but painful – then she wrote something that’s stuck with me. “We enjoyed taking Ryan last year and we enjoyed taking him now. We carry our son in our hearts everywhere we go…with and with out Ryan.”

I guess it hadn’t quite clicked with me at that point that I could carry my dad with me everywhere I go. I had looked for him in external ways – in nature and moments where I thought he’d think something was funny. I wondered if I’d somehow actually feel him, but that hasn’t happened in a way I imagined. But when I read her post, I realized taking him with me could be my choice – he could be right in my heart and then I wouldn’t have too look for him anywhere else.

Then last Thursday happened, and this little miracle occurred on my way to work one morning. I had a lot on my mind during that early hour, and I drove to work in the dark as always, but without music on which rarely ever happens. I said some prayers while I drove, then sat in the silence for a few minutes before turning on the radio which happened to be playing “Take it Easy,” a song that reminds me of my dad because he liked the Eagles, and one that we used in his video at the viewing.

It was unexpected, and it put a big smile on my face. It felt like it was on purpose, and I don’t always feel that way. It was perfect for my troubled soul in that moment. Ironically enough it came on while I was driving home from work the next day, too. I’m pretty sure my dad really wants me to take it easy. I’m pretty sure he’s with me more than I think sometimes.

Take It easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy

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