“These are special coins”, my grandmother used to say to me.
She would hand me a bundle of coins – usually $30 at once – that she had lovingly cleaned, dried and bundled in a plastic freezer bag for me. There would be coins that had a design slightly different from the rest, or coins that were just particularly shiny and looked brand new. Nevertheless, any coin that she chose immediately became special to me.
Week after week, I would collect these coins, putting them in a small locked safe that my grandmother also gave me, that once belonged to her youngest daughter.
These coins, I have never spent. These coins, I have kept always, because they hold more meaning to me than the monetary value placed upon them.
These coins, I still have – all except for eight. Eight $1 coins that I lovingly bundled in a plastic freezer bag and lay with my grandmother when I had to say goodbye. All except eight $1 coins that my grandmother once collected for me, and now I have returned to her if only to give back a fraction of everything that she had given for me.
Because it was my grandmother that showed me the value of something special, and it was my grandmother that showed me that there are some things in life, you cannot put a price on.
I chose to return 8 coins because in the Chinese culture, 8 is a lucky number.
This is dedicated to my grandmother who passed away on February 26th, 2017. Today would have been her 78th birthday. Happy birthday Popo. I miss you.