In December of 2013, my friends Dad was diagnosed with Cancer. It was a shock, to her, her family, honestly I can’t imagine, and when I tried, I burst into tears. When someone goes through such a huge life changing event, I find one of the hardest things to do, is to find the right words to say to someone. Really, there are NO words. So many of us, are left unsure what to do, or what to say to someone who is faced with such devastating news. I know I was. I felt helpless to help her, helpless to sooth her, helpless to protect her.
So in January of 2014, I did the only thing I know how to do, I ran. As I ran, I tried praying for her father and their family, or dedicating a mile or more to him. One day in early January 2014, when this news was fresh, I was out running and as I thought deeply about what he and his family were enduring, I caught a glimpse of something sparkling on the ground from the corner of my eye. It was a bright new copper penny. I picked it up, it seemed to glow, it seemed to want me to pick it up off the ground–Okay, corny, but that’s how I felt in the moment. I stopped, lifted it from the ground, it was gnarled as if it had been run over a few times, but new and shiny, it felt warm in my hands from being on the black asphalt. I held it for a second and then took a picture and text messaged it to my friend.
That was the moment I decided that every lucky coin I found on my runs would be dedicated to her father– it was something I could do. I took a picture of each penny I found- with a message of hope attached to each. I did this continuously for almost a year– I might have been bugging the crap out of her, but I did it– I was praying that it was lifting her spirits. I know my running partners thought I was nuts- oftentimes, I would run into the middle of the street to pick up a quarter or a dime. In one of my marathons I stopped three times to pick different coins.
I did this for exactly one year. I made a jar with his name on it, and run by run filled it up. I picked up and held each coins after my runs, many were worn and tattered, I thought of his body being worn and tattered by his disease and the chemo–I carefully placed each one in the hope jar. As it filled, I imagined the strength rising up in his body, just as the coins were rising up in the jar. He is doing much better, in remission for now. I would imagine they are all still holding their breath, as anyone who conquered that disease would be. You live on the edge, waiting for the day to be free totally free again.
On January 1, 2015, I counted all of the coins I had collected, I was hoping for a good amount. I sorted and picked off the dirt, and I had collected exactly $14.00. I thought is was strange that it was $14.00, not $14.02 or $14.57, but exactly $14.00 in 2014. Over the course of the year I had made that, by just paying attention for a good cause. One might say, the secret to making money is to pay attention. One could also say, the slower you are at running the more you’d make, because you might spot more this way. So now I have this change, and my intention is donate it, but I have hesitated, because I keep asking myself, “how can I turn a meager $14.00 into more money for Cancer research, or a worthy charity?” Do you think it’s possible to take $14.00 and turn it into something much bigger? I need your help- I am looking for creative ways to make this money expand. It’s February, and I’ve given myself until April to make something of this. How can I turn $14.00 into a sizable amount?
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Do you find, and pick up money when you run?
How can I make $14.00 into something bigger, or should I just donate it along with another sizable amount?
What would you do if you found $14.00
What do you say or do to someone who is suffering?
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