Leena Parker married a Marine, and her son Daniel eventually followed in his step-dad's footsteps. In December 2000, Leena's husband, Earl, became a patient at the local VA hospital. The prognosis was not good. "One day when I came into his room, he was holding his hand closed," Leena says. "I asked him what he had there, and he opened his hand to show me a shiny dime." Leena took it--wondering briefly who had given it to Earl--set it on the dresser, and forgot about it. Soon after, Earl passed away.
The morning after his death, Leena awakened and started to get out of bed. It seemed as if she was sitting on something. She looked on the sheet beneath her, and saw a shiny dime. "How did that get there?" she wondered.
Through the next few weeks, Leena began finding dimes in places where they had never been before. Could this be Earl, trying to tell her something? she wondered. But, like many of us, she was afraid to read too much into these finds. They could all be coincidences, couldn't they?
Gradually, the flow of dimes slowed, but it never completely stopped. Leena would find a dime on the floor of her living room, or outside as she was walking down the street. She missed Earl, and wished she could believe that the dimes were a sign he was well and happy. Then this past January, her son Daniel received orders. He was being sent to Iraq.
"I had told Daniel about the dimes," Leena says. "And the night before he was to leave, he told me he was really hoping Earl would be with him over there." Leena made a gesture of taking Earl from her heart, and giving him to Daniel. The two smiled. Earl would be watching over both of them, they hoped.
The morning before the Iraqi war started, Daniel awakened, and began to get dressed. When he reached for his helmet, there were two shiny dimes in it. Daniel was surprised. There was no need for currency in the desert, and virtually no coins anywhere around. Where had the dimes come from? He was still pondering that evening when he attended a meeting, and looked down. In between his feet was another dime. Daniel remembered what his mother had told him about the dimes, and the gesture she had made. He knew that his beloved step-dad was definitely with him, and was sending him a message of love.
Daniel was in Baghdad during the fighting there, and is now safely home and nominated for the Medal of Honor. Leena does not know why certain people became casualties and others, like her son, did not. She can only express her gratitude to God, and watch for more dimes. She knows where they're coming from.