Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Roll of Quarters

My grandfather was an amazing man, and I had the privilege of reflecting on his life this past week as my relatives and I celebrated his passage from this world to Christ's heavenly realm. There were so many wonderful memories, so many stories to tell, and so much laughter amidst the tears that I think that I have just experienced my favorite Thanksgiving holiday yet.

My grandfather loved his family immensely. I have always appreciated the special ways that he showed his love for his grandchildren, and last week was no exception. My grandmother came out of the office one afternoon carrying a bright yellow, canvas bag. Since my grandfather was a banker for many years, he always had an affinity towards teaching lessons with money. My mother tells me that he always carried at least one $100 bill with him, just because. I think my youngest brother takes after him in that regard, because he has been known to trot down the street with a pocket full of coins; he likes having that jingling sound, just because.

Therefore, I wasn't entirely surprised when I saw that the canvas bag held rolls of quarters. However, these were not just any quarters, they were exclusively Oklahoma state quarters. When the US Mint released the Oklahoma quarter in 2008, Grandad counted up his grandchildren, walked down to the bank, and bought enough rolls such that each of his grandchildren could have one. I don't know whether the number of rolls was exact or not - he might have budgeted enough for several more additions to the family... Grandma mentioned that one of Grandad's last comments was to make sure that she didn't forget about the quarters. Even after several years, he remembered. As with all of his family, his grandchildren were always close to his heart.

Grandma later admitted that she wasn't clear on what Grandad's intentions had been for the quarters once they had changed hands. "Honestly, I'm not quite sure what he hoping you would do with them!" I answered, "see, that's the beauty of it - we will all do something different!" An FCA director who was a mentor of mine in undergraduate would hand out gold Sacajawea dollar coins to those who had accomplished his most difficult team building activity. Before placing the coin in their hands, he would share how the story of Sacajawea tied in with their achievements. I still have my gold dollar somewhere in my room (I think it was randomly tossed in with my hair ties - the moving process always shuffles things around...). I intend to use my Oklahoma quarters for a similar purpose. I suppose that requires me to learn about Oklahoma history and their state bird first, since the bird is on the quarter! Maybe the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher had to go through some hard times - a guide for the Lewis and Clark of the bird world, perhaps? No? Hmm, maybe not.

What would you do with a roll of quarters?

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