Sunday, November 6, 2011

Every Last Dimes

I have a little tea tin on my dresser that I fill up with dimes. I sort the dimes out of the rest of the change in my pockets at the end of the day and I tuck them into my little tin. It's almost full right now and I'm getting excited. You see, when the tin is full, I get to give them away. Where they'll go next, I'm not quite sure. What I do know is that I'm giving away my every last dime so they have to go!

Cute, right? I learned this from my Grandma. When I was a young woman, whenever I visited her, my grandmother would give me her "every last dimes". Right before I was about to leave, she would reach into her sock drawer and pull out a baggie full of dimes. She'd press the bag into my hand, plant a kiss on my cheek and whisper, "You are so special and so deserving that I want to give you my every last dime!" 
So sweet!   It was rarely more than 20 dollars but it was such an awesome sentiment! I treasured those dimes like I treasured her. I never spent her dimes on anything "regular" like groceries or bills. Her dimes were spent on a nice meal, or flowers, or some special trinket at the flea market that I would have otherwise never allowed myself to buy. Her dimes were given in a special way & I understood  that. I honored that.

I know my tin holds about $50 worth of dimes. Over the years, I've given my "every last dimes" to all sorts of people and organizations. The homeless man who's always on the corner with his 3 legged dog and his funny cardboard signs, an elephant sanctuary, a garden club, and a friend who needed a little extra money to treat herself to something nice. Sometimes, I know where they'll go before the tin is full and I get excited by the prospect of watching it fill up; anticipating when I get to give it away. Other times, I drop the contents of the full tin into a baggie and take it out into the world with me to see where they want to land. Some purpose always shows itself. And always, I do this in my grandmother's name, to honor the woman who gave me the gift of giving away my "every last dimes".

Sure, my family has our favorite charities. And my husband & I have tried to instill the importance of giving back (both of time and money) in our kids. But no one knows about my dimes. It's something I do quietly. It's not as much about giving back as it is about paying it forward. A little something extra for a stranger, an organization, a friend. My every last dimes.  I hope one day I'll get to press a bag of dimes into my own grand kid's palm, kiss their cheek and let them know they are deserving of every last dime. And I hope I can have the same impact on that child as my grandmother had on me. My sweet Grandma & her gift of every last dimes...

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