Wishes at The Copper Penny

I sat on a barstool and watched those gathered in the room melt into one another as if they’d always been meant to share the small basement bar room. Alcohol and deep sentiment are good conduits for such effect.

For some it was a reunion—family and friends, or acquaintances, brought together again. For others it was a first meeting—strangers no longer, because of a mutual love and desire to support the same people.

For all it was a collective grieving of a life lost.

And it was a celebration.

While too short in the eyes of many, it was also a life well lived. And because of that fact…in need of celebrating.

In the neon and florescent lighting, listening to laughter and tears woven among the songs of the 60s and 70s, I reflected on stories told, and soaked in the photos, the people, the mementos. In my mind, I pieced together the puzzle of what it means to have achieved a life well lived.

Work hard. Be honest. Love fiercely.

Do these things and in your wake may follow the best kind of people this world has to offer and more love than can be put into words. That was the message left behind for us to read in the remembrance and celebration of a life well lived.

Blinking back tears, I distracted myself by inspecting the copper pennies lacquered into the bar top. In time, I realized I was making wishes.

Each coin a wish…a prayer… for the man who laid them there, his family and friends, and the people who remain to love those he loved most.

Wishes for all of them…and me too.

Wishes for a life unafraid of hard work, grown and built in honesty, and most of all,  filled with fierce love.




This post is dedicated to Tim McFadden and his family.

Thank you for the lessons. May all your wishes on copper pennies come true.