Through the hand runs a dime

1966 Washington Quarter‘Do you remember I told you about going into Kelvin’s room after he died and finding a notebook open with the words through the hands run a dime written down and there on his bed was a dime?’

Not quite sure why this thought has suddenly popped into Andrew’s head, I just respond: ‘Yes, that’s the dime that you still have right?’

‘Yeah. Well, yesterday I was at the vending machine, and it was the anniversary of his death yesterday and the machine wouldn’t take my coin. I thought it was a New Zealand 10 cents, but when I picked it up to look, it was an American quarter.’

In Australia we often find New Zealand 10s and 20 cent coins but American ones are not common at all. It didn’t surprise me when Andrew told me he’d kept the coin. But the morning’s lesson didn’t end there. Andrew proceeded to tell me how American quarters were once made largely of silver but that became too expensive in the 60s and they then used copper in the centre. He told me that I had to check out the coin’s edge where you could clearly see the copper centre. Indeed you can and  there is a large portion of a Wikipedia page dedicated to explaining how the Washington Quarter – a silver coin – came not be made of Silver but rather the “clad composition with Flanagan reverse.” (Sounds like it could equally be an olympic diving move to me)

1966 Washing Quarter copper edge
This little interchange lasted but a few moments yet I know that the quarter, along with the dime, will stay. These will both be additional memories of Kelvin and the remembering of him.

I imagine that some people may visit Andrew’s house and wonder why there is a quarter stuck to the wall, just as I first asked why there was a dime stuck to the bed head. Yet I will know and remember the quiet moment when Andrew recalled his brother. It’s much like the moment I share with mum each year on Anzac day when we compare the state of polish on our shoes as a way of remembering my grandfather. The coins and the shoes are both obscure yet personal references that only family would understand and when Andrew shares this with me, it’s a lovely moment of feeling like family to him.


Posted on November 9, 2013, in Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. What a wonderful story. I’m sorry for both your losses, but happy for your ability to remember those in such unique and personal ways. It must be–it is–that time of year, just past the change, and I’m remembering my mother.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful spring day on the other side of the world!

  2. Outstanding! My grandmother died back in 2001. She lived in Louisiana. For my entire childhood I received dimes as a gift for birthdays, holidays, etc. As did my siblings, my children.. cousins.. etc. For some reason dimes were a rarity. Now that she’s gone, whenever we find dimes, random, on the ground… Wherever… We consider it a gift, continuing from her… And her way of letting us know she’s still around.

  3. That’s a beautiful post. As humans we invest objects with meaning. I was so plaesed when my nephew took my mother’s trunk a few weeks ago. To a stranger it would just be a trunk, a useful object, but for him it will be a link to his grandmother he has in his home.
    Your shoe ritual is so tender and powerful.

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