The Magic Coin Holder

I think that grandparents are probably the single most unappreciated gift we have from God. There is little in life that can compare to the love of a grandparent or to the warmth and safety wrapped in the embrace of their arms. They are our playmates, the keeper of our secrets, our shelter in times of storms. They love us when no one else does. They are our heroes.

My sisters and I were blessed with the best grandparents children could ever have and I have very few childhood memories in which my mom's parents were not a part of. To say my grandpa Frank was a character would be a gross understatement. Born Frank Andrew Brandt on April 29, 1918 , grandpa was born in St. Louis, MO the son of Hungarian immigrants. He met the love of his life at a dance on Valentine's Day and married later that year. He supported his family working for the Falstaff Brewery as a brewmeister. He was the father of three children, a Mason, enjoyed a good meal and a lover of life. Since grandpa got sick at a very young age, I don't really have any recollections of him being healthy. However what I do remember very vividly is being conscious of how he adored us children and how much fun we always had with him.

One of my favorite memories of my grandpa was his "magic" coin purse. Generally every Sunday grandma and grandpa would come over and have supper with us. In the summer time dad would barbecue and if the weather permitted we would eat outside on the patio. It would be during these summertime visits while waiting to eat, grandpa would ask us girls to take him for a walk around the backyard. We were always eager to oblige and as we walked grandpa around he would tell us jokes and talk to us about all sorts of things. Then he would stop in his tracks and ask one of us to go check out something mysterious he saw laying in the grass. Whichever one of us he designated for the chore would obediently scope the situation out and upon investigation would find a brand new, shiny quarter. Funny thing is we always took two trips around the yard and each trip he always found exactly three quarters.

Mom was always particularly fond of the trips around the yard grandpa took with us girls because for the following week we kept ourselves busy scouring the yard in search of new quarters. I must admit it took me much longer to figure out grandpa's secret to finding quarters in the backyard grass than it should have. I suppose if truth be told it was because grandpa didn't want us to stop believing he could do something no one else could do. The ironic part is all along he did do something no one else could do, hold the hearts of three little girls who thought he hung the moon.

Sadly, like my own dad, we lost grandpa way too soon. When he passed away grandma asked me if there was anything of my grandpa's I would like to have. For as long as I could remember he had always carried a little green vinyl coin holder and I told her if she still had it, that was what I would like to have. She went and got it and when she gave it to me she told me it was just as he left it. It has been thirty-six years since I have seen my grandpa and I still carry the coin purse with me today. The vinyl has broken down some and melted on the coins, but it is still as grandpa left it all those years ago.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.