'Pennies from heaven'

When my sisters and I were young, our parents taught us the song, “Pennies from Heaven” (music by Arthur Johnston and words by Johnny Burke), which we would sing together in harmony. My dad sang bass, and my sisters and I would sing the soprano and alto parts. My mom, who could sing just about any part but bass, would fill in wherever a note was needed.

Word got around that our family sang (and danced), and we were invited to perform at various functions in our community. I remember this time with such joy. We never did stop singing together, even when all of us kids had grown up and moved away. All reunions would include a very rousing, if somewhat rusty, rendition of “Pennies from Heaven,” as well as a host of other family favorites. Many happy times were spent singing together whenever and wherever these gatherings took place.

This past year, within a few months, both of my parents, my mother-in-law, other close friends, and two dear pets passed away. This all happened so quickly that the loss felt overwhelming.

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