Tall Tales: The Lucky Quarter
tried to insert the quarter between her fingers as if it was a coin-slot in a slot machine. She then said "Look! I'm a winner!" and fell back asleep.
Diane and her daughter didn't know if they should laugh or cry. They didn't know if she had tired to be funny, or if she was delusional.
When Diane got home she noticed that she was still holding that quarter in her hand, and when the phone call came from the hospital that her mother had slipped peacefully away she squeezed that quarter tight in her fist.
As the days of morning passed she continued to hold that quarter in her hand. She'd glance at it and marvel over how amazingly shiny and polished it seemed—much more so than the other quarters that rattled around in her purse. Maybe it was acting like a worry-stone, maybe it was because it was the last thing her mother touched, but Diane hung into that quarter as her good-luck piece.
A few weeks later Diane and her brother decided they needed a break and they went to visit the bright lights and excitement of a near-by Indian casino.
Diane picked out a slot machine and sat down to play. Suddenly a panic came over her. Her lucky quarter was gone! Had she mistakenly inserted it into the slot machine?
She called her brother over. He decided he'd pay that slot machine until it paid off, then she'd get her quarter back.
Diane nixed the idea because she'd never be able to figure out which quarter was her luck quarter from a bucket of winnings.
Her brother then suggested that he create a distrac- tion by loudly pretending to have a heart attack this giving Diane an opportunity to steal the entire slot machine. Diane didn't go for that idea either.
The two of them stood there, staring at the slot machine for a long time before giving up and leaving the casino.
Upon opening the car door Diane looked on in wide eyed amazement. There, in the middle of the car seat was her very special, very shiny lucky quarter. It was unmistakable. How her quarter had gotten from inside a slot machine to that seat remained a mystery. A mystery that made her remember her mother and how this fit in perfectly with her sense of humor.
To this day Diane still has that lucky quarter—now safely stored in her jewelry box. on those occasions when life seems difficult, she pulls it out, and looks at it's shiny surface and says aloud just like her mother did, "Look! I'm a winner!"