When I was little I used to collect pennies. I found them in parking lots, on top of dressers, in car ash trays or in my dad’s pockets. I kept them all together in a red bandana on the floor in my closet. At night I would empty my pockets and introduce each penny to the others in my possession. I remember worrying about them being alone. Sometimes I would hop out of bed after the rest of the house had gone to sleep just to check on the pennies. I didn’t want any of them to have to spend the night outside the bandana, alone.
“How did you know Jake was ‘the one’?” a question I’ve heard a few times these past couple of married months.
I moved to Parowan the summer before my freshman year of high school with my family. The Townsends have deep Parowan roots, so moving didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I would be surrounded by cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and old family friends. I could go to a small high school and grow up in the place my Dad had talked about my whole life. I was ready until it happened. I remember one day feeling completely overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over, leaving opportunities and friends to come to a new place. My dad gave me some advice. After taking me aside and listening to my concerns he made me a promise. He said, “Maddie. When doors close, Heavenly Father tends to open new ones in Parowan”.
He was right.
One of those doors was Jake.
I didn’t know Jake was ‘the one’. I did know that I needed to be trying to become more like Jesus Christ. Each time I tried, I found Jake there too. He is the culmination of every good decision I’ve ever made.
The truth is there is no one reason, one way I knew, just a collection of little things, penny stories I keep in a pile close to me.
Jake brushing the snow off and starting my car before work every morning in his snow boots and gym shorts.
Texting me songs he heard at work that reminds him of me.
I look at him when he’s not watching sometimes and I feel happy. I picked him. I pick him every day.
Sometimes when the rest of the house is asleep, I take a look at each of the penny stories I keep in my head, and thank my Heavenly Father that I don’t ever have to be alone.
At the end of the day I still empty my pockets. I put my pennies in a jar by the bed. Jake gives me his too. I guess that’s why I’m so happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!