Stories: Who We Have Lost

Live Like Pop: The Penny Project

Who did you lose to Covid 19? Tommy Sizemore

I’ve begun a project called “Live Like Pop” in honor of my Dad, aka Pop, who was the best man I’ve ever known and helped others selflessly every day without expecting anything in return. The project is in honor of my father, but also all those we’ve lost to Covid-19. As a nurse practitioner, I am sadly immersed in these losses everyday, both personally and professionally. And, my life will be forever affected by this.

The penny represents my Dad because he owned his own coin operated laundry business since he was 16 years old and he would always find coins in the dryer that he would give to me. One day when I was about 6, he found about ten shrunken pennies in the dryer. I remember his hands as he got down on his knee and handed them to me. I saved all of our coins we found over the years. So what may look like a penny to some, when I look, I see my Dad.

My Pop cared for everyone, including all pets. He used to carry around extra dog and cat food in the back of his truck, and would feed every stray he saw. He loved his life, lived it to the fullest, laughed often, gave his wife and 6 kids the best life anyone could ever dream of.

One of my many favorite childhood memories: after working all day, he would come have tea parties with me outside in the wooden playhouse he built for me. He was so tall that when he sat in my playhouse as I prepared the tea (fruit juice, sprite, kool aid), his head touched the roof. Still, he smiled and drank my very creative teas. Then, he would come to my playroom where I set up a grocery store. He would push my little yellow buggy around and pick out fake groceries and let me scan them. Then he would pay me with my fake money. Even then, the seeds of my penny project were being sown.

My project is still being put together. It’s a work in progress, which seems appropriate, given how we’ve lived our lives since the pandemic began. To hear more about what I’m doing, visit my website: Send me a penny with your thoughts. Let’s all remember together.

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