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by Abigail Van Buren

Young Man With Few Friends Seems Not to Want Any More

DEAR ABBY: I have been dealing with an anxiety disorder I thought I had beaten. I hadn't had an attack in years, until I found myself having one recently at the gym. I ran to the dressing room in tears to battle it out, and was practicing breathing deeply when I spotted something shiny in the far corner of the room. I immediately flashed on the "pennies from heaven" letters I have read in your column and, still crying, went to see what it was. As soon as I saw it was a penny, I felt calmer.

Abby, I haven't lost anyone close who might have sent me a penny, but when I picked it up it had the year of my birth on it. I understood then it was intended for me, and my anxiety dissipated.

I'm confused, though. Is this something our guardian angels share amongst themselves, or did an unknown angel take pity on me? -- JENNIFER IN ONTARIO, CANADA

DEAR JENNIFER: The subject of guardian angels is a spiritual one -- and very personal. I believe that some of us have guardian angels right here on Earth watching over us as well as those from above. And if one of them had a spare moment, it wouldn't be atypical to help out someone in a (penny) pinch.