Twenty-five years ago last Sunday, my mother left this earth. I felt privileged to sit next to her and hold her hand and sing to her as she made that transition. It’s a day I’ll never forget. A hospital bed was set up in her family room, which featured an entire wall—floor to ceiling—of books. She was a self-taught theologian, so her books ranked right up there next to her family in importance. Just before she slipped into that final coma, I asked her to point out the books on the shelves that meant the most to her. Without hesitation, she pointed to a series of J.N. Darby, a series of Arthur Custance, and her set of daily devotional books.
When it came time to divide up the family treasures, I used my “inside” information to snag those particular books. I’m the youngest of my parents’ three children, so you can see I learned to use my wiles in creative ways. I hauled those books and a bunch of other stuff from Florida to Michigan.
Thankfully we had a big shelf in our living room to display treasures. Notice the books are not exactly accessible. But they look nice.
Fast forward 19 years. The Darby and Custance books are boxed in the attic and the devotional books are gathering dust on our bookshelf. (dust clearly visible on bookend)
My Facebook friend posted this today. Well…it’s like my mother’s devo collection has been waiting around for such a time as this, though I’m pretty sure she’d rather her daughter chose to actually read her books. Hmmm.
I’ve been releasing attachments for a while now, so this will be easy. Besides, wouldn’t I rather know high schoolers are reading her beloved books than watching them decay on my shelf?
So photos will suffice.
In fact, it turns out I’m more attached to the inscriptions.
The Cooks—dear friends from the past. This has been hidden inside one of those books all these years?
I might have to keep this bookmark, which will leave a curious stain on the pages. Oh well.
So, Josh—where can I drop off your “new” books? I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate my mom’s 25 years in heaven.
My friend Janet from Michigan read my post and wanted to share in the joy of passing along books for Josh’s classroom bookshelf. So she mailed this beautiful copy of “My Utmost for His Highest” that she said was one of a few left over from a media event at Radio Bible Class, where she works. Beyond the in-this-together beauty this illustrates, I find great joy when one of my former lives (I have several) merges with my present life. Thanks, Janet!