I adore books. As a little girl starting school I loved the smell of new textbooks and all that went with it. The crayons, the new paper…even that block of clay!! I even (shock!) liked most of my teachers!!
As I became a teenager and even into my young adulthood I loved to read. I was quite a regular visitor to our local library and had my own bookcases filled with books by my favorite authors. As I grew older and had my own children, I loved to read to them….and was filled with delight when they could read to me. Both my girls would ‘write’ books when they were little…and I still have them packed away with all my treasures from their childhood.
So how do books and my personal thoughts about life tonight relate? It is quite simple really. I lost my grandmother just a few hours ago. She was just three years shy of 100 years of age and had lived through so many major events in our world’s history. It just reminded me of one of my outlooks on life.
To me, it has always been easy to explain life by comparing it to a book. When one is born, it is as though his or her own personal book of life is opened. As life’s experiences occur…from learning to talk, to walk, to write, to read…..and on into the teen years….the adult years…and yes, even those last moments before death….I feel it is our own personal chapters in this book. And when a person dies…it is not the end of that book. While in my analogy it is represented by the closing of the book…it does not mean one ceases to exist. The book existed in our hands for a while….it left an impression on all who touched it….and now it can be placed upon a shelf. The soul of what was contained in that book lives on….the book itself now represents the essence of the soul. No longer here in our hands but up there, perhaps beyond our reach on the upper shelf…but we never forget what we learned within those chapters.
The chapters in my grandmother’s life were many. She touched many lives and left behind two brothers, a daughter, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren…and too many other relatives and friends to mention. She has joined my dad, her sisters and brothers, my grandfather and so many others who have gone on before her. Tonight her book has been placed upon that top shelf….out of my reach….but the essence of all I’ve learned from her all these years will be with me always…just as all I’ve learned from my dad, my grandfather, my mom, my sister…and all I had the honor of knowing who have gone on before.
I’ll miss you Mamaw,