Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Memory: Treasures in the Pages

Having left hers at church, Laurel needed a Bible to take to camp with her this week. She needed a lightweight one to carry in a backpack, so I found one of my old Bibles on a shelf. This was the NIV I carried through college and through the first ten years of my married life. I kept lots of stuff in the pages. Last night I shook all the papers out before I gave her the Bible, and right before bedtime I sifted through these lovely treasures.

I found a note from my college friend Lindsay. I don't know why she wrote it. Maybe when my grandmother died my freshman year, or perhaps some other time when she knew I was down. It says, "I love you! 'Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.' Psalm 55: 22." I am blessed to have such people in my life.

I found a note from my mom, with the salutation, "Sweet Paperdoll." That was always my favorite nickname that she had for me.

I found a note that fluttered like a ghost. I knew what the green sheet of paper was before I opened it. How many times had I read this letter from my college friend Dee Ann? Somehow I had forgotten all about it, and now that she's gone, I will treasure it even more. I remember well the confident curls of her cursive.

I found my first boyfriend's obituary, and the finality of his death hits all over again. And his age: 23. And I found the note from his mother, thanking me for traveling from Tennessee to New York for his funeral. As if I could have not been there.

I found a letter from my future mother-in-law, encouraging me after Bryan's death. What was really sweet about that letter is that Randy and I were no longer dating when she wrote it. But she said she always knew—or hoped—we'd get back together.

I found a poem from Randy after we did, indeed, get back together. A snippet from that:
"Two people met in the faraway hills of Tennessee
that learn to call each other home
And find that life without a home
is like no life at all."

I found a poem that my father wrote for me, called "Little Girl." A snippet from that:
"You weren't all that impressive
when you first arrived, you know;
Just another little pink baby,
open-mouthed and squinty-eyed.
Brothers would just as soon have a dog.
'Druther, maybe;
dogs are smarter than sisters and train better too…
Mom and I decided to keep you anyway,
At least for awhile.
Any new pet's nice to have in late winter,
helps with cabin fever.
It was dogwood season when you really joined the race—
dogwoods by the window,
white crosses and pink
blowin' in the wind,
blowin' laughter in the wind,
blowin' beauty in the wind.
My Sarah in the wind,
Sarah in the dogwood wind.

My heart is full of treasures,
little girl,
full of treasure pictures,
row on row,
year on year,
treasured treasure pictures in my heart...."

It goes on for another page, and I can't even ever get throught the first stanza without weeping. I am blessed, so blessed, by this man who is my father.

And I found the poem my father wrote for my mother on their 50th anniversary, called "Always Twenty-One." That one I can't even read. At all. Especially with my parents (who celebrated 60 years last August) 800 miles away. But I have it here if you want to read a beautiful love poem.

I found a few other things, too: a letter from my college best friend when I graduated and left, a note from my uncle after my Great-Aunt Flossie died at age 104, a postcard from Randy when he went to Venezuela, and a note from him titled, "Happy Hopefully Pregnant."

I think it is entirely appropriate that, tucked inside the Word that has always sustained me, were words from people who have loved me, touched me, forgiven me, given me unspeakable joy, and blessed me immeasurably.


  1. This is beautiful. You truly are blessed.

  2. Tina is right, this was beautiful; like I needed another excuse to cry. Thanks for sharing, Sarah.

  3. The poem from your dad is a beautiful, tangiible expression of speaking a blessing over a child. Absolutely stunning. Thanks for giving us a glimpse.

  4. Truly lovely. Thank you for sharing something so precious :)

  5. I'm going to have to do an inventory of my bible now!


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