I remember many things about my Gran, but I received a text from my sister a couple of nights ago that brought to mind some distant memories.
Get some popcorn and something to drink. You’re going to need the backstory on this one.
Gran always had these antique bibles. She didn’t just have one; although, she did have one very large one. She had a few. As a young child I never understood the need for so many bibles. I just thought they were prettier than the bibles they had at the church down the street. These had gold leafing that appeared to be worn. The covers felt different. As I remember them today, they had the “old book” scent you’ll only smell with an antique book. But what puzzled me at the time was why she wrote inside these books… all of them. If a child was born, the name and date went into the bible. If someone passed away, the name and date went into the bible. Generations of the family could be traced with this information.
There were memories, too… If she went to a funeral she’d get a flower, bring it home, and press it in the bible. She’d place it at a specific passage for the person and she could usually tell you exactly whose flower it was years after the funeral.
As I look back I now know why she had so many – when a family member passed on their bible must have been given to her. She seemed to be the keeper of the family photographs, too. I think she was the family Records Keeper.
Many things were lost or misplaced in our house. My sister and I grew up in a somewhat chaotic environment, to put it mildly. Regardless, Gran’s bibles were always in the same place. If anyone needed to find one of them, they were always there, never moved.
I moved out of the house around 1989/1990. My Gran passed away shortly thereafter. I was young and foolish about many things in my life. I didn’t give her bibles any thought. There they sat in what was now my mother’s house.
Years later, mom eventually had to move into an apartment. She downsized her belongings and sold the home. My hoarder of a mother had a difficult time letting things go.
Finally I return to my sister’s text. She wanted to know if I had Gran’s old bibles. I told her no, I thought she had them. She has a few boxes in storage she needs to go through and she’s hoping to find them there.
It would be just like my mother, the Queen of Hoarders, to finally throw something away and have it be something this important.