Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Than a Bible

On Christmas Day in 1988, a thirteen year old girl gave her Maw Maw a special gift. It was a Family Bible. The Grandmother loved the thoughtful present and placed it on her den table, where it stayed for years. All the grandchildren would come over and kneel at the coffee table and open the Bible, and gaze at the beautiful pictures of Christ.

This Maw Maw was born to be a grandmother...she had to be. She'd make the grandchildren a huge breakfast when they would spend the night even though by the time she sat down to eat, her hands shook so bad she could barely drink her coffee. After she filled their bellies with the massive feast, the grandchildren would take her to the couch to rest while they cleaned her kitchen for her, because they wanted to, and they loved her, and they couldn't bare to see her tremble...

We had always heard of a son she had to bury when he was just a baby. We all wondered if that's when the tremors began. She had to bury another son while she was here in the flesh. He'd lost a battle with cancer. She saw others go Home, her husband, her brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors she'd known most of her life. The trembling increased over the years with every soul that departed but she still had her grandchildren, and that's all she really wanted.

It was hard letting her go. I miss her as much now as when I wrote about her funeral (click here for that). But it's so comforting knowing I'll see her again one day.


Our preacher was down about what he called a "routine" sermon. I actually enjoyed the service since my own family critically needed those words. But he went on to discuss how wonderful it would be if all of the church members could reunite in Heaven one day and reminisce over the wonderful and glorious days we got down on our knees and prayed together or sang hymns like we were leaving tomorrow. To me, there's never anything routine about going to our church other than the service times.

I had a row full of little girls who chose to sit next me Sunday night. The smallest was holding my daughter's doll and she wrapped that baby in her arms and rocked it the entire time. She bent down and kissed it's cheek and held it a little tighter. She brought both a smile to my face and tear to my eye as her grandmother walked to the front to sing. As always, I thought of my own Maw Maw and as this lady looked up to Heaven, I wondered who my Maw Maw was standing beside right now...did she have that first born baby back in her arms? Was she singing along with Angels as the ivory keys pounded inside our church walls?

I had a song of my own stuck in my head but I never could finish it until now. I've prayed about it since Sunday and all I kept receiving was it's right inside that Bible. I'd been so busy looking, I couldn't see...maybe that happens to all of us sometimes.

So, for the first time, I took out Maw Maw's Bible. I never imagined as a thirteen year old girl, I'd one day get back the gift I'd given to her. I had put away for protection and preservation. Little did I know, it should have never been packed away. I opened the Bible and stuck within the pages I found almost every memorial card she had collected. My Paw Paw's card was laminated, and I hope this is her way of telling me he's with her. Her brother's card, and many more are inside of her Bible.

Time after time she walked the rows,
Leading up to "goodbye" and placed a rose...
She said "see you in Heaven and I love you so,
We'll sing again some day, but for now you must go."

She went back to her house and reached for The Book
She recorded the date and in the pages she looked,
For the comforts of Heaven her loved ones call Home
Her tears are on the pages and so are my own.

She gave me more than Bible, to place upon my table,
Pages filled with His story and pages filled with her's.
The words she wrote with aging hands
As she waited for that Angel Band
She put a Bible on my table, and Jesus in my heart.
~Val Blakely~

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