It was 1981 and I vaguely remember my dad saying she hung on just long enough to see us, and meet me, her namesake, but I didn’t remember she died that same day. Born in 1883, she was 99 and the oldest surviving member of our family. Imagine how much the world changed from the time she was born! Before we left she handed my dad a bible to save for me. They let me look through it as we drove away. The back seat of the car was hot and my legs stuck to green leather as I flipped through the pages, I thought it pretty boring, but paused over the few pictures I found, before handing it back.
The week of her birthday, 40 years later, my dad came across it cleaning out his garage. Neither of us remembered it existed until that moment, but he called me and told me to come get it. I got tears in my eyes when I realized the woman I was named after, was also a Christian, something I thought unheard of in my dad’s family. I knew he wouldn’t understand why that meant anything to me so I was glad he couldn’t see my face over the phone. I was a teenager when I first felt the Lords presence and after that, every time I heard one of the many scriptures about how He is faithful to the generations, I wondered who I should thank that came before me. Sometimes I searched faces in old black and white photos, looking for some hint, but I never thought of her. I can’t believe I forgot.
This hot summer Sunday morning I laid the bible out, to snap a photo for posterity. But when I opened it, a newspaper clipping and a photo fell out. That’s when I realized she hadn’t just given me a bible, she had given me HER bible. As if she knew she wouldn’t need it anymore. I wondered at the photo and clipping and went to our records and that’s when I found the dates. She died just hours after she signed this over to me and for some reason it all seems too perfect. So I want to say thank you to her and to the Lord for humbling me, and reminding me AGAIN, He is faithful to the generations.
PS. Mr Butters is never one to be left out of a photo.