A Gift From My Grandmother

February 1, 2022

About My Grandmother

My paternal grandmother was a widow before I was born.  And while I didn't realize it when I was a child, I don't think she had a lot of extra money.  I guess that's why instead of visiting often or even calling on the phone she sent me things. Like letters and clippings and eventually a binder.

The binder came with only a couple pages but then she started sending me more pages to fill it.  And so several times a year I'd receive a package of 2 or 3 or 4 photo album pages filled with brightly colored pictures.

Those pictures weren't anything special by ordinary standards.  Most were simply cut from magazines and carefully arranged under the plastic film that covered each page in the album.  But somehow those pages impressed me so much that I still remember the pictures.  A pile of leaves raked up by group of kids.  A little dog in a bright red coat.  A school bus in the rain.

My grandmother came to visit us once or twice a year and when she did she slept in the spare room next to mine.  And I remember how one Christmas Eve we sat together on the bed in that room while she told me the story of the nativity. I will never forget the chills that ran up and down my spine when she told me about the glory of the angels heralding the miracle that was the birth of Jesus.

And I have long thought that the presence that was there with us in the room that night was angelic in nature.

My Grandmother's Gift

The next day, on Christmas, my grandmother gave me a little white Bible.  I don't remember getting it and I suspect it didn't impress me as much as the other presents I received.  But I did read it -  off and on, all through my childhood.

I would like to say that I kept reading that Bible or that it was one of my prized possessions but that would not be accurate. What is accurate is that my life veered off the rails and I returned to the Bible my grandmother had infrequently. and that it spent most of the years between now and then in a succession of dresser drawers and boxes.

And yet, somehow, out of the things that mattered more and all things that have come and gone, that little Bible is one of the few things I've hung on to.

In 2012 I moved into a new (old) house. I was still deeply involved in New Age spirituality.  But when I was unpacking I decided to put the Bible my grandmother gave me into my china cabinet alongside my tarot cards and crystals.

And, in 2017, when I began to make my way back to the Faith those things went the way of other mistakes, great and small, and the little white Bible stayed.

And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock.  And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear.  And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy... -  St. Luke 2:8-10

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