When Mama was a little girl she had very few possessions, partially because her family was very poor, but also due to the fact that they “traveled light” because they moved so often. From a very young age, she loved reading books and at times would have a few for a while, but for one reason or another, she was never really able to accumulate any books that she could call her own.
So, as an adult, Mama had a very special love of books … both to read (she was an avid reader) and to just own.
Considering Mama’s history with books, imagine what a wonderful gift this was that she received at Christmas, 1979.
Mama, the author!
My sister, Jean Marie, had secretly taken Mama’s memories that she had written down in notebooks over many years, typed them for months (this was truly an act of love because Jean and her husband owned their own company, so she normally felt wayyy past typing things herself) and then had them bound into a book that she titled I Remember .
Mama received a big heavy package from Jean a few weeks before Christmas and, per Jean’s instructions, I talked her into opening it when it arrived, rather than wait until Christmas morning. It shows how curious she was about the gift (and my obvious excitement) that she broke one of her own very strict rules that Christmas gifts not be opened before Christmas morning!
So, when she agreed to open it, I took her ever-present camera (because I KNEW she would want a picture) and made sure I caught her excitement when she realized what the gift was. I am so glad I got to be there when she opened it. She was elated! Just before I took this picture, she was saying, “I’m an author! I’m an author!”
Jean had given Mama enough copies so that she could give one to each of her children and grandchildren. Mama faithfully wrote a personal dedication in the front of each of the copies and, because Jean had given them to her early, she was able to give them to everyone that Christmas!
Truly one of the best gifts Jean could have possibly given to Mama, a lover of not just books, but also of family and family history.