A perfect gift for Mama, a lover of books


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 and Her Bookx   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.

14 Responses to A perfect gift for Mama, a lover of books

  1. lesley says:

    What a lovely idea!! Isn’t it nice to capture the moment in a split second then treasure forever!
    I have never managed to get a single photo of my Dad smiling!! Even on my wedding day, my Mum said “Dad looks like he’s just got the bill in the photo’s”
    Loved reading this :0)

  2. Sandra says:

    Lesley — I love your mum’s comment about your dad! Some people just aren’t good at posing for cameras, and it’s too bad because it means we don’t have many pictures that remind us of what they were really like!

  3. C. Beth says:

    That really is so amazing–I love it!

  4. new diva says:

    What a wonderful idea and gift for all of you! I am compiling a recipe book of loved family recipes.

  5. Sandra says:

    Beth — It was one of the high points of my mother’s life!

    New Diva — We did a family cookbook for Hubby’s side of the family about 10 years ago. It is still the cookbook I use the most! Nothing beats those kind of cookbooks. 🙂

  6. Hilary says:

    Your sister is a gem. What an incredibly thoughtful labour of love. I can tell that Jean Marie shares your genes. 🙂

  7. C says:

    This is breathtakingly beautiful. You must treasure this, I’m sure! Thank you for sharing this with us. C

  8. Barb says:

    What a wonderful idea your sister had! She thought of everything…for your mom to open it early…for you to be there…
    for your mom to have the time to write in each one…for her to present each book.

  9. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Yes, she was. She is the only one of my siblings who is gone — she died six years ago. When I was writing this, I realized I really need to do a whole post on Jean Marie. She was an interesting, creative, bigger than life person.

    Thank you, C. I DO treasure her book, especially now that I’m quoting it here. Mama would have LOVED that I was sharing her stories.

    Barb — She really did think of everything — it was perfect.

  10. Candy says:

    This could be a picture of you in…let’s say 20 years…with a book of your blogs! You take after your mother in many way:)

  11. Sandra says:

    Oh, Candy, what a wonderful thought! Thank you!

  12. Vicki says:

    What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing it. V

  13. Kim says:

    absolutely love this! What a fantastic idea!

  14. Sandra says:

    Vicki — Old family stories are made “new” again when I can share them here with wonderful people, like you, who have never heard them before! And I love it that my great-grandchildren will be able to read them too!

    Kim — Thank you so much! It touches my heart every time someone reads what I’ve written and appreciates it! (and it helps to have had a sister with such an original idea for a gift!) 🙂

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