Scrolling on Facebook way too early this morning, I saw a post by a dear friend of my late aunt’s, who is also my friend now. It was about a book she had read, with a summary of the book and an explanation of what it meant to her, how it moved her, and what message it left her with.
Now, I am a voracious reader – I love books and reading. I can get lost in a book for hours and lose track of my present circumstances. I have always been able to lose myself in books, which is one of the things I love about them. I’m a naturally curious person who loves learning about everything, and books allow me a view into different places, minds, and situations. Plus there’s that whole escape aspect.
Anyhow, in reading her post, it made me think of her friend, my aunt. She was always reading, and once I was an adult we would often talk about books and my much too infrequent visits to her house (I lived in another state) would often entail a trip into her closet to borrow a handful of books she’d recommended. Now, I have a lot of friends who love to read, and I see regular postings on Facebook with book reviews, recommendations, or commentary on books. Why this particular post brought with it so many memories, I have no clue, but I am glad.
The memories took me to memories of my mother, who passed away when I was 18. She also loved reading. In fact, I clearly remember going to the library with her. We went often, but my best memory was when I was old enough to get my own library card and I got to pick out even more books than usual and lug them home to get lost in. We also had a huge wall of books in the living room in the built in shelves that ran floor to ceiling against one long wall.
My godmother also shared this love of reading, and as an adult for a number of years I was fortunate enough to live in the same state as her. In fact, she had a summer home in the town I lived in, and again, my visits often resulted in me going home with armfuls of books.
As often do, the memories trailed along to other things my mom loved to do. When her nose wasn’t buried in a book, her hands were often full of whatever she was knitting, crocheting, embroidering, or whatever needlepoint canvas she was working on. She always had multiple projects going. I tried many of those needle crafts over the years, and they never stuck, but at least the skills stayed with me. I now love to knit, and I find that I feel her with me while I’m doing so. The friends I had when I was learning to knit, in my knitting group, would often tease me about being able to read while I was knitting (as long as it was a simple pattern, that didn’t require my full attention). And my stitches have always been very even, which I credit my mother with.
So I decided, as it turned out that I had an unexpectedly quiet, unscheduled day ahead, I will pay homage to the memory of my wonderful mother, reading and knitting. The only thing that would make it more like her would be if I found an Astros game on tv and watched that while knitting. Although, truth be told, she just loved baseball, so she would often watch whatever game she could find on tv, and back then, it was usually the hometeam (Astros), the Cubs or the Braves, as with cable back then you got the Chicago and Atlanta stations.
These beautiful memories also made me realize just how much of my mom I have in me. And that is an amazing gift.