As I recently thumbed through Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul, I came upon a notation made by my Mama. Recognizing her penmanship, I knew it was her note, marked with a P.W. for Polly Walker, dated 12/9/97, and furthermore, she jotted that she had read this page to Leah and me. Knowing Mama held my book and read this aloud to the two of us back in 1997 warms my heart! My Mama was really good about having a pen in hand whenever she opened a book, whether it was her Bible, a favorite cookbook, or an inspirational read. I love finding a notation in her own unique handwriting. Often, along with her note would be a date as well as her initials, indicating that “I was here, in this book, on this day and here you will read my very thoughts about what I was reading.”
The written remarks are mostly brief…”delicious! perfect for a crowd” or ” I want to do this more,” she might have written next to a devotion that spoke to her heart on a particular day. Mama loved sharing things she thought were important and meaningful and the memories of her passing on wisdom to me and our children comes back to me again and again. Funny, I told a friend recently that I think of my Mama every single day, even though she passed away in October 2006, now over eight years ago. “That’s a good thing, Joan.” my friend quickly responded. “Because that means she’s with you every day, too!” I believe this is true.
This reminds me that I want to make notations in cookbooks, in my Bible, in books I read, in devotions I meditate over. Dated notations which may be seen by generations to come. I am developing this same habit and I love it! I enjoy using a dictionary (or dictionary.com!) to look up words that I might run across in a devotion, not because I have no idea what they mean, but because I want to have a greater understanding of how the writer intended to use that particular word to get his/her message across. I nearly ALWAYS date and name the event that I took the time to prepare a special recipe for. It is fun to look back, and remember those times when we sat around the table laughing, loving and yes, enjoying that favorite recipe!
And, my Bible is full of dates and thoughts and notes that I have dashed off through the years. These, too, bring back fond memories of days gone by…a baby dedication, a particularly inspiring message from the pulpit, a date for my reading of one chapter of PROVERBS each day. These notes remind me that I am on the right and best path for me at this time.
Just as my mother took the time to make her notations along her life journey, I want to give this gift to my children and grandchildren, as well. I want them to read a jotted note by me, smile, and say : “That was important to my MOM on that day!”
As I read over this advice Mama shared with us 18 years ago, I believe it bears repeating, especially now with two married kids:
Marriage Advice from 1886
Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.
Believe the best rather than the worst.
People have a way of living up or
down to your opinion of them.
Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.
Please hand this down to your children
and your children’s children:
The more things change the more they are the same.
Jane Wells (1886) Submitted by Carol Abbs
Since Mama’s notation was about marriage, of course my memories flew to the 2014 weddings our family had last year. Even though my parents were together in heaven when both our children married their best friends, I believe they were with us in spirit and I trust that their legacy of true love will live on in our children and in generations to come.