This past April, my great grandmother passed away. She was 96. Yup, you read that correctly, 96. The thing about it is, I loved her. More than she probably knew. I looked up to her. I appreciated the life she had lived, I admired her amazing hospitality and love. She was one of those people who could make a meal out of just about anything. Nana was a giver.
After she died, someone gave us her old Bible. I don't think it was her every day Bible, but it probably meant a lot to her. Her daughter (Joy) gave it to her in 1981 for Mother's Day. It's got a quilted covering, I'm assuming because the edges are tearing apart.
After we got this Bible, I started flipping through the pages one day looking to see if she might have highlighted, or underlined, or marked anything in it. Just to kind of get a glimpse into what it was like for her to read the Bible.
I found three bookmarks. One in between the pages for Judges 12, 13 & 14, one in the pages of Jeremiah 29, 30, & 31, and one in the pages of Acts 28 & Romans 1. While that was interesting, it didn't really give me any insight. I read the chapters, but nothing really jumped out at me.
The only spot, though, in her entire Bible where I found anything highlighted was really interesting. It's just a small little cluster of verses, and had I not flipped through the book page by page, it probably would have taken awhile to find it.
"Know ye not, that so many of us
as were baptized into Jesus Christ
were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him
by baptism into death: that like as
Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together
in the likeness of his death, we shall
be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified
with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin."
It was really interesting to find this. It made me wonder what she thought of it when she read it, why she highlighted it, and why it was important to her.
The other day I was flipping through it, and my little brother saw that I left the bookmarks in there and asked me why. I said I didn't want to. I just hope that one day I can read it, and it'll be something I need to hear. Maybe it won't ever be that, but it's my way of remembering her I guess.
I've been missing her a lot as the Christmas season has been upon us, and reading her Bible makes me feel closer to her. Maybe we shouldn't remember people by their stuff, but sometimes it can bring a little comfort when we're missing them.