Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Lover

I have loved books since first reading the sentence, see spot run. I have been fascinated with stories. I love to go to the library or bookstore. A new book is crisp, clean, and smells of fresh paper and ink. A library book or favorite book has weathered pages, a creased spine, and just a familiar feel.

In 2005, my mother and I went to the library to hear and meet Dorothea Benton Frank. We listened and laughed. She spoke just like her novels. It felt like connecting with an old friend. I had the novel, Shem Creek and Mom had Isle of Palms. We waited patiently for her to sign our books. And of course we were disappointed to know that there would not be a new book until the next summer. My mother and I spent a lot of time together. She was one of my very best friends as well as my mother.

A month later, Mom was sick. They diagnosed her with cancer, stage IV. There wasn't much hope except that the treatments might prolong her life. After her death, I searched through her things desperately hoping to find some words of wisdom that she had left behind, just for me. I didn't find anything.

The next year, the movie, The Lake House came out. The daughter played by Sandra Bullock is surprised to see her mother reading Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. She isn't reading this particular book because of the content. Her husband has died and she misses him. She says, "Holding his books, I feel like he is with me somehow, knowing that he was once on the same pages, reading the same words."

This I understand. Sometimes when I miss my mother, I take one of her books, usually Isle of Palms and I read a few pages. And on this one it helps to recall the happiness in my mother's eyes as she chatted with author. And as I read, for just a moment, I feel like she is with me somehow.