August 11, 2008

Toward Evening

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Mom, taken in late 2002, about 18 months before she died. She is reading Towards Evening: Reflections on Aging, Illness, and the Soul's Union With God; rather incredibly, the author is Mary Hope. Here is the publisher description: "Constantly rushed by the urgent demands of home and workplace, we often long for a season of solitude--an uninterrupted time to rest, meditate, and pray. Author Mary Hope found this time in late middle age, when she began this journal as a 'memorandum in preparation for . . . the perfect union with God.' Her entries never minimize the pain, loneliness, and fear that accompany aging, yet her vision soars beyond life's trials to God's blessings in changed circumstances."

Mom coped with adversity by prayer and by reading and learning. In this picture, she is doing both. She probably read more books than anyone I have ever known. When I was working full-time in the library, she came over almost every afternoon to stay with my daughters Rose and Carolyn. Every week she seemed to read every book I had taken out of the library. Only our love of our family brought us closer together than our love of reading.

When her casket was open during the wake, I place in her hands a copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that she had given her bored 12 year old daughter one hot summer afternoon. My love affair with Jane Austen has endured my entire life. As a history teacher, Mom shared wonderful books with the whole family. We both read unfailingly read what the other recommended. I can't say that of anyone else in my life. Our similarly furnished minds helped us overcome are very dissimilar temperaments.

Posted By Matriarch to Matriarch at 8/11/2008 01:19:00 PM

No comments: