Even though I have had it since March, I am opening its worn, pliable covers for the first time. While thumbing through dog-eared pages, I can not help but notice the countless verses and sometimes entire paragraphs that my mother marked with yellow highlighter.
Some pages carry coffee spills and sticky fingerprints. I can picture her eating a meal while studying it. I press the open book to my cheek and breathe in the deep, rich aroma of home.
My mother was not boisterous or loud about her faith. Instead, she quietly expressed her beliefs by offering time, prayers, food, clothing and what little money she had. And, she read her Bible often.
But here on these worn out pages of Holy Scripture, I see a bold, boisterous faith, highlighted on page after page after page, perhaps overtones and undertones of her interior life.
On this first occasion of venturing through Mom's Bible, I work hard to see beyond her markings and discern her calling, her pleading, her rejoicing. I hope to have a glimpse of her bravery. I pray to see how the broken parts in her life were healed. I wish to brush up against her love one more time.
While I sit here missing her, I realize that my mother's death has been less about letting go and more about holding on.
Going through Mom's Bible, searching for God's voice in my own life, I secretly admit that I am listening for her voice, wanting her back.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place national and state awards in The National Federation of Press Women competitions. Most recently, Damon's writing took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 Competition. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
� 2007 Paula Damon