Even being part of the retired work force, it is still good to be looking into the beginning of the weekend.
Friday has become book review day. I have two books to talk about today–one very old, one new.
The first, the old one, is a little paperback that has been in my stack of very important things since I was young. You are Important, by Roy L. Smith, copyright, 1952. This book sat on my Mom’s bedside table while she battled her cancer–I suspect it had been part of her reading material for some time before that.
This is one of the few things I have of my Mom’s. The fact that I still have it is another miracle to me. It survived a lot of things over the years–long distance moves being the least of them.
Every now and then, I’d wonder why she had this book?
Did she not feel important?
I’ve tried to read it many times. It is not an easy assignment. The phrasing is wordy and cumbersome. The prayers are filled with words like thee, thou, didst, and hadst.
Now, because I search for answers to questions I have about my life, what the author says is secondary to me. What has become important–what makes each dive into this book so intriguing and almost mysterious–are the passages highlighted by Mom.
One of the first highlighted passages is this one from Lessons on You, Lesson 6, titled, You are Not Peculiar:
The grief of a young mother is always very touching. Any grief is, for that matter. And we always do all in our power to soften the blows. But there are some disasters in this life which cannot be avoided, and there are some blows which cannot be softened. They come sooner or later to each of us.
I have no way of knowing when she read and noted these words. My heart tells me she was searching for comfort after losing her newborn son and was grieving.
Each chapter ends with a short prayer. I’ve read the prayer at the end of this chapter several times over the years. I have yet to find much comfort in the words.
I wasn’t going to share it because it really bothered me. Then, I thought, if I was reading this I would want to see what I’d judged so critically. Here is that prayer:
Here is that prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am ashamed of the way I have rebelled against thee in the hour of my distress, thinking that thou hadst singled me out for unjust treatment. As I catch a glimpse of thee upon thy cross, which thou didst not deserve, I confess that many of the blows which have fallen upon me have been no more than my just deserts. Forgive me this day for whining.
The next book is one I just started and it seems to be almost the counterbalance for the very old book I just discussed.
Option B, written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. This book is the work Sheryl and Adam did together after the sudden death of Sheryl’s husband, Dave.
What is makes this book stand out for me is the fact it addresses death and grieving by someone who just went through the experience. It addresses something we will all go through over the course of our lives–we will all lose someone we love. Regardless of who we are or what we do, there is no avoiding that.
It was comforting to me to know others struggle with grief as much as I. It was helpful to read that Sheryl also struggled with the everyday stuff after her loss. To read how people avoided her because they did not know what to say to her or if they did say something, how unhelpful their words were to her. It’s another book that is taking me a long time to read. I am learning so much from all experiences and stories she shares.
My wishes to you all for a very happy and safe weekend.
Stay aware and kind.
Love and peace, Y’all.