Reading with Verna

gerbera-1250287_640I know it’s the end of May and, shockingly, I’m as disorganized as ever. Still, I’m trying to add some personal essays, along with the random picture post, and (my most popular) writing posts.

I know I mentioned a post or two ago, I’m no longer working. That’s a story I’ll share (eventually), but not today.

Today (circling back to May / Mother’s Day masterfully) I want to share about my grandmother who gave me a deep, passionate, abiding love of reading.

Growing up, my grandmother always had a Harlequin on the table beside where she sat. It was as certain as the sun rising in the morning and the way pinto beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes were without fail served together. A fact of life, in short.

Her life had never been easy, not since being widowed with five all children all under nine years old. She never complained. Instead, she devoured books. Books where love trumped everything and every one got happy endings.

When my cousins and I were little, we’d giggle about her grown-up books. When I got older, any time I was bored, all I had to do was walk the short distance to her house and pick out something from her bookshelf (which sets in my home today). It occurs to me now that, as fast as she read, she must’ve only put her favorite books on that shelf, but she never complained when I asked to borrow one. She understood that a reader needs books the way we need air to breathe.

When I was old enough to drive, I’d take her to the library once a month. There, she and the librarian worked out a deal where my grandmother could bring in a brown paper sack of 50 books and trade them for 50 donated books. The library wasn’t making any money on that deal, but it was doing what libraries do best–serving the reader. I’d pick out a couple of books, borrow a couple of more, and then we’d go have breakfast together.

Sometimes, we would just sit together, in her living room, and read our books in comfortable silence. She kept sodas in the fridge for her grandkids and coffee for her. So many of my best memories in life center around my grandmother and reading. If I could relive a moment, it wouldn’t be one of the flashy ones, like getting married (I was scared so bad I shook). It would be one of those quiet afternoons, reading together.

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3 Comments

  1. Author

    Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

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