Friday, December 19, 2014

My Grandma's Bible

So last night Lowell handed me an old Bible that he had found.  It was printed in 1941 and falling apart a bit.  As soon as I saw all the little notes and clippings in it, I knew it was my Grandma Brook's Bible. The first section it opened up to had about 10 little papers there.

There's a newspaper clipping from April 22, 1926:

 "Life's Golden Rule"
If only thoughtless people would take a little heed
and think about their neighbors, their troubles and their need.
It never just occurs to them that in their selfish way,
Maybe they've dimmed the sunlight and darkened someone's day.

If only busy people would linger for a while
and stop to do a kindly act then pass on with a smile.
The world would be a warmer place if only now and then,
We all would stay to think a bit about our fellow men.

There's a Christmas letter from Marge and Chester from 1988.

There's a card with John 11:25-26 on it that you have to look from the side angle with the paper almost flat and rotate it 4 times to see the whole verse come to life.  :)  See picture below.

Then there is a little newspaper clipping of Jimmy's obituary.  It doesn't look like the whole thing, but I'm not sure.  This caught my eye, because no one ever really talked about little Jimmy.  We all knew he was our uncle who died as a child, but Grandma and Grandpa never said much about him, especially Grandpa.  Actually my mom never said much about him either. I have to share this though:

BROOKS - In loving memory of our dear wee son Jimmy
who passed away May 31, 1945 age 3 years 9 months.
Two little hands are resting,
A loving heart is still,
A little son we loved is waiting
For us just over the hill. 
-Sadly missed by Mummie, Daddy and sister Mary.
BROOKS - In loving memory of my dear nephew Jimmie Filson Brooks
who passed away May 31, 1945.
Gone from us but leaving memories
Death can never take away.
Memories that will always linger
While upon this earth we stay.

Then there is a poem typed out on a leaflet.
Thine and Mine

I closely held within my arms
A jewel rare;
Never had one so rich and pure
Engaged my care;
'Twas my own, my precious jewel,
God gave it me;
'Twas mine, who else could care for it,
So tenderly?

But the Master came one day
My gem to take;
I cannot let it go, I cried,
My heart would break:
Nay, but the Master comes for it, 
To bear above
To deck His royal diadem,
He comes in love.

But, Master, it is my treasure,
My jewel rare,
I'll safely guard and keep it pure,
And very fair;
If thou keep'st my gem, He said,
It may be lost;
The threshold of My home, no thief
Has ever crossed.

And where the heart's rich treasure is,
The heart will be;
Thy jewel will be safe above,
Gone before thee.
The Master said these words and gazed
With pitying look,
While in the early hush of morn
My gem He took

Close to my heart that morn I held,
Tears falling fast,
An empty casket - the bright gem
Was safe at last.
Yes, Master, thou may'st keep my own,
For it is Thine;
Safe in the house not made with hands,
'Tis Thine and Mine.

My grandma wrote at the top, From Aunt Maria, June 1945.  This poem is true and comforting to think that these little ones are in Heaven with God, but the whole idea of God taking my child for a jewel on His crown or to protect them from the hurts and evil of this world, just doesn't seem quite right.  That makes God look kind of selfish to me.  From my perspective as a parent who's lost a child, that's not what I want to hear.  Maybe my grandparents weren't comforted as they mourned the loss of their child.  They had 4 children and my mom was the only one to live to be an adult.  Even then my grandmother nursed my mom to her death in 1994 with cancer.  She outlived all 4 of her children.  I don't think she ever really accepted Jimmy's death and literally mourned him her whole life, as well as the daughter that died within her womb at 7 months along where she was told she had to wait and have the baby naturally when the time came and carried the dead baby, I don't remember, maybe another month or something crazy like that before she gave birth. The only time I heard about this story was when I was 7 months pregnant with Samuel...  I told her that's not the kind of story I wanted to hear at that time.  :)  Loved my grandma to death!

 I can't say for certain what caused them all to never talk about Jimmy or her other lost babies, but I too, mourn my daughter's death, but I am also rejoicing in her life!  I know God had a purpose for Cayla Joy's life.  It wasn't in vain.  God grew us all.  Grew our faith, our prayer life and even brought people to know Jesus as their Savior.  :)  Every little life that dies, whether we see the purpose of their death or not, has a purpose.  We can become stronger and not even realize it.

I still do trust God no matter what the reason for Cayla's or little Jimmy's death may be.  I found this poem quite the thought provoker last night as I read it.  It's good, and it could be comforting I suppose.  :)  I just thought it was kind of neat to find things in her Bible from the 1940's about the loss of a child and about little Jimmy.  My mom was 5 yrs old when he was born and 8 1/2 when he died.  I know my mom's life changed.  She said she grew up kind of lonely and even though she knew her parents loved her, they never said the words.  It was that experience in her life that made her determined that if God ever allowed her to get married and have children, that they would hear those words daily and not just know they were loved.  All of us 4 children benefited from Jimmy's death, sad to say.  That whole experience helped to make my mom who she was, which was pretty awesome.  :)

There was also a bookmark with Psalm 23 on it:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
For Thou are with me.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Now that's comforting!  :)

She had a bookmark I made her when I was in junior high  (kind of has that look about it...) out of construction paper.  :)

There's 3 unused hankies.  One from Ireland from Dr and Mrs Beggs, her pastor and great friends.  One has a sticker saying it's made in Switzerland, and the last one has pretty purple flowers.

Wow.  There's another hand-written poem that's hard to read but it has a line that says something about grief being selfish.  I don't know.  How you handled grief in the 40's was obviously a little different than what we do now.  No tears.  Be strong.  = Not good.  I feel bad for them not being truly free to express their grief.  It makes me even more thankful for all my friends and blog friends who've prayed for us through Cayla's life and death.  

I still cry at times and will in the future.  I also feel like it was all a dream.  Same things I've said before.  I'm just blessed to live in a day and time where I'm free to grieve.  We are all different.  It's all good.  I know I'll see Cayla again.  God is good all the time - Even when bad things happen.  He doesn't change.  He never will.  There is evil and sin on this earth, but that doesn't define who God is.  He has not only been holding my hand these past 3 years, but has been carrying me through it all.  :)  

I have enjoyed going through this Bible and all my grandma's little treasures in it.  So many more, but this is enough.  I was just touched to find something in this Bible about the child my grandma lost, little Jimmy.  Sixty-nine years later, this wee little uncle of mine, comes up to be remembered again a couple of years after Cayla died.  I feel a bond with my grandma I hadn't thought about before, after reading these little snippets from her life.  God is so good. 

I broke down and took some pics.  :)

There's an old Christmas card on the bottom left as well.
Does anyone remember the verse card in the bottom right that I was referring to?
It looks like a pattern straight on, but you have to hold it at an angle to read it.  :)
Anyways. The hankies, the poems, the bookmarks,
and there's probably 5 times this little pile of papers and things that were in her Bible.  :) 

The little paper in the middle is the obituary for wee Jimmy.
You can click on the pics to make them larger.

Thanks for reminiscing with me tonight!  I'll have to find a good picture of me and my grandma to add to this.  It would take me a while to dig and find them and I already accidentally clicked "Publish" a while ago when I wasn't even half done instead of "Preview".  So some of you might have only read part of this. Maybe I'll add another picture sometime later.  :)  May God bless all of you!