Monday, March 28, 2011

The Address Book

The old address book. Pages tattered. Some pulled loose. Addresses 'Xed' out. Some are in pen and some in pencil. An address or phone number is scribbled randomly in the book, on the cover. Some might look at this as "just an address book". Me? It is history.

After Mom passed, I took her address book. My sisters didn't want it. I wasn't sure if or why I did. Over time I came to understand the importance of this book that sat on the desk in the kitchen.

Birthdays, addresses, changed addresses, phone numbers, even those deceased are all logged in the book. I could track the places where those listed had lived. I sometimes wonder if Mom decided that someone would settle at last when she wrote the final address in pen.

In looking through the book, I found myself going back in time. Our home seemed to have a revolving door bringing visitors from far away and long ago to our kitchen. Past music teachers came to visit bringing along the family. Former ministers continued contact with my parents. Cousins we barely knew showed up, usually at meal time. Exchange students brought their families to see their American home. Grown up neighbors kids showed up as well as those who had been in the youth group when Mom and Dad were leaders. Everyone found their way to the door on the house back the lane on Neff Road. Even our childhood friends would come back with their families to sit in the kitchen. Adults now spending time with Mom and Dad. New addresses added, some changed.

Some of the entries make me sad. They reflect divorce or loss of a family member. I knew that when Mom made these changes, it done with much love. Her book is a story in itself. Her book is a story of her.

I refer to this book often looking up a forgotten name or a spouse whose name is lost in some file in my brain. Children's names are often added with along with birth dates. The address book has become a historical reference book. The little book that sat on the desk.

I don't have an address book. I'm sorry that I haven't kept a log as Mom did over all of those years. My book is in my contacts on this computer. There are no names crossed out. There is no history. I feel a little sad that I have not continued to keep Mother's history book.

I hold the book and journey through my life once more.

No comments: