Yes, I know the old saying is actually “read between the lines”, but every once in a while, reading between the pages may yield unexpected results.
An anecdote relayed by an old friend illustrates this point amazingly well: his mother, living a frugal life in an assisted care home in her old age, was a strong-willed and independent woman. She prided herself on the way she managed her own affairs and still managed to assist her children in those difficult financial times. A small loan here and there, which she always expected to be paid back promptly as agreed, went a long way to ensure that her children and their families were able to put food on the table between paydays.
She was also a most pious woman. She had in her possession a prized family Bible – one of those inscribed with the names of all the ancestors in the family tree, going back generations. She was a petite woman with an iron will and, albeit with great difficulty, she managed to lift the heavy old Bible onto her bed every night, where she knelt down to read well-known and beloved passages with the aid of a looking glass, and to pray afterwards. Every evening after reading, she would place a marker between the pages, to ensure that she would find the passage again and carry on where she left off.
Her faith and her love for her children carried her throughout her life.
However, towards the end of her life, the old mother’s thoughts started to wander and she became a little more aggressive in her behaviour towards her children, sometimes accusing her children of stealing her money or not repaying their loans. The children were astounded and could not fathom this behaviour. Every one of them was prepared to swear on the old Bible that their loans have all been repaid, in cash. But sadly, an air of mistrust crept in and the children started to bicker. This bickering reached a crescendo when the old mother died and her heirs were left with only a near depleted bank account and no money in the money box under the bed.
Totally dumbfounded, one of the brothers sat down on the bed, picked up the old family Bible and started leaving through the pages. To their utter amazement, the children saw banknotes fluttering out between the pages – £1, £2, and even £5 notes, a small fortune in those days, were marking the passages where their mother has been reading in her Bible. The children realised that she inadvertently used their cash loan repayments as bookmarks. Not only has she amassed a bountiful fortune, but she left her children a rich inheritance of meaningful passages underlined and personal notes in the margins on almost every page of the old Bible.
Sometimes it pays to read between the pages.
Linda said: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “page.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!
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