My vreugdes en frustrasies

#SoCS

#SoCS Sometimes it pays to read between the pages

pink pencil on open bible page and pink

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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!

To see the rules for this weekly challenge and all the entries for Saturday 05 February 2022, visit Linda G Hill our gracious host for these challenges, where you will also find links to blogs added by other participants.

To see all my SoCS entries on this website, follow this link.

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14 Comments

  1. A lovely story.

  2. An exceptionally heartwarming tale. You told it masterfully!

  3. Awesome story of reading between the page. Well done 👍.

  4. Brilliant ancedote. I enjoyed this. Mooi en wys soos altyd, Hester.

  5. woordnoot

    Pragtig Hester! Wat n nalatenskap.

    • Comment by post author

      HesterLeyNel

      Ja, nogal. Dis meer as wat baie mense ooit kry, en dan is daar nog altyd die amusante deel van die verhaal wat almal laat lag by familie-aangeleenthede.

      • woordnoot

        Ja….ek kan al net die vetontwaardiging hoor by die kinders oor daai geld wat hulle haar “skuld”

  6. Hierdie skryfsel het my diep geraak. Ek en my susters gaan tans deur iets soortgelyks en dit is nie maklik wanneer jou eens skerp Ma se brein soos roereier begin raak nie. Ons herrinder mekaar heeltyd dat ons dinge nie te persoonlik moet opneem nie.

    • Comment by post author

      HesterLeyNel

      Ek onthou ook daardie proses. My moeder is oorlede op 96-jarige ouderdom en dit was swaar om die voorheen hoogs intelligente en skerpsinnige vrou intellektueel te sien agteruitgaan. Sy het teen die einde nie haar kinders onthou nie. Ek onthou hoe vriendelik sy my altyd gegroet het wanneer ek by die tehuis aankom vir my daaglikse kuier en hoe ek gehuil het toe ek besef het dis nie omdat sy my herken nie, maar bloot omdat ek afleiding gebied het in haar monotone bestaan. Sterkte vir julle.

  7. Ek moet Vrydag my eerste begrafnis boodskap lewer. Die vrou het haar kleindogter haar enigste erfgenaam gemaak. Jy kani glo hoe haar ma en die se susters en familie veg daaroor nie… ek erf eder dit wat geskryf staan in die lyne as dit waaroor mense baklei

    • Comment by post author

      HesterLeyNel

      Dis eintlik so hartseer. Dis nie asof die geld hulle toekom nie – dis die oorledene se bates en sy kan mos daarmee doen wat sy wil. Mense eien hulleself te veel regte toe.

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