21 December 2007

A Gift

It was Christmas in 1970. I think it was also the year that my sister-in-law Peggy was so sick - she almost died from a viral infection that stopped her lungs. Under the tree I found a gift, a brand new King James Bible with my name imprinted on the front and a beautiful silver bookmark to go in it. On the gift page was inscribed "To Billy from Mom and Dad." I remember falling in love with it right away - the book itself, I mean, not its contents. It had the most wonderful smell (the ink, I suppose) and that smell still lingers in it somewhat. The KJV was a steep hill for a 9 year old. It took me a while to actually be able to read it and appreciate how it sings, how even in prose it speaks like a poet. Throughout my teen years I scribbled in it, studied it, and it came to be my regular Bible for praying the Psalter. The zipper long since came loose. I had to duct tape the covers together. The pages have yellowed a bit. But I keep it in the washstand that serves as my night stand. I still love pulling it out and reading through the Psalms now and again. It was truly a wonderful gift to give a 9 year old. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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