Nana and the Book

Nana & the Book

This story was born when I noticed a certain “telling” light in the eyes of little girl and it was carried along in the haunting melody of a song whose words were not necessary; it came to full awareness in fact, when it would not let me go.

Romans 8:11 Yet God raised Jesus to life! God's Spirit now lives in you, and he will raise you to life by his Spirit. (CEV)
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She shivered in the grip of a deep chill, even as the sun bore down on her thin shoulders.
Her honeys colored freckles were strewn unevenly over pale cheeks, as though they were confetti tossed in the air and had landed where an irresponsible wind deposited them. She felt her knees quaking as she paused on the path down to the river. She plopped suddenly, with a dull thud, in shelter of a water maple tree; her shattered heart was seeking something, something elusive.

Eyes of amber swarmed with the glaze of unshed tears that rippled across her vision as she gazed over the placid water whose gentle wavelets mimicked the flood that was soon to be washing over her cheeks. The sun had shifted in the dappled shade, and now fully aglow it rested on her little girl face; there was a quick reflection of fire as it bounced off a tear drop tangled in reddish lashes. One thick long braid was casually hiding her spine as it hung lank, in the fragile moment.

Twilight was near and time was passing. She felt a slight pang of guilt at the relief that this day was over. A shudder took her body over and a whisper of a breeze, ever so gently, breathed through the soft blond hairs on her arms, a strange sensation to catch her attention at the end of this harsh, sharp, chrome tinged day.

This was the day that a special comfort left forever, the day the lap that fit her perfectly as she curled up in it, disappeared. The day the whispered secrets, private giggles and boundless stories of her future and past died. Hugs and kisses that brought deep security would be no more. Without a full understanding of the wisdom of “kinfolk” love, she missed it already, a deep hole had been rent inside her heart, and she wasn't sure what all it was, that had filled it.

“It is funny,” she thought, ‘how some families just grow and grow but mine has become smaller and smaller.” It had come down to her, Nana, and Daddy, and now there was just Daddy and her.

Daddy said this was her Grandmother's home-going day, and Nana was happy and strong and could run all over heaven just like the girl she once was. That thought did make a smile twinkle in her tear smeared eyes, even as she longed for the brush of the cool lips that kissed her forehead each day of her ten year old life.

She inched on her bottom toward a ledge of gravely rock shore and let her hot, sweaty feet dangle amid the tad-poles and cat tails. So what if a fish nipped her toes, she wouldn't even feel it because her heart was a big ball of hurt already.

Her words became audible, "Nana we never even finished the book." She dragged the old tote bag to her side and rummaged through it, tossing many objects aside. Her fingers closed around the cool imitation red alligator binding of the book her Grandmother had given her only last Christmas, as she brought it to the light the silver latch became warm in the evening sun.

A quiet pleasure came as she thumbed through the pages; the words she would remember forever filled her thoughts. "It's your life girl! Write it down, don't forget anything, don't ever forget."

She remembered the times Nana tucked her in at night, whispering in her ear in a voice filled with scratches, while the dusky golden lamp from the hall shone hesitantly through her door-way. "What about your dreams? Did you have a dream today girl? Did it come true? Write them down, and mark them when they come to pass." After they whispered awhile, she would say her prayers and Nana would softly, from memory, recite poems, many from the “olden” days; she would find herself adrift, caught up in tone and ardor of the tales, after a while, she would searched for and find the little hidden path that led her to the land of sleep.

So early in the dawn of mornings she would write and Nana would read and correct her spelling, and ask questions, there was always questions, “Where did this idea come from, did you feel the brightness of the starlight, was it hot?” She brought attention to the thoughts coursing through the little girl’s fingers, and traced their beginnings to the very core of her young perceptions.

She, the girl had great dreams of becoming a writer. Nana would say. "If you see a color, or hear a song, or have a rhyme caught in your mind, tell what it means to you, explain how the clear crisp blue of a summer's sky and the dark purple thunder clouds make you feel. Change your feelings into words; make them come alive for others. God gives them to you, you must share them."

The pages of the little book began to be filled; the girl would speak her heart with her pencil. She would read the words and tell her life dreams to her friends and some would nervously giggle but others would say. "More, more!" When she wrote of her dreams she wove them with words that were drawn from her emotions (some were second-handed from Nana) and they were lovely.

Now the sun was lowering in the hazy sky and the chill of the water began to creep up her legs, she stood and slipped her feet into sandals and began a slow walk back to the little country church where tomorrow's service for her Nana would be held, it was next door to her home, her Daddy was its pastor.

She was drawn to the beautiful, softly glowing, century old stained glass windows. Music came from inside the building as the organist practiced songs that would glorify a Holy God and spread a flowing melodic peace during the funeral tomorrow. As she placed her hand on the glass she felt the vibration of the mighty music as it coursed up her arm and entered her small wounded heart and became a balm, a salve, a healing thing.

She grabbed the book and quickly sat on the top step of the side porch of the Sunday-School building; under the faintly beaming security light she began to write. She remembered the questions of her Nana, "Did you have a dream today, and did it come true?" Her heart began to soar as she remembered the many Bible stories and the way Nana would explain them to her, the biblical word pictures she would paint, of Jesus, of heaven, angels, promises and glory, oh, "God's glory!" A small, quiet, "yes" was building inside her. The answer was now shouting and it was, yes! "Yes!" Nana was living a new life, a heavenly life, she had a dream and it had come true!

She would love her Nana all through her life and never forget her, and often they would meet in these pages, after all Nana was the teacher, the one who taught her to follow the flow of thought, to look for and discover worlds in words and to paint them with her pencil. She was the one who had brought her to the saving grace of Jesus and had said to let His Spirit breathe through her as she wrote.

Her heart eased and the hole therein shrunk just a little as she gripped the pencil and nibbled on the eraser, “Did I have a dream today…did it come true?”


This is a fable, a love story, and the truth is found in learning the importance of our physical and emotional touches in the lives of those we love, as God binds us together. Good memories stay strong and solid; yet, they are an ethereal thing that ties two worlds together.

The story— I am sure happened sometime in history, somewhere in the world— is from my heart; from impressions that filled me; it’s not my history, it isn’t quite true, but...it could be!


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