Our family bible was leather bound with gilt edges, like a large coffee-table book, except it sat on an out-of-the-way end table. Mother listened raptly to the door-to-door salesman and agreed. Books you own are a sign of pedigree. And then she filed away the precious threads of her life between its pages.
I used to sit fingering the bits and pieces of family history. Poems on scraps of paper with her handwriting: 1944 ~ Bud this is how much I love you. There was yellowed newsprint: Arthur Petitclair, dead at 58 with the smiling face of my grandfather staring out at me. A fragile, stained news clipping introduced Butch, the cousin I never met. …tragically found dead in his bed on Tuesday morning, at age eight, by his mother, Helvie Petitclair. There were holy cards of Mary and Saint Francis, and handmade cards drawn in those primary color thick crayons we had in grade school.
My parents called. We sold the house and everything in it to a nice young family. Everything? Everything. We just want to move on.
A nice young family? I suppose they held the bible upside down and shook out all those scraps of history. They probably sit and read the real text inside the leather cover.