Grandma's Books: Dictionaries and Tides of the Heart

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3710/08/13Grandma's Books: Dictionaries and Tides of the Heart(Blog) (Forum)Off-Topic(Back) (Next)

My mom has been at it again: going through my grandma's stuff with my aunt, and finding more things to bring home. Before Grandma's Comics and Mandrake the Magician, it was a copy of the American College Dictionary. I found it sitting on my desk, with a note from mom, saying she thought I would want it. I did, and it's still on my desk. Not long after, I found a box at my desk containing a large copy of some version of a Merriam Webster's- it's hard to know exactly what, because the cover and some of the first pages are missing. It's still in the box.

Grandma kept them for a different reason than I do. I look through them to generate ideas, and often find myself rabbit trailing through the pages, chasing down this or that word from another definition, branching out until I've got ten or twenty pages bookmarked with Post-Its or scraps of paper. She would actually read them for something to do. She'd just sit down and start reading, her finger trailing her way down the page as she went, and similar to my own progress, she'd soon be flipping to something else, and she might spend an hour or better on that. She just liked learning, and sometimes she'd be searching the hard way for an answer to a crossword puzzle. I love dictionaries- especially old ones, for their obscure and obsolete words. I sometimes find them useful for character ideas. I have several unabridged dictionaries, from different publishers, and now I've added grandma's to the collection. I'm hoping some of her others will turn up in good condition. As long as they're not mildewed, I'll probably keep them even if they aren't in great condition.

***

Tides of the Heart, on the other hand... that's something special. That one is mine. I didn't remember grandma having two copies of it, but there they were tonight, when I got home from work- sitting in my desk chair. She must have ordered them from me before it was printed, because there's no note from me in it. I bought several copies and gave them to friends and family, but they all had notes in them from me to whomever I gave them to.

The official name of the book is Tides of the Heart: The Best of Prose-n-Poetry, as it was an anthology published by that website. At the time it was a non-profit writing site. I don't recommend the site. Some very sketchy things came to light about its owner, and the non-profit broke up over it. The remainder of the books printed disappeared into the ether, supposedly donated (by law) to another non-profit, but personally, I've only ever seen the one royalty check for a whopping thirty-five dollars.

The book is a 212 page poetry anthology, featuring twenty-eight poets from the site. My section of the book is a mere five pages long, containing three of my poems. The cover is kind of meh, but as this is the first professional thing I have been published in ($35, remember? I'm a paid writer, baby!) it holds a special place in my heart.

Much like never asking grandma why she liked Mandrake the Magician, I don't recall ever asking her what she thought of my poems. I'm her grandson- of course she liked them. lol ...And she loved me.

And I love her.

9 Comments
9 Comments
Edited by cbishop

to be edited.

Edited by BumpyBoo

This is really beautiful. Your love for her - I know you state it at the end, but really it is present in every single word :)

I can empathise, too. I lost someone close to me a couple of years back, and inherited their comic collection. And when someone is gone, holding something in your hand that you know they loved, and finding enjoyment in it yourself, too...it is almost a kind of magic, the way it can bring a person back, just for that time. Makes you feel close to them, sharing that connection.

I am very glad that you posted this, and I hope you are finding some form of comfort in remembering her this way. And how wonderful to find copies of your own work in there, I can't even imagine how that must have pleased you. I am sure she was so, so proud of you <3

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Posted by cbishop

@bumpyboo: BumpyBoo, that is exactly it! :D Thank you for getting it, sorry that it's from personal experience. :^*

Posted by BumpyBoo

@cbishop: Thanks, you're very welcome :) This was a brilliant, really touching blog. Very brave of you to share something so personal, and in doing so you helped at least one person :)

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Posted by cbishop

@bumpyboo: :D <--There's not enough emoticonage to show the warm fuzzy that just gave me, so thanks. :)

Edited by BumpyBoo

@cbishop: Any time mate :) (also, emoticonage?? That is a brilliant word XD)

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Posted by cbishop

@bumpyboo: lol I pondered that one for a minute, then went, "Sure, why not?" X^D

Edited by BumpyBoo
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Posted by cbishop