Green Books and $10

Every child wishes they had a grandmother like mine.  She was truly the most wonderful lady I ever knew.  She’s been gone since 1998, but her memory lives with me every day.

Every year for my birthday, she would send me two things:  a green Funk & Wagnall’s yearbook and $10.  Even when I was a kid, I looked forward to my birthday so that I would receive a new book and some spending money.  I still have those books and use them mostly as decor, but I think of her every time I see one on my bookshelf.

A lot of kids might have thought this was a sad gift, something that was not useful.  Not me.  I thought they were cool.  I have always liked history, so looking back every year at the year’s events was something to which I looked forward.  I thought it was cool that I had yearbooks dating back to the 1960s – when the moon landing occurred and JFK was killed.  I wonder if I’m the only little-kid-history-nerd that ever existed.

Now, as I write this, I sit and look at two of those green books, on my end table.  Yes, they are being used for decor, but they are also full of wonderful memories of birthdays gone by.

The last one I received was 1994, right before she went into the nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s.  I found it ironic that all of those memories in those green books were something she was losing.  I wondered if I would someday be like her, losing what I value the most.  I hope not.


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