Friday, October 5, 2012


The words jumped at me from the inside cover of a worn-out book. The handwriting was slightly slanted to the right. Whoever wrote them used black ink, capital letters, and didn’t leave a signature, only a date: FEB. 91.

I was rummaging through boxes of old books donated by a generous lady to the writers group I belonged to. The books were her mother’s, a writer who had passed away recently.

Like a child opening birthday gifts, I went through the overflowing boxes, trying to decide on which books to take. Time was limited, and I had to consider leaving enough of the collection for my fellow members to go through. I quickly scanned titles, flipping through various informative books, novels, and writing manuals. My hands landed on the golden cover of a small book, the title engraved into the shiny paper. Intrigued, I opened the book and read the above words. In the left corner, the sentimental confession took up three lines, on the very top, a woman’s name. It started with the letter “J.”

I shoved aside the books piled on the table and leaned my backside against it. The 83 pages contained proverbs about love, page after page full of reflections and thoughts, most new to me. I flipped again to the handwritten lines. Something heavy sat on my chest. The words danced on the pages in front of my eyes. I steadied my hands. This was a special book, given to a woman by a special someone, telling her she was loved. And here I was, an aspiring writer, a nobody, a woman from a far away land, intruding on this preserved moment in time. 

I had no right taking this book. It belonged in a special spot on a bookshelf in the home of this woman’s daughter. Surely, she’d want to treasure it, protect it. Did the book end up in the donation box by mistake?

One page had the corner folded as a marker. Taking a deep breath, I flattened the corner and read:

For we must share if we would keep
   That blessing from above;
Ceasing to give, we cease to have
   Such is the law of love.

I briefly closed my eyes. No, it was not a mistake. The book ended up in my hands because the woman’s daughter followed the rule of love. Thank you, “J.”


  1. Very romantic I like it ,but Whois J?

    1. Thank you. "J" is the lady who owened the book. The one who passed away, and her daughter donated her book collection.

  2. Very inspiring Lilas. Keep up the good work dear. I'm looking forward to reading your next piece.


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