As readers, we all have favorite books. They are the stories we can’t bear to part with, ones that live on in our memories. The books we’d keep on our shelves forever, if such a thing were possible. Years may pass but their presence lets us know there is a wondrous volume just waiting for us to again open its cover and lose ourselves in some amazing world.
I admit that I’m a book hoarder. To me books are precious. It’s hard to let go of the many I’ve enjoyed and my to-be-read pile grows ever higher. In time I know I must downsize. I’ll need to pass on my scores of books, giving them to others to enjoy their magic. My Kindle will make downsizing easier. The frailties of old age will make it easier still. But there are a few volumes I know I’ll cling to as long as humanly possible. These books are my true favorites, my keepers. I enjoy being surrounded by them and cherish their presence in my life.
As a writer, I dream of publishing a book that makes someone’s list of keepers. I long to write words that might touch and inspire others even half as much as other writers’ words have touched me. A grandiose dream perhaps, but not an impossible one. I have faith.
Beyond books, there are other keepers in our lives. I love movies and count many among my keepers. Like books, favorite DVDs line my shelves so I can watch them again and again. Last of the Mohicans, Gone With the Wind, Gettysburg, The Fugitive, Sweet Home Alabama, The African Queen…my list is long. Good stories and characters, well produced, well acted. Like my keeper books, these movies have become old friends.
Some people keep and prize sports memorabilia; they cherish having it around them. Other souls value music, or fine works of art. They take great joy in its presence.
But I believe that the keepers to be most valued in life are not books, not movies. They are not music, not art, not any sort of collectibles. The real keepers in life are the people who live beside and around us. Of course, we don’t refer to these folk as keepers, someone to cherish and hold on to. Instead we call them husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. Whatever their name, they are the angels that make up our daily lives. We may not always fully appreciate the goodness they harbor, but it is strong, rich, and true.
During my recent heartbreaking loss, uncounted angels wrapped their wings around me bringing a comfort I wouldn’t have thought possible. Through words, prayers, and untold kindnesses, I knew I was not alone. In the absence of my soul mate, I might have been lonely, but never, ever alone.
We all need angels in our lives, guardians to watch over us in time of crisis and need. Through my grief, I’ve seen an overwhelming prevalence of goodness and sympathy in this world. I’ve found there is a prevalence of true keepers.
Angels, all. ♥