Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tangible Symbols...

Some of my friends laugh when I tell them that I get excited about trips to Lubbock, Texas.  But my classmates and other friends that grew up out there can appreciate my enthusiasm for West Texas.  Yesterday I made a quick run to Lubbock to pick up 40 copies of a hymnal that is printed in Spanish.  Time did not allow for me to visit with longtime friends, but I did manage to grab a bean burrito at Taco Villa for lunch.  (Visits to a Lubbock Taco Villa are imperative and must never be overlooked.)

I am not capable of just picking up a box of hymnals.  I see such adventures as an opportunity to make a new friend.  Yesterday was no exception.  Debora is a very sharp lady, who is fully bi-lingual.  She owns the copyright to the books I purchased called: Cantos Espirtuales.  Publishing Spanish hymnls is just a sideline that she inherited from her father. (He owned a business that entailed both publishing and re-binding books.)   She is actually a seasoned realtor in  the Lubbock community.

We soon discovered that we both graduated from Monterey High School.   And we also learned that we both  lost our fathers at a young age.  I suspect it was that second common bond that led Debora to show me a room that is filled with books that comprised her fathers library.  (She even told me that she normally does not take people into that sacred section of her office complex.) It is a an extensive collection of resources in English and Spanish.   Deobora told me that she feels compelled to do something with all of those books, but finds it hard to let go of materials that have her fathers name and notes inscribed in them.

I can relate.  I have quite an array of toy tractors displayed on my bookshelves in my office.  It is a little amusing to have tractors positioned in front of a collection of theological books.  But those tractors represent a connection to my father and his chosen career.   I was reminded yesterday as Debora shared a  private part of her world that tangible symbols of our deceased loved ones are important to maintain. 

I am sure at some point she will donate a lot of those books to an educational institution where Spanish is the primary language.  But there will be a few treasured pieces that will remain in the real estate office.  Theological books on the shelves in a real estate office seem as out of place as  tractors in a ministers study.  But for those of us who desire to preserve the memory of our loved ones, it makes perfect sense.

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