When we were sorting belongings after my mother-in-law's death, the two little books caught my eye, and, when no one else was clamoring for them, I brought them home.
The words "Auld Lang Syne' literally translates from old Scottish dialect, meaning, 'Old Long Ago.' It's about love and friendship in times past. The 'Auld Lang Syne' lyrics were first published in 1787, and the song has now become a tradition as we celebrate a new year.
I looked for information about the little book online, but didn't come up with any additional tidbits about it. For me, the value is in seeing important family dates written in Marie's hand. In the back of the book, she also has a Post-It note, where she remembered family collections. (Dana Fritzemeier collected keychains and bookmarks, and Wanda Morrison collected pigs, back when Marie made the notations.)
I wish she had lived long enough to write the names of other family members in the birthday book. She would have loved watching her grandchildren grow up and she would be over the moon with two little great-granddaughters.
Worthpoint. The book is by Rev. Hugo W. Hoffman, Brooklyn, N. Y. There are 384 pages with a Bible verse and quote for each day of the year.
Each of the books has the two women's handwriting. Marie's is familiar to me. Laura's is not. By the time I met Laura, she was already fading into dementia, so I didn't have the benefit of knowing her in her prime. But her legacy was there in the family ties with her daughters and her grandchildren.
This poem was in the preface of the book:
... Images on this cold surface traced
Make slight impression and are soon effaced
But we've a page, more glowing and more bright
On which our friendship and our love to write
That these may never from the soul depart
We trust them to the memory of the heart
There is no dimming, no effacement there
Each new pulsation keeps the record clear
Warm, golden letters all the tablet fill
Nor lose their luster till the heart stands still.
As we turn the page for another year, it's good to remember that legacy but also to look forward to new challenges and blessings and writing new friends and family members in the book of life.
The verse on the January 1 page says:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
And the accompanying verse says,
"The opening year, Thy mercy shows;
Let mercy crown it, till it close."
That sounds like a good plan to me. Happy New Year to you and yours!