Yesterday I found treasure. It was disguised in a small red and white box simply labeled "books". Inside were 5 small notebooks. Seemingly innocuous enough that many people may have set them aside. Instead, I asked my Grandma, "What are these?" Her answer was simple enough, "They belonged to Les. He liked to write things down in them." These 5 small notebooks were a link to my Grandpa who passed away in 1993.
I was lucky to know my Grandpa during the first 18 years of my life. I am lucky to have memories of him and I am lucky that I have a large extended family who shares their childhood stories. Yet the treasure I found yesterday made me feel closer to the man than I have since before he passed away. From his own day-to-day notes to himself I learned more about his sense of responsibility in the form his to-do lists, his love for his family, his love for the scriptures, and his love for music. Many of these I already knew based solely on my memories. But seeing these things in his own hand writing was something else entirely. As I looked at his lists of songs, I felt a kinship with him because I love many of the same old country songs as he did. His love of the scriptures is something I had never known about before. From his notes it was clear that he didn't just read the scriptures, he KNEW them, he thought about them and absorbed their meaning. They weren't just words to him.
I am so thankful to my Grandma for having the foresight to keep these small little treasures. I am sure when he wrote down these little things, he had no idea what they would mean to a granddaughter who found them years later. For a time yesterday, I felt as though I were closer to the him than ever. My last memory of him is no longer his prophetic words instructing me not to get married at age 18 - which I did anyway. My last memory happened yesterday as I read these notebooks and the words "Take the ribbon from your hair, shake it loose and let it fall" and sang along.