I was particularly moved by a birthday card I had given her in 1991; long before mom's illness began to take her down, long before she knew of my gender issues, in the middle period when I was starting to deal with my big life project via therapy. I knew gender was an issue - but had not yet started to deal with it.
An odd card for a 30 year old (then) son to give to a mother. An odd card for a mother to decide to save.
Also in the Jude pile, a large print edition of the New American Bible that I had apparently gifted mom in 2001. No doubt it was on her list; for many years we'd pass around lists in the weeks before Christmas to facilitate appropriate gifting.
I actually have a New American Bible, procured somewhere along the line. As a Catholic high school student, we studied the bible at least one of our four years; I have vague memory of a different bible that got beat up quite a bit (name written on the fore edge, highlighting, notes in the margins, ragged cover through use and rough transit). I think I picked my present copy up during a retreat as a young adult; it's in pretty good shape. I actually had it out recently (looking for appropriate readings for mom's service, before we knew we were restricted to a handful of readings).
Also strange for someone like me to have two Bibles. I'm pretty avowedly non-Christian - not because I strongly disagree with the teachings and beliefs, but because:
- In this country it's such a dominant faith
- It's invariably seen as exclusive and it leaves out so many non-Christians
- If / when faith-based judgement and hate comes my way it's invariably Christian rooted.
- I've read up on the apocrypha sufficiently to realize that what has come down as canon is not the sum total of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth; and perhaps not even the best part of those teachings