Reading & Writing a Life

Carla Pineda's blog

Granny’s Prayer Book

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I am spending a quiet Saturday afternoon in my writing room.  A beautiful CD of Women’s Sacred Chants is playing.  I have been traveling through a flash drive of writings from the past.  Some of them I remember, others I wonder where they came from.  But this one, “Granny’s Prayer Book” I remember writing in deep recesses of memory.  It moved me to write it and moves me reading it again nearly 6 years later. 

It is worn.  Tattered.  Well used.  Deeply loved. 

My cousin Betsy has my Granny’s prayer book…1928 Book of Common Prayer, worn black leather.  The gold cross on the front is barely visible from years of her hands being  placed there to open and close its pages. 

It is worn.  Tattered.  Well used.  Deeply loved.

Her name is written in it.  Her addresses are listed, one under the other as she moved from place to place.  Moving was a part of her life.  She moved 36 times in her life my cousin said.  Granny said that when one moved one of the first things you did when you got to your new home was find a church home.

Her prayer book falls open to the prayers for the family.  The spine, held together by loose threads is fully exposed at this place.  It was here that she spent much of her time with God.  There are pages missing.  There are pages yellowed by the tape holding them together.

She had many reasons to pray for her family.  Prayer was her survival tool.  She lost her mother when she was a little girl.  She helped raise her younger brother.  She struggled through the alcoholism of family members, times of unemployment and the depression.  She helped raise the daughter of her nephew when she was in her 60’s.  She outlived three of her four children. 

“It should never be this way, she said, “that I survived three of my four children.”  Yet, she never lost her faith.  She always carried on.  She always thought of others.  She always gave of herself.  Her worn, tattered, well used and deeply loved Book of Common Prayer is a living reflection of this truth. 

May my Book of Common Prayer be so worn, tattered, well used and deeply loved.  And may my life be a reflection of the one she modeled for me…and for so many others.

Author: carladpineda

a woman whose life has been shaped by reading and writing

One thought on “Granny’s Prayer Book

  1. My Book of Common Prayer was a gift from Granny, Christmas 1966. It sits on my nightstand. I have discovered the beauty of the Psalms in the Prayer Book after reading them from the NIV for the past 28 years.

    My memories of Granny include the vivid picture of her on her knees in prayer next to her bed.

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