Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Where Are Your Fingerprints?

Posted on Mar 2, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   19 Comments | Posted in Exodus · Leon Uris · mama

These photos are of the paperback book “Exodus” by Leon Uris. Published in 1958 by Bantam, it belonged to my mother before I did, as I didn’t snuggle in her arms until 1960.

I cannot guess the number of times Mama read this book. You can see in the pictures that it is dog-eared and torn, the binding taped and glued multiple times.  She put it in my hands when I turned 13 and I, too, have read and re-read this book.

My daughter noticed “Exodus” on my shelf and wondered why I didn’t replace it with a sturdier hardback. After all, it is falling apart. Even the decades-old tape meant to hold it together is discolored and useless to its purpose. The pages are yellowed. It even smells old.

I will keep it forever.

Mama loved this book. Her long-fingered hands, so skilled on a piano and organ, held it and turned the pages. Her green eyes with their flecks of gold  read these printed words—these printed words, not the same words printed elsewhere.  She carried it in her purse, in the car, and passed hours engrossed in its pages. It sat on her bookshelf through my childhood and beyond.  It is part of her in ways nothing else can claim.

I have other things, of course, that were my mother’s—her piano, jewelry, notes she wrote. I even kept the silly straw hat she wore to St. George Island on our last vacation together before her death. Treasures all. So what is it about this old book that matters so much? Why is this falling-apart mess of glue and paper and ink so symbolic? Are not her fingerprints and DNA on all those other things, too?

I feel close to Mama when I hold this book. It is a treasure because I deem it so, and if it only matters to me, well, that is enough.

What treasures do you hold dear that defy the understanding of others?  Do you believe that things such as this carry the imprint of someone even after the person is gone?

Where are your fingerprints?

Til next time –

P.S.  Don’t forget Book Blurb Friday!  Scroll down a couple posts or click on the designated tab above, just under the header.  See you then!

19 Responses to "Where Are Your Fingerprints?"

  1. Comment by Sioux
    March 2, 2011 at 7:49 am  

    I have an old wall clock that my father used to keep running (with a key). It no longer runs, even though we have the key, but it's in our house because it was something my father tinkered with.Your post reminded me of the Leon Uris "phase" I went through. I loved "Exodus" along with several other novels by him. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    March 2, 2011 at 8:06 am  

    Your post is beautiful. It reminded me of finding a sheet of decorative stationery on which my mother had jotted down her childrens', grandchildrens' and great-grandchild's names and phone numbers. She kept it by her phone. It has her beautiful script handwriting adn fingerprints all over it. She always had to be 'connected' and this is my last connection to her.

  3. Comment by K9friend
    March 2, 2011 at 8:53 am  

    Lovely post. It's mostly old photos for me. Love looking at them!

  4. Comment by irishoma
    March 2, 2011 at 10:45 am  

    Wonderful post, Lisa. What a lovely tribute to your mother's memory.I have a poem my son wrote to me and a bookmark with my mother's writing citing Scripture passages. Donna

  5. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    March 2, 2011 at 11:56 am  

    Hi Lisa,Your story this morning makes me cry good tears with a lace of lonliness and longing. You KNOW that I totally understand what you put down in words so wonderfully … I am surrounded by such treasures in my home. Both Cary and I are very sentimental and display our family heirlooms all throughout the house. The only thing that is worth very much money is the ring on my hand that was my Grandma T.'s, but the rest nourishes our spirits on a daily basis.Thanks so much, my friend, for sharing this book and your Mom with us today. I'm sorry that she isn't here where you can call her on the phone, but she is still here with you always. <3

  6. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    March 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm  

    Hi Sioux – I went through the same phase after I read Exodus. I read Mila 18, Armageddon and QBVII. I read The Haj when it came out years later, but that one didn't get to me like his earlier works. I tend to OD on authors I like. :)Hi Linda – It is funny how things like that matter so much more than other, more tangible items. The sentiment is stronger, I guess, and makes it easier to call up memories.Hey Pat – Old photos are a wonderful resource for memories. I love looking at pics of my folks when they were in their teens and twenties. Hi Donna – Thanks for your comment. Those items are certainly to be treasured. It must mean so much to you to have those memories.Hi Kathy – Well, at least they qualify as good tears! I do miss my Mama–her birthday was last month, as was my parent's wedding anniversary, so they have both been in the forefront of my mind lately. I fancy they check in on me from time to time. πŸ™‚

  7. Comment by Friko
    March 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm  

    Amazing, I have exactly the same paperback edition still sitting on my shelves; not quite as well thumbed as your Mama's book, but well loved and read, if only by me. It cost me 5 shillings when I bought it, the sticker is still attached. I had only just arrived in the UK. The pages are yellowing but still perfectly readable.I've just taken it off the shelf and I am looking t it now. Thank you for reminding me.Greetings from Friko's World.

  8. Comment by Madeleine
    March 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm  

    Awh that is so lovely. I have some cloth figures that my father collected in the 1950's and 60's that I shall always cherish. :O)

  9. Comment by Ms.Daisy
    March 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm  

    Lisa,I have my Mother's watch that Dad gave to her one Christmas. She loved and always wore that watch. I, too, treasure the old photos and albums that captured their lives before we "met!"Great post today.~Jean

  10. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    March 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm  

    Hi Friko – Thanks for visiting! I'm glad I nudged a memory or two. :)Hey Madeleine – Thanks for reading and commenting. What kind of cloth figures? I'd like to hear more about them.Hi Jean – Jewelry, especially the well-worn treasures, definitely evoke memories. My Mama had a charm bracelet dear to her.

  11. Comment by Bookie
    March 3, 2011 at 9:00 am  

    A beautiful, emotion-provoking post. I have a very small oil can sitting on a bookshelf by my desk.It was my Dad's and his bear claw hand held it when my bike needed oiling. He hear a squeek or whine, call me over to the porch while he fetched it to work its silencing wonders. No one else will recognize the wonders of this can, that it is not a mere diminutive oil can, but one that is links me back to childhood.

  12. Comment by grebnerground
    March 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm  

    What a beautiful post <3 You made me cry, but it was lovely…. Your mom was such a wonderful person, inside and out. Losing her was like losing Mom all over again. I have a card from your mom and a letter from mine that are very, very special to me.I have many keepsakes in various forms from Allen (including a card that sits on my computer desk), but one of my favorites is a pistachio nut shell with a smiley face and hair inked on one side that he left on my jewelry box one morning – haha – A most precious gem to me. (-:Hugs! Love you Cuz

  13. Comment by Lynn
    March 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm  

    Sweet post Lisa. Always keep that book girl! (which I have no doubt you will). I long to have more of my momma's stuff, but I was too little to know to take something (if that makes sense), but I do have however her sewing box. There's one thing in it that is my favorite and it's really silly because it's so ugly, but she made it – probably in a hurry. It's a pin cushion. Anyway, thanks for the post!

  14. Comment by BECKY
    March 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm  

    Hi Lisa! What a lovely post. Exodus is one of my favorite books, too. I read it as a teenager and fell in love with the characters and their lives. I have a few odds and ends from different family members: old Bobbsey Twins books that were my sisters, prayer books and turquoise rings that belonged to my mom and sister. It's those little things, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!

  15. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    March 4, 2011 at 12:27 am  

    Hi Bookie – An oil can! Such wonderful memories it brings. Proof that no object is truly inanimate.

  16. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    March 4, 2011 at 12:29 am  

    Hi JoJo! Your comment was a lovely treat. I know you to be sentimental, so I'm not surprised that you have many treasured keepsakes. The pistachio nutshell sounds perfect, better than any shiny jewel. Those things matter so much. Love you!

  17. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    March 4, 2011 at 12:33 am  

    Hey Lynn – What really matters is that she made it herself. That alone makes it something to treasure.Hi Becky – So I'm not the only one who had a crush on Ari…and maybe a little one on Dov. πŸ™‚ It really is the little things that ultimately touch us the most. Interesting. . .

  18. Comment by Tammy
    March 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm  

    Oh, Lisa, what a lovely post. What a lovely word for it, too–fingerprints. My mother's fingerprints are on a doll. The doll needed a wig, and I let my mother cut my hair for it…a huge sacrifice at the time, but one that somehow linked us both in a tighter embrace. And I will have that doll forever, too. Thanks for the memory.

  19. Comment by Hannah Kincade
    March 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm  

    What a lovely idea. I never thought about how every book I've touched and read has my fingerprints. Thank you for sharing this. I hope that the books I've touched have not been destroyed in any way. They were old.

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