Becky Says...

November 2008

Current Entry
Previous Entry
Next Entry

Personal Sites
and Forums/Boards

The Hunger Site

Write to me

Subscribe with Bloglines

Of a Dictionary - November 11

To celebrate my late mother's life on her 97th birthday, a story.

In earlier, pre-Internet parts of my life, my mother occasionally served as my personal search engine, in that she had the books that had the answers and I didn't. She never minded a late-night call to ask for an obscure fact or several. Conveniently, the telephone she most often used was near the largest bookcase in the house.

One night I was reading a book that had in it a Latin phrase. The phrase was fairly important, and I couldn't remember what one of the words meant. I tried to get it from the context, but it wasn't working. I didn't have a Latin dictionary here. But I knew my mother the Latin teacher wouldn't mind helping out, so I called her.

She grabbed her dictionary and helped me out, then we went on to talk of other things.

A few days later Mother called. In the conversation that evening the main thing on her mind was that she could not find her favorite pair of scissors. This was a pair that had been hers longer than I had been alive, and it was only after I had learned to respect the importance of them that I was allowed to use them.

The loss of that pair of scissors meant several things, not least that my next trip home was spent searching for them. We finally admitted defeat, and I bought her a new pair. The new ones worked well enough, but they just weren't the same.

Time went on, and there came another occasion when Mother needed her Latin dictionary. I heard about it a few minutes later when a delighted Mother called to tell me she had found the long-lost pair of scissors! It seems when she had looked up the word for me, she had used the closest thing to her hand to serve as a bookmark in the dictionary, and that closest thing was the pair of scissors.

Of course, I joined in being delighted the scissors were found, and am pleased to report they were never lost again.

And to this day, if someone tells me about having misplaced a pair of scissors, my first response is, "Have you checked your dictionary?"

Happy Birthday, Mama...Love you.

Text © copyright 2000-2008 Becky