There’s a stack of books on the desk in our office.
This stack of books has a decent variety to it. They’re books written by political figures, war heroes, music icons, professors, and more. The pages tell about their lives or their experiences through fictional characters, and how they can relate to the readers. I even have my high school year book in the stack. However, there is one book written about spiritual guidance. While the content is extremely beneficial, it’s how I received the book that truly matters.
This book was given to me by my mother. She gave it to me during my junior year of high school, a time where I was struggling with myself. I was unsure of how I could be a good person while struggling so much. School was concerning me, clubs were concerning me, life was concerning me; and I was taking it out on the wrong people: my mother included. We often clashed, and it wasn’t pretty; then again, the truth isn’t usually pretty. Despite all the arguing, she loved me all the way through. She loved me as much as she had the day as I was born or as much as she loves me now (she may not have liked me as much though, there is a difference). She saw this book and thought it was just what I needed; I thought it was overpriced paper. She gave it to me and I sat it on my shelf.
We overcame that time together. She lifted me up with the help of my whole family, and we figured things out. That’s why we have family. Yet, that book my mom gave me still sat on my shelf. It waited for me to be ready to remember those hard times and give me courage to face the hard times to come.
When I was elected to Indiana FFA office, I decided to pack up a small library to take with me to Trafalgar. Among the books I had read and planned to read, I saw the book my mom gave me. I realized I was ready for those old memories to resurface and opened it up. The very first page was filled with a message from her, telling me that she was always praying for me even in trying times. I continued to read, discovering passages that would remind me of my virtues. This was the gift I needed not just back then, but whenever I need to remember those that have been there for me no matter what.
While the book was a great gift, it was the words from mom that really made it special. Her words of encouragement and love let me know that I’ll always have someone pulling for me. I’m blessed to have a support system so strong, and I hope everyone can find those that will be there for them as well. Don’t forget to take time to thank those who have been there for you.
I know that I can’t thank those who are there for me enough, but hopefully this is a start.
Thank you. Most importantly, thank you mom.
- Jarrett Bailey