Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Little Women Story



Amazing how you believe one thing for years, and then open a book, and discover something else. I always told people my Dad bought my first adult book, a copy of Little Women, when I was in first grade. Then, today, I opened up that book, and saw the date July 1964 in the front of it. Dad bought that book for me in the summer after first grade. My mother said she thought it was after my first report card as well, but she said he must have bought it after my last report card from first grade. That doesn't spoil the fact that Dad bought me a book I couldn't yet read, knowing I'd read it someday, and the fact that I always cherished it.

Little Women has always been special to me. Is there a girl who read that book and didn't want to be Jo? I went to see the play seven or eight years ago, at the Naples Philharmonic. It was good, but it wasn't as special as the book.

Then two years ago, my Mom gave me a little box with a bookmark in it, and the box was lined with endpapers from Little Women. A priceless gift, filled with memories.

This year, Mom outdid herself. She wanted to be SKYPEd when I opened one particular box from her last night. When she told me the story, and I sat and cried, she said she didn't mean to make me cry. Mom and my sister, Linda, went to a craft show, and came across a woman who made purses from book covers. By the time Linda said you should get Little Women for Lesa, and they went back, it was gone. So, Mom placed an order for a purse made from the book covers, the front, the spine, and the back of the book. Isn't it gorgeous?


And, here's my original copy of Little Women, my first adult book, alongside the purse (which I will never actually use). Thank you, Mom. Thanks for memories.



*****

Addendum - My mother sent me the name, phone number and website for the woman who makes these purses. I know at least one reader asked. Her name is Gina Marie, phone #708-825-3273 www.ginamariehandbags.com

And, Mom told me something I didn't remember. Little Women means a great deal to my mother as well. Her oldest sister named her after Beth.

35 comments:

Kay said...

What a precious gift! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

A beautiful pocketbook and a sweet thought from your mom!

I loved that book, too. I can't wait to share it with my daughter, too.

I love the idea of your dad getting you a book you could grow into.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

Isn't that a special gift, Kay? I thought many of the readers here would appreciate it.

Lesa said...

The fact that Dad always had faith that I could do anything made that original gift of Little Women very special, Elizabeth. And, I always wanted to live up to those hopes.

As a reader, I just know there are all kinds of books you want to share with your daughter. And, the great thing is, children's and YA books are so much better now, that there are all kinds of books she'll share with you as well.

bermudaonion said...

What a special gift! I can see why it made you cry.

Lesa said...

Wasn't it special, Bermudaonion? Yes, it was definitely a gift to cry over.

Mason Canyon said...

What a wonderful story and so sweet of your Mom. Now you have a connect to the book and both parents. It's a beautiful purse.

Lesa said...

Isn't it beautiful, Mason? My mother is wonderful at making that connection, knowing how much Little Women has meant to me. She's very special.

Luanne said...

What a wonderful story and thoughtful gift. Thanks for sharing Lesa.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Luanne. Thanks for stopping by to read the story. It means a lot to me.

Beth Hoffman said...

I love this, Lesa. It could so easily be a short story -- so tender and heartwarming!

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Beth. It's yours to do what you want. Soon you'll be able to use my whole life in a story (grin) - never taking my coat off at my in-laws, Little Women.

Bev said...

I love your purse! Could you find out who your mom ordered it from and if they have a website? I would love to order one for my sister-in-law.

Molly said...

What a beautiful story, Lesa! And just think, every time you carry the purse you will be reminded of such fond memories.

I plan to re-read Little Women someday. I think I read it when I was too young, not fully appreciating it. I want to give the book another chance.

Ingrid King said...

This has to be the most perfect Christmas gift ever. This is going to be hard to top - your mom set the bar pretty high there!

Bonnie said...

I loved reading this Lesa. What treasured memories that you have of your father giving you Little Women and the meaning behind it. How thoughtful of your mom to have the purse made for you and to add more treasured memories. I loved seeing the pictures as well.

Diane said...

What a great story. Enjoy Lesa.

Lesa said...

Bev,

Check back here later today or tomorrow. I asked my mom for the website and address, but my sister and her kids are coming in today, so I'm not sure when she'll answer me. I'll get it if Mom still has it.

Lesa said...

Molly,

I must have been just the right age when I finally read it, because it was perfect for me. I went on to read Little Men, Eight Cousins, and most of her other books. Little Women and Eights Cousins remain my favorites.

Lesa said...

Well, Ingrid, when she told me she bought me the best gift she'd ever given me, and that's over 52 years, I knew she was pleased with the gift. You're right. I don't know if she'll top it. (She did give me a puppy for my very first Christmas, though, and she was very nice!)

Lesa said...

Thank you, Bonnie. It was fun to take the pictures, and let my Mom see them, too.

Lesa said...

I'm going to enjoy it, Diane. Thanks!

Lesa said...

Check the addendum, Bev. I put the name and website for the maker of the purse.

Janel said...

I still have my original copy of Little Women too. Now my daughter is old enough to read it. The purse is absolutely wonderful. What a special present!

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a story and I have mine, too.

Lesa said...

Isn't it a great gift, Janel? I hope your daughter likes Little Women as much as we did!

Lesa said...

Patti,

We all kept our copies of Little Women. Says something about the book, doesn't it? I know I don't have the rest of my books from childhood.

Clea Simon said...

I do have a few others - my Wind in the Willows and my Chronicles of Narnia - but Little Women holds a special place. By the way, tonight (Dec. 28), there's a PBS special on Louisa May Alcott that is supposedly quite good! Can't wait to see it.

Lesa said...

Oh, I'm with you on the Chronicles of Narnia. My Hobbit is special, and so is A Wrinkle in Time, since it's autographed. But, the family connection to Little Women makes that special. Thanks for the heads up on Louisa May Alcott. I'll have to check our PBS channel.

Meen said...

Oh Lesa, I love that story. Isn't it just great when someone goes through that much trouble to get you that very special present? Enjoy and cherish, just as you have been cherishing the book itself.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Marleen. Yes, it is great when someone makes that kind of effort to find the perfect gift for someone. Mom is a wonderful gift giver. She knows what is special. I will cherish it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hope you saw the American Masters special on Monday night.

Lesa said...

I did, Patti! Clea let me know first, and then my mother called me to tell me it was on. Very interesting. Even Jim enjoyed it.

Les said...

Such a lovely gift and a beautiful story, Lesa! Your mom sounds like not only a wonderful mother, but a great friend, too.

Happy New Year!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Les. Yes, she's both a wonderful mother, and a great friend. And, she's a great friend to have, even if you're not her daughter. Her best friend now was her friend in first grade. I think that's wonderful.