Earlier this evening [at Starbucks] I began reading The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year by Jay Parini -- and it put me on to a dear memory.
Many years ago, before my mother became increasingly ill with leukemia, I was visiting her and decided to take her out for coffee.
We ended up at a Chapters bookstore -- in the Starbucks.
It was such a cute time, chatting with her… it was very much like a date.
As we were about to leave she told me to go and pick out a book so that she could buy it for me. I protested, "No no mom -- you don't need to do that, I'm all fine for books, I have too many books," etc.
None of my arguments worked on her. She insisted. And I realized that this was an important thing for her to do, she really wanted to buy me something. I relented.
My mother was a deeply spiritual person, and so we found ourselves in that section of the bookstore, where I spied this book by Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You -- and as I thumbed through it -- I felt it was something I would be interested in reading one day. My mom paid for this book with cash, and I can still see her doing so. She was so pleased to hand it over to me.
The whole memory is just so 100% adorable to me tonight.
As soon as I got home I picked this currently unread book of mine from the shelf and held it in my hands -- remembering this sweet gesture of my dear mom.
I shall place it on my To Be Read List for 2011.