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The Stories Bookmarks Can Tell


I noticed a folded piece of notebook paper tucked near the back of the book I was reading. I unfolded it and saw my son's handwriting.

He'd outlined his projections of what his nephew would be like when he was older. The list included what his nephew's favorite sports would be along with his top school subjects, foods, and his anticipated full height and hair color. This was penned while sitting in a labor and delivery waiting room before his nephew's birth. He'd left it in the book he'd been reading. I found the old bookmark while reading with his nephew—thirteen years after it had been written about him.

A bookmark with a story to tell.

Long ago, my mom, the librarian, found lots of interesting bookmarks left in books—but there was one I always wondered about.

While shelving books at the library, Mom noticed a piece of thin white paper protruding from the top of a thick novel.

"Sally" had written a short letter and had either forgotten where she'd put it, or perhaps never intended to send it. Mom looked at the check-out card in the front of the book, Sally hadn't checked it out.


Mom made a Xerox copy of the letter and read it to us at dinner that evening:

Hi Honey,

Library Shelves

You're always on my mind. I worry about you all the time. I wish this stupid war would get over. I miss you terribly. Things are the same here. Lots of rain. The dark clouds remind me of how I feel with you gone. I wish you knew when you'd be home, then I could circle the days on my calendar.

I started working at the mill. I'm saving money so that when you get back we can begin our plans for our house! I can already see it with a green lawn and tall trees behind it. You'll have room to work on all those old cars you love. Good thing I know you love me more than the cars!

Well, I'll write again soon. I'm on break and need to get back to my desk. There's lots of letters I need to type. Be safe and come back to me soon.



"Are you going to try and find Sally?" my inquisitive 11-year-old self, demanded.

No. Mom decided to leave the letter right where she found it. The next person reading it could also wonder how this love story ended.


Karen Farris served in the crisis pregnancy ministry — traveling thousands of miles and speaking to over 10,000 students about their life choices — for nearly a dozen years. She became a grant writer and helps find resources for projects that serve those in poverty, mainly children. She's been a blogger since 2010 — Friday Tidings — sharing stories of faith, life, and purpose to give hope in a hurting world.

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