...and it's 57 years old. According to the "This bible was given to..." page, he was nine when it was given to him. I have many fond memories of this bible. I remember thumbing through its pages and staring at the illustrations for hours on end when I was very young. But my parents divorced when I was three and my father and I grew very distant despite the many visits we (my sister and I) had with him those summers long ago. You see, my dad was much too busy fighting his memories of Vietnam. He was a sniper and worked with the CIA on many occasions, so I am sure you can understand that the majority of those memories were probably not very pleasant. I saw him intermittently through my preteen years, but he remarried and soon all my sister and I got from our father was an occasional phone call and gifts in the mail. Nice stuff; he was no cheap-o, but that stuff couldn't replace what should have been a great relationship with his kids. I don't blame him; in fact, I love(d) him dearly - as does(did) my sister. There is plenty in-between the lines here and I hope I haven't left so much out as to confuse or raise eyebrows.
Back on point - I saw my father twice since I enlisted in the Army in 1991. Once in 1994 and again in February 2011 when he was on his deathbed.
But that is another story.... perhaps later.... After the funeral, I was given his bible. And - rather unfortunately - for a 57-year-old bible, its pages are in splendid shape - from disuse, of course. (I think I may have even found some fingerprints from a much younger version of myself on a couple of the pages! How cool is that?) Dad wasn't much for religion; he had been baptized, but I can only imagine the damage of having to do the things he did and having to live with it all did to his faith. As a combat veteran myself I can tell you it's very easy to go down the road to self-loathing and festering guilt. Add the copious amounts of liquor he used to quell the thoughts.... well, there couldn't have been much room in there from much else, let alone God.
But, I keep derailing myself from the point of this posting! Which is this; the leather case of this beautiful, wonderful, cherished, prized, and glorious bible is dried and cracked. I was wondering if there are any gentlemen out there who may have had experienced "reviving" an old leather-bound bible and might want to disclose some trade secrets or tips to help me out.
Thanks for reading and God bless!
Yours in service,