Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: FAMILY (01/21/16)
TITLE: Our Family Treasure
By Katy Curry
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I walked into the bathroom one Saturday morning and saw almost all of my jewelry scattered everywhere. “Look at all this junk!' I said to myself. “It just has to go!”
So began the tedious process of going through each treasure. Each piece brought back a memory. The pieces were not useable but each piece reminded me about a special time..
The last thing was a large zip lock bag halfway filled with lapel pins and tie tacks from the different organizations Mom and Dad had belonged to over the years and campaign ribbons for World War Two. After Mom passed, Daddy made a shadow box for them. .As I stared at the bag the pain of loss shadowed my heart.
Frank and I had gone away for the weekend and when we returned, I went to check on Dad. The shadow box was gone. “Daddy, why did you take the shadow box apart, “I asked.
Confusion clouded his face and pale blue eyes. “You told me to, Kath...you told me to yesterday.”
“But I wasn't ...” a sad reality occurred. Daddy had mentioned that he was losing himself, that he could feel pieces of himself slipping away and he couldn’t seem to hold on to them. Now I understood.
“Okay, Daddy. I am glad you put them in a baggie. They’ll stay safe and you won't lose them.”
Confusion cleared from his face as he smiled. “Yes, Yes, now I won't lose them.”
His dementia progressed quickly and he became angry, sometimes accusatory. He had a major heart attack and it was just a matter of time until his body completely shut down. I remembered how that night, when Pastor Frank came to see him, Jesus had mercifully cleared the clouds from his mind. Tears ran down my cheeks as I remembered how Pastor had explained salvation to him and how he asked Jesus into his heart and finished the Sinner’s Prayer without Pastor’s help. He lived for two more days. Those pins had meant a lot to Daddy, they needed to stay.
With a sigh, I put the “good” jewelry back in the cabinet and continued to stare at the three bags, no, now four bags of “junk” jewelry. “Memory,” I corrected myself. “This is memory jewelry.”
Erick opened the front door. “Hey Mom, guess you didn’t hear when we rang the bell. Thanks for taking Eliana; she didn’t want to go to Sarasota today. “
“Not a problem,” I responded, “You go have fun there and we’ll stay busy here.”
Once everyone had left I started back to the bedroom. I couldn’t leave the jewelry out like that. Eliana jumped onto the bed and started inspecting everything.
“OOOO, what’s all this, Nana?” she asked, looking at the bag of lapel pins and war ribbons.
“That has all the special pins in it from Opa and GG.”
“I remember Opa,” Eliana whispered. He had brown teeth, it was scary.”
“Yes, he did, Princess, but he loved you and your brother a lot. He is in heaven with Jesus now.”
“Do you think his teeth are white, Nana?” Eliana asked.
At that I broke out laughing. “I bet they are whiter than white, Baby!” and I gave her a big hug.
“Nana, do you miss Opa?”
“Yes, Princess, I do, he was my Daddy. But I know I will see him again and GG. I know they are with Jesus and they are happy.” I took one of the campaign ribbons out of the bag and pinned it on Eliana’s shirt. “This is very special, Princess. It is going to be your job to take care of it. This will remind you how much Opa loved you. He was the first one to call you Princess.”
She touched the campaign ribbon reverently. “I’ll take good care of it, Nana. I’ll remember Opa.” Eliana whispered. “And I will remember that Jesus loved him even with brown teeth!”
“Oh, you are so right, Princess.” I confirmed and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for her beautiful faith.
I was reminded me that our true wealth, our true value was not in the things we surround ourselves with, but in the blessings, large and small, from a loving God, from the gift of family and the love and memories we pass on.
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