April 17, 2017
Grandma has nothing fun to do. I try suggesting we go to the pool or shopping, bur Grandma refuses and insists there’s plenty to do here. We end up just sitting and watching reruns of an old show she has on VCR—
“Ellie!” Grandma yelled from downstairs. I shut my journal and walked down toward the kitchen.
“Yes Grandma?” I asked loud enough for her aged ears to understand.
“Would you clean out the attic for me?” she spoke in a sweet tone. I nodded my head and walked back up the stairs.
I creaked open the attic door from the stationary ladder and noticed plenty of dust covered furniture and an assortment of boxes. Looking through the dusty box, I noticed a bunch of old diaries. I flipped through one of them and it was full of pages and entries dated back to the mid-1800s. The diary had dates and pictures. One of the pictures was of a young woman, a nurse, helping out a man that looks similar to my dad. She was wearing a teardrop shaped necklace and a nurse’s uniform while Union soldiers jacket wrapped around his waist.
April 13, 1861
I just saw the most wonderful man. He came in injured and in distress. There was a bullet wound in his left shoulder and he had a limp to his walk. Another nurse noticed his state of being and brought him over to my station, the only one empty in this place. This was the bloodiest battle of the war yet. I grabbed my scalpel and some whiskey. He stared up into my eyes. His were a deep blue ocean, the same color of the necklace I’m wearing. I quickly turned away so he wouldn’t notice my blushing. I went to work removing the bullet lodged into his shoulder. The soldier bit down hard on a rag as I poured the alcohol into the wound. We didn’t talk, but I know in my heart I will see this man again.
The man looked really familiar. I think they were my great, great grandma and grandpa. These diaries have so much more meaning and information than ancestry.com. I needed to know more. I picked up a delicate looking book with yellowing and crumbling pages. The texture of the pages was nothing like I’ve felt before. I blew the dust off the diary and rubbed my thumb over the leather cover of the ancient looking book and carefully flipped to a page.
January 23, 1692
The girls in Salem are strange. Mother says it is because we are new to the town. Father died on the pilgrimage over and we had to bury him a couple months ago. The apothecary said it was a disease he caught from the rats running around the boat. Before he died, gave me a blue necklace I haven’t taken off since. The girls in town act strange with their distance and occasional fits of terror. They turned their bodies into inhuman figures and had visions of imaginary events. Abigail Williams and her cousin Betty Parris are most peculiar. They seem have a strange aura around them, like witchcraft. The townsfolk seem to see it as well. They are becoming weary of the girls and even their own daughters. Mother wants me to be friends with them. I’d prefer it better if we left Salem altogether.
I can’t believe I had an ancestor in the times of the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. My eyes widened at the idea that my history went that far back. Looking through the box, I wanted to find an even older diary. One caught my eye, with torn and brittle pages. The inside wording was in old cursive that had faded overtime. I was able to find a small passage that was easier to read.
December 8, 1544
Walkande home, I noticed the most beautiful blue pendant in the market. It was shaped like the rain fallande from clouds. I had the strongest feeling that the pendant would be worth a fortune someday. When Magdalena arrives back from workande in the Palace she will be sely. I can only imagine her face as she viewith the blue sparkling teardrop. I imagineth a large smile on her face when she I placeth the pendant around her neck. My life savings is only for her solas.
This passage was interesting. I wondered if that necklace was still around. It seemed like in the past few journals, there had been a teardrop necklace. This must be where it came from. These diaries were full of experience and life. I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to devour each and every one of them. I searched the box until I found one that looked newer. I wondered if my mom had ever written in a journal and opened to a random page.
June 3, 1944
Father is heading off to fight in Europe. I’m not supposed to know anything about it, but I overheard that they were leaving to stop the man behind the Nazis, Adolf Hitler. I had heard stories from across the sea that Jews were being killed and books were being burned. I don’t want that to happen here in the U.S. I have a friend who is Jewish and I like reading. I don’t think I could handle it if all my books were gone. Tomorrow is Mother’s Birthday. She is throwing a party for all her friends at the library. I wanted to wear my blue necklace to show off, but Mother says it’s really old and I shouldn’t. Father allowed her to have a small get together because he wanted her to have fun while he went off to war.
This diary is in Grandma’s handwriting. It was written during World War II, right before D Day. I searched the box, counting the number of diaries collected when I noticed a light catch my eye. I moved around books until I found a sparkling blue necklace in the shape of a teardrop. I carefully picked it up to examine the jewelry. The blue sapphire has dulled over the centuries, but remained intact. The long chain was made from gold that had tarnished over time. It seemed ancient and I assumed it was the one spoken of in each of the journal entries. I grabbed the box and climbed down the ladder to tell Grandma of my discovery.
When she saw the necklace and box of journals in my hand she put her hand over her mouth. “Oh my! I haven’t seen that in years. How did you find it?” A childlike wonder was displaced on her face. She carefully held the necklace with one hand and embraced me with the other.