While writing I imagine that years from now my great-grandchildren will find a leather book cracked with age. A book that has been in many different moving boxes and has made residence on many bookshelves with many different zip codes. Maybe they will find it in that smelly, mildew ridden cardboard box in the deepest corner of the stuffy attic. Or maybe they will discover it shoved in the back of the pantry, hidden by Campbell soup cans and never-used cookbooks. My great-granddaughter, a l brunette beauty with piercing eyes, will open this mysterious book with curiosity flowing through her veins. She will open the book while her hands become covered with dust and she begins to cough when the dust infiltrates her lungs. Her long, golden-brown braids that hang limp on either side of her will pick up the dust, like how her mother’s vacuum sucks up the cereal that she had spilt earlier that day. While coughing, she eyes a picture of me. An old picture. Maybe a picture of me with my beautiful mom as a child. Maybe a picture of my times at the academy. Or maybe a picture of me at my wedding. Or maybe even a picture with her grandparents. Maybe even a picture of me on my death bed. She will gasp at the realization that she looks like me. Me. A forgotten person. The memory of what I was shoved in a box or hidden in a closet. She will begin to flip through the pages. The old manila pages talking and crinkling with each flip. These pages are filled with forgotten notes, ancient love letters, faded photos, and a story that had not been told in quite a while. This unsullied girl will read with unknowing eyes. She will gasp at the right parts and laugh with a giggle that echoes off her pink bedroom walls. She will then grab the book and run to her mother. A mother that may be busy cooking an apple pie for her husband or maybe busy daydreaming about a previous life. The mother may grab the book from her and demand where she found it with fury in her eyes. Or her mother may just laugh, wave her hand, and tell her to go find and play with her brother. It is saddening to realize that all I can ever hope to attain is a memory. I can’t predict that I will achieve a good memory or an awful one. Hopefully, a good one. A memory that can live in the mind of an innocent little girl. That’s all I can hope for.
December 11, 2011