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Feb 2019
My family doesn’t talk about our past,
but the stories and memories are fading fast.
Fascinated by history passed through the generations
I could no longer contain my urge to ask questions.
I was fearful of the supressed emotional past,
but eventually built up the courage to ask.
“Grandma, can you tell me about when you were young?”
Instantly I bit my tongue,
but she agreed, letting out a distant sigh
and holding back the urge to cry.
Grandma took a seat in her favorite rocking chair.
Back and forth she rocked in silent despair.
her gaze focused on something distant,
the squeak of the chair eerily constant.
Back and forth she would constantly rock,
again and again, ticking like a clock.
Finally she looked at me and began;
“Life was very different when I was young.
One Christmas when I was about ten
I received a fountain pen.
The most expensive one my mom could find.
She told had me it was one of a kind.
I used that pen every single day
until its ink eventually faded away.
I have kept the empty pen as my treasure
and let it serve as a measure
of the harder times I’ve been through
and changes in life I value.”
My grandma fell silent as she continued to rock
and I couldn’t help but sit there in utter shock.
I was unable to fully grasp the meaning she tried to convey
until suddenly I realized what she was trying to say.
It’s not the physical gift that is important
but the love of family that is eternally constant.
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