The Locker (5)

April 10, 2020

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You carry in the latest load, one piece at a time, careful not to strain your back. Even with all the work you’ve done in the gym, lifting and hauling boxes was perilous. The only thing worse than doing this task would be hurting your back while doing it. You place a stuffed reindeer on top of the highest ornament box, a mighty stag overlooking his domain! You place a pair of small, antique lamps in a section devoted to miscellaneous items. The nicer of the two once resided on a mission style desk in your home office, in the Victorian you and Sarah proudly rehabbed in Chicago. The beloved room became a nursery when Remy was born. Much as your ‘66 Mustang convertible became a Honda Odyssey. You’d given all that up willingly, as any father would.

The shoebox nearly topples on your head. You recognized it instantly. You had first discovered it while helping your father go through his mother’s belongings just after she died. It contained bundles of letters between your Grandmother and Grandfather, many from before they were married. Inscribed almost a century ago, her delicate script resembled what one sees on historical documents. The “J” in “Dear Jack” reminding you of John Hancock’s iconic signature, sweeping and florid yet elegantly true. Grandpa Jack’s penmanship was cruder. Understandable for a depression-era shopkeeper, yet still a far sight better than yours or most any other man that you knew.

To be continued…

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