Bheannaigh Bí: Part two
(Part One click this link)
The book was dusty, smelling of both her grandfather and the memories of the many hands that had touched it. She had heard of this book as a young girl; stories woven and told around the dinner table. She remembered asking her grandfather about it, shortly after he had gotten ill. He shooed her away, claiming she, “…shouldn’t busy her mind with family lore.” However, growing up, there were many other stories around the dinner table, around holidays, and overheard as she tip toed her way to the top of the stairs when she should have been sleeping. She always knew there was more to her family than they wanted her to know.
She leaned forward and blew the dust out of the engraved lettering. The spine was creased and cracked from years of being opened, but she found herself awe struck and unable to open it herself. She lifted the book to read the spine when a something slipped out, falling to the floor. At first she didn’t notice it, still enthralled by the old book in her hands…. the tangible evidence of her belief that the tales from childhood were always more than she was lead to believe. She put the book back on her lap, took a deep breath of preparation, opened her eyes as she gathered the nerve to open it. Then the golden embossed envelope caught the corner of her eye. She put the book on the bed as she went to where the envelope had fallen from the book. Watson, the true bloodhound he was, sniffed the book and sneezed as if dissatisfied with the very item that was preventing her from cuddling to sleep with him.
A simple ivory envelope, thicker paper stock, with the same gaelic embossing as the book had on it cover. Written in perfect gaelic calligraphy were the words, “Tá sé thar am, pháiste” in her grandfathers distinct penmanship. She flipped the envelope over, noticing that it had not been sealed. Completely lost in thought, she mindlessly walked over and flopped back into her seat. “What have I stumbled upon?” She asked herself as she lifted the flap of the envelope revealing beautiful ivory stationary that matched both envelope and the book.
As she started to pull the contents out of the envelope, her cell phone vibrated in her back pocket; causing her to jump and squeal. This caused Watson to raise his head, as if mocking herShe grabbed her cell phone from her pocket, giggling at how funny she must have looked, she answered. Her aunt was on the other end asking the very banal questions that follow the death of someone.
“Have you eaten dear, you need to remember you right now?” “How are you doing, need any help?” And on, and on, and on… Completely engrossed with the contents of the envelope, all she could reply was, “Uh huh,”…”Yessum,”… “Hmmm.” When she hung up the phone she was sure her aunt said something about coming to help sort gramps’ items the following day. Gráinne shrugged her shoulders, as she held the envelope. “Ok gramps, you’re making this really hard to focus. No more interruptions from heaven, no matter how funny you think they are.” She said defiantly as she pulled the contents out.
A beautiful letter, tri folded, she now held in her hands. As she opened the letter, a ribbon tied chunk of baby hair, an old photo, and a hospital bracelet fell into her lap. Sighing again, Gráinne looked to Watson, then looked to heaven…”This isn’t a game of Russian stacking dolls, gramps. How many more things do you have tucked inside of something that’s hidden inside of another?” She grinned, that cute grin her grandfather loved. One side of her mouth turned up, lips pushed out, and hand on hip. “I miss you so much.” she whispered. She wiped her damp cheek with the sleeve of her shirt, refusing to allow anyone see her cry. She lifted the photograph noting the aged grey and sepia toned image. Immediately she noticed her grandfather as a child.