Friday, June 25, 2010

The Dusty Trunk...


The trunk sat gathering dust in the attic through WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm and all the current skirmishes.  I'd passed it many times as I picked up or deposited items in the attic for my Grandmother and finally my Mother.  It was less interesting than most of the items hiding amidst the gossamer silk decorating the attic.  Imagine my surprise when my daughter and I opened it while clearing away the debris left by my mother's passing.  Relics of the past.  Photos from the Civil War nestled beside medals identified as belonging to the Spanish American War and awarded to ancestors whose names I recalled but of whom I'd never been interested enough to listen to the stories being told about them.  

During the dusty afternoon as we pawed our way through generations of our family's history my daughter and I earned a new appreciation of what had come before.  Letters home told of the horrors of many wars.  Families torn apart and loved ones lost.  The uniforms from early wars hung appropriately in the trunk, protected for the many years.  Opening a drawer I encountered a tortoise shell toothbrush gently reposed on an aged linen handkerchief that bore the initials of my Great Great Grandfather.  His tour of duty had been the Spanish American War and his uniform, complete with medals, hung honorably amongst the others.  Beneath the linen handkerchief I found a yellowed letter written to my Great Great Grandmother offering condolences for the loss of her husband.  Suddenly this relic, his toothbrush, took on a deeper meaning.  Why do wars continue to be fought?  Why should loved ones be lost?  How can the madness be stopped?   I had no answers as I quietly closed the trunk and wiped my tears.  I could only pray that my Grandson, serving in Afghanistan, would not join the history displayed in this dusty trunk.

C Hummel Kornell

9 comments:

  1. Wonderful story, wonderful Magpie and many prayers for all who are serving and for all who have been lost.....blessings...bkm

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  2. What a wodnerful Magpie. I agree when will the madness stop.

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  3. War is terrible to all those involved in it, to their families, and to the world order. And yet, it seems inevitable. There's now talk of a third World War which could erupt in a year or two because of the bankruptcy the western nations are in.

    The sight of the tootbrush in the above picture, and the details about the suitcase of your Great Great Grandfather, gave me the goosegumps. Very well-written post!

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  4. Your Magpie tugged at my heartstrings ... nice job!

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  5. How indeed can all this madness be stopped - all the young lives gone - I too pray that your grandson comes home safely.

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  6. Very moving and beautifully written. I love it.
    :-)

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  7. a brilliant magpie that stirs many feelings for those that fight at the whims of our leaders...let the madness stop...though i wonder when...

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  8. Raw and poignant - so much damage. I, too, wish a safe return for your grandson. Thank you for writing this.

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  9. 'I could only pray that my Grandson, serving in Afghanistan, would not join the history displayed in this dusty trunk.' Amen!

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