52: Treasures in the Attic, Treasures in Heaven

52: Treasures in the Attic, Treasures in Heaven

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Treasures in the Attic, Treasures in Heaven

By Phyllis Cochran

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!”

~Isaiah 43:18-19a

Five-year-old Jessica burst through the living room door. “What are you doing, Granny?” she asked, leaning over my arm. “I forgot you were coming today,” I said. How would I explain to Jessica that I was sorting through an old box of cards sent to our daughter, Susan, from her second-grade classmates years ago? Susan had fallen seriously ill at age seven and died two years later from a brain tumor. Jessica had heard about her mom’s older sister over the years.

Purposefully, I had hidden Susan’s mementoes in the attic where they would be protected — untouched by others. I thought of the cards as “my box of love.” Several times I had attempted to throw away the get-well greetings, but ended up mourning for what could never be.

“What are you doing?” Jessica asked again. “Where did you get all these?”

“The cards were sent to your Aunt Susan when she was sick. I’m sorting them. You can help, Jess. I’ll pass you the ones for the trash.”

“Look at the yellow daisy. You can’t throw this one away. It’s too pretty,” she insisted after I handed her the first.

“Set some aside for yourself,” I said.

A few hundred cards later, Jess’s sack was overflowing. The one for disposal remained empty. Jess latched onto an orange block in the bottom of the box. It bore the words SUSAN’S BLOCK in black lettering.

“Can I keep this?” Her brown eyes sparkled as she admired the bits of colorful fabric and buttons glued in a collage-like manner.

“Take this,” I said, handing her another purple-painted craft.

“No, I want the orange one,” she insisted, tugging on the wooden object.

“But, Jessica, orange was Susan’s favorite color, and her name is on it,” I said, grasping the chunky object. “What would you want it for?”

“I’ll take it to show-and-tell. Then I’ll put it on my desk.”

I loved my grandchildren and would give them almost anything. But this? This was Susan’s last creation. Carefully, I set the block aside.

Jess looked down in disbelief.

Inwardly, I struggled. I knew Susan had gone on before us to heaven. She no longer needed attic treasures. Letting go of this craft could never bring Susan back. I would never forget her. I was now storing up special memories with our grandchildren. The future and renewed happiness stood before me. I released the chunky wooden object into my granddaughter’s hands.

The next day, Jessica showed Susan’s block to her kindergarten class. For years, the orange block sat on Jessica’s desk.

Each time I walked into Jessica’s room and saw the wooden craft, I felt a renewed sense of joy. I had made the right decision.

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