“Family Treasure,” Friend, Sept. 2012, 28–29
“Please give these dish towels to Suzi,” Grandma said. She handed Nika a stack of towels. “She can put them in the box with the other kitchen things.”
“Great-grandmother sure had a lot of nice things,” Nika said, fingering the dish towels with the embroidered edges before handing them to Suzi. “The whole house is like a treasure chest.”
“Yes, it is,” Grandma said. She reached into a cupboard and brought out some beautiful dishes.
“What will you do with all of these wonderful treasures now that Great-grandmother has died?” Nika asked. “Can we keep them?”
“We’ll divide them among family members and give the rest to charity,” Grandma said. She began wiping dust off the dishes.
“Look what I found,” Uncle Mike said, laying a large book on the table. “It’s an old photo album. And look at this, Nika,” he said. He carefully turned the brown pages. “Here’s a photo of your great-great-grandmother when she was about your age.”
Nika looked closely at the black-and-white photo of the smiling little girl. She was wearing button-up boots, her hair was in long ringlets, and she was holding a china doll in her arms.
“Look at that!” Nika said, pointing excitedly. “She’s missing a tooth, just like me!” Nika stuck her tongue through the gap in her teeth.
“So she is,” Uncle Mike said. “And you both have the same freckly nose.” He smiled and carefully closed the album.
“Grandma,” Nika said, folding some cloth napkins, “are family pictures the treasure you want to keep?”
Grandma looked up from dusting. “I’m grateful to get the photos and family records. I want to organize them and make copies to share. They are important to me because they strengthen the thing I treasure even more.”
“What’s that?” Nika asked.
“This.” Grandma waved her hand to indicate the whole room.
“The house?” Nika was puzzled.
“No. Look again,” Grandma said. “What do you see in this room?”
Nika looked around. She saw her relatives everywhere, all working together.
“Family,” Nika said at last. “That’s what you treasure most, isn’t it?”
“Exactly,” Grandma said. “That’s the only thing that can last forever.”
“Were Great-grandma and Great-grandpa married in the temple?” Nika asked.
“Yes. They did their part to make sure our family is sealed together,” Grandma said.
“Do you know what treasure I’d like?” Nika asked.
“I’d like you to tell me more stories about that girl with the missing tooth in the photo.”
“Oh, I have lots of stories to tell you,” Grandma said. “The question is, will you have time to hear them all?”
“I will,” Nika declared. “Even if it takes forever!”