We are cousins who, over time, lost touch with one another. Having grown up in different areas of the country, our time together was limited to short holiday visits until we became pre-teens. Then there were a few summers when we spent a week together at our Grandmother’s house. We did paint-by-number paintings, put together and painted plastic bird models and did a lot of giggling at silly things. The attic upstairs was finished, filled with antiques and for those weeks it was our sanctuary. We slept in “Aunt Molly’s” old bed and across the room was a crib that held a very scary looking antique doll. It always felt as if her eyes were following you around the room and it wasn’t very long before she became the central figure in the ghost stories we told each other before falling asleep. The attic had two storage areas, one held board games and a variety of things to keep us entertained. The other area was off limits and we all knew better than to go rooting through that section of the house.
It wasn’t until our last summer visit together that our Grandmother decided to show us what that storage area held. Inside was a small box that held a few musket balls and I’m sure other trinkets. Mostly it was filled with a soldier’s letters, sent home during the Civil War. We were both intrigued, asking questions about who was this person, when did they live, did they make it home from the war? I can’t remember the answers, but to this day I still feel the excitement of first laying eyes on the contents of that little box.
Grandmom had no idea the door she opened for us that day. Last year we managed to reconnect through the search for our ancestors.
Thank you Grandmom Hammitt.