Elena Kovinski was daydreaming in the winter veranda, enjoying the quiet atmosphere of the cold day. From time to time kids’ giggles would reach hear ears, reassuring her that everyone was fine. Her husband had gone into town with their youngest son Bryan, and she was left at home with her two eldest – Joshua and Eric. She felt very lucky to have boys that could behave. Most of the time she didn’t have to worry about them doing stupid things like breaking an arm or leg. Of course as young boys they were full of energy and sometimes they even fought, but Elena was never too worried about that; after all she herself had been pretty active when she was their age and she could not remember the number of times she had got into trouble with her brothers. It was all part of the life cycle. Luckily for her, her sons did not give her as much trouble as she used to give to her parents, growing up. This realization made her smile. As she reached for the cup of hot tea, a loud noise of crashing and breaking glass reached her ears. Her heart stopped for a second and as she was jumping on her feet, it began pounding faster and faster, matching her quick steps towards the source of the noise.
“Josh? Eric?” she called out, reaching the entrance of their big colonial house.
The boys stood around the grandfather clock, which had been in her family for generations. Shattered glass laid across the wooden floor, and Eric was sobbing aware of the mess and the trouble that awaited him and his brother. Elena’s heart jumped again at the scene before her and she rushed towards her boys, checking them for any potential injuries.
“Are you alright? Did you get hurt?” was all she could ask over and over. Joshua kept reassuring her that they were fine, that they hadn’t been that close to the clock when it fell down, but she could not stop making sure that they were alright. Eric on the other hand could not stop crying. At six years old, he was still a baby – her baby. She grabbed her sons and covered them with kisses and hugs, relieved that nothing bad had happened to them.
“It’s okay, baby, you’re fine” she kept saying to Eric, whose tears were now turning into soft sobs. Joshua looked as miserable as his brother, but being three years older was way over crying for random things. “Mommy… we are really sorry. We didn’t mean to…we just were playing” he was pleading. She looked up to him and opened her free arm, inviting him for a group hug. He hesitated a minute before rushing into her arms.
“It’s okay. I am glad you were not injured. That’s all. Plus, things fall and brake, that’s life. Now, how about you take Eric back to your playroom while I clean up? We can then have some chocolate cake” she offered, knowing how much hey boys loved her homemade chocolate cake. Joshua looked into her eyes to make sure that it was okay to leave and that she wasn’t mad at them before taking his little brother by his hand and guiding him back upstairs.
Once they were gone, Elena took in a deep breath. She had had the scare of her life. Now that everyone was good, she looked at the mess around her. Her great grandfather’s clock was laying flat on the floor, and she would need to wait on her husband to get back to be able to lift it back to its position. The only thing she could do right now was to sweep the broken glass. As she was sweeping off the floor, she noticed that the clock had cracked on a side and she sighed. This clock was their family’s inheritance and she hoped the crack could be fixed before her mother or any other member of her family noticed it. Her cousin had been pretty upset when everyone agreed to give the clock to Elena and she did not want to give any one of them a reason to not trust her with family belongings in the future. As she got closer to the crack, she noticed that it was actually a small trap that had unfastened, revealing a small hidden compartment. Intrigued, Elena reached into the small space with her fingers and retrieved a piece of paper. Excitement grew inside of her as she looked unfolded the paper. To her surprise the letter was addressed to her.
“My dear Elena,
I hope this letter finds you in time. I have been diagnosed with terminal cancer and as painful it is for me to know that I will not watch you grow up and become the wonderful woman that I am sure you will turn up to be some day, I am glad I was able to see you come into this world. I know your great grandmother Theresa would have loved to have this opportunity. We haven’t had a girl in our family for four generations now and you can hardly imagine how much joy you brought into our hearts. I hope that life blesses you, my dear granddaughter and that you grow up to be everything you want. Your mom is a very strong minded person, and I am sure she will raise you right. I hope God will bless you with a loving family and a good life, my dear. Please remember us, because you will always be in our hearts. Your great grandmother left you a necklace to remember us by, and if you look closer into the grandfather clock that should have passed on to you, you will find it stored within its walls.
Your Great Grandfather, Luke.”
Elena stared at the piece of paper, reading it over and over. She didn’t notice her wet eyes. She never expected to find such a beautiful testimony of love, and it was dedicated to her. She slowly lowered herself to the level of the lying clock and with her right hand brushed the wooden surface of the clock. “I love you too, papi” she murmured. She considered moving the clock on her own, but knew it would be pointless as it would probably result in her pulling a muscle. She held the piece of paper close to her heart, and with a smile went back to the veranda.