Friends, I've had a few shocks to the system in the last couple of days. If you see me through it, "The Gods Are Bored" will return, I promise.
Apparently my beloved grandfather wanted me to have a box of his possessions. I say "apparently," because my daughter The Heir retrieved the box quite by serendipity from a crawlspace under the oldest section of the family farm.
The box was literally crusted with mold. Heir only peeked inside it before shoving it into a sack. She brought it home because it had pins in it. Heir loves pins.
These aren't just pins, though. They are my grandfather's life.
Items: Red Cross volunteer pins from the Second World War.
Items: Two rings, Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
Items: Twelve "one hundred percent attendance" pins from the Lions Club.
Items: Anniversary of service pins from the American Celanese Corporation -- 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years, 45 years.
Items: "Perfect Safety Record" pins from the American Celanese Corporation -- 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years, 45 years.
Item: Retirement tie tack, American Celanese Corporation.
Item: A bracelet with ten round coins, each bearing one of the Ten Commandments.
Items: Four pins, "Jesus Is Lord."
Items: A white Celtic cross with Latin inscription and a pin with a white knight and black knight in profile ... affiliation unknown.
Items: Bicentennial souvenirs.
Items: Cufflinks with initials DWJ.
Items: Tietacks with initials DWJ.
Item: Garden Club citation of merit. (That might have been Grandma's.)
Items: More than 25 Lions Club pins, including a large anniversary pin from the Virginia Lions Club.
Today, while the Heir was at a doctor's appointment, I sat on the Main Street of my borough and took stock of the contents of the box. I shared a bench with a merchant who had come out of his shop to smoke a cigar. The merchant was a man of few words, but he was interested in the contents of the box. And he chuckled after I'd emptied it, when I said that this was the moment when I would pull out the padding to find $10,000 or a hand-written and signed copy of the Declaration of Independence.
No money appeared, nor did any historic document. Nor did I care.
When you are a little girl, and you place your trust and devotion upon a person who deserves both, you grow up feeling rock, and not sand, under your feet. When you are teetering on the edge between Matron and Cailleach, and this person's badges of honor fall into your possession, you understand how magick works, how its power rips through people and circumstances to bind a loved one to the grateful granddaughter who will bring his heritage into a new century.
Granddad, may I be worthy of that which is given.