The contents of the magic chest

As anticipated, my boys had analyzed the contents of the chest prior to its return to my camp.  My son ran inside with great excitement and told me I was going to be so happy to see what was inside of that chest!

I doubted that very much.

At the prompt of “Open it mommy, open it, open it, open it!”  I did. 

It contained:

  • 2 Christmas ornaments
  • 1 chain of gold garland icicle Christmas decorations (this would later become the “gold” for the pirate treasure)
  • 1 small set of multi-colored Christmas lights that no longer worked (but my son would fix with the extra two bulbs, he informed me)
  • 1, 9 volt battery – still in the package.  Expired in 2006. The transistor radio that this was likely meant for was probably taken from him long before he departed this earth.
  • 1 XL Harley Davidson t-shirt and a sweatshirt.  Tags still on.  Probably a Christmas gift from my Uncle Don.
  • The Harley Davidson top box with a post it that says, “Poppy” on it
  • A wrapper from a bag of Hanes undershirts
  • 2  matching, odd-shaped keys

Throughout my examination, I cried.  These were the items that he locked up.  Items that he couldn’t bear for someone to steal.  These small things that are seemingly so meaningless meant a great deal to him.  I felt so sad about that. 

My son finally burst with excitement and exclaimed, “Aren’t you happy?!  Look at all the great stuff that Poppy left for you.”

I decided to look at it from his point of view.  Poppy was an optimist and it seems right to honor his way of life in the spirit of this remembrance.

Then my son put his arm around me – and said, “Don’t you know that he loved you a lot?”

I said, “Yeah I do.  He gave me you.”

Because in a strange way, I always believed that a portion of my Pop’s soul was reincarnated in my son who was born about 10 months after Pop died.

My son and I ate a Klondike bar in Poppy’s honor and I thought about him for the rest of the night.  I will blog about him someday.  They will be the best blogs, because this guy was a character and I have a lot of GREAT stories about him. 

Someday. Not today.


Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind, Summer vacation

11 responses to “The contents of the magic chest

  1. Janan

    Ok, Lee I was sobbing reading this…My phone at work rings so I try to get it together before I answer…well I did my best…the person calling says this is Poppy, ——-‘s granpa…she will not be able to make her appt today…Chills went through me….I know how much he meant to you…He was a great guy…Loved you very much…I thought I would share that with you…Love You, Janan

  2. Wow! What a emotionally moving post. Sadness and excitement all melded together. Truly it was a treasure hunt for your son. Thank you for sharing it.

    It reminded me a little of the mythological story of Pandora’s box. You know, the box that Pandora opened out of curiosity. After everything bad had been released, one thing remained in the box: hope.

    Now, I don’t think there was anything bad in your treasure chest. But I think that you found a very important thing in that chest amongst the contents that, on their own, could be described as “meaningless.”

    You found treasured memories!

    • Thank you for the reply! I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. You are right, this was a great opportunity to remember all of the good times.

    • Another great thing is that my son has been having the BEST time with this chest. For days now it has been the center of which all of his pirate / treasure fancies have been centered. As I speak, he and his friends are loading it with treasures and a map right now. Sometimes all you need is a different way to look at something to see it in a positive light.

  3. Shannon

    This was one of my favorite blogs..*tears*

  4. Melissa

    Beautiful…I have a box in my bedroom closet with some misc object that belonged to my PopPop. He was a gem too, grandfathers are so darn special. The battery made me smile because my son listens to a transistor radio that belonged to PopPop every night. Thanks for the heartfelt blog…happy tears!

    • Thanks for sharing Melissa. It is wonderful that you have a magic box from your Pop too! My Pop always had a transistor radio nearby. You don’t see these so often anymore. It’s all I-Pod’s now. I am glad you keep your treasures too.

  5. Dierdre

    Wonderful post Ali! Reminded me a lot of my grampa who I lost right after I told him I was pregnant with Christian. I tell Christian all the time I think a big part of my grampa’s soul went into Christian when he passed. They are so much a like in so many ways. It hurts to think about how much my grampa wouldv’e adored Christian and how much he wouldv’e loved his great-grampa! Thanks for reminding me of how much I loved him and how lucky I am to be reminded of him through my son! It’s truly a living legacy!

    • I am so glad that this sparked good memories of your own. These wonderful people are what really made us who we are today. It is nice to take a moment as an adult to remember and appreciate all that they gave to us. Thanks for sharing Dierdre.

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