The secrets of the jewellery box

Written by SJ Covey

Dear Mum,

I’ve told you I love you at least a gazillion times, I’ve hugged and kissed you at least a gazillion more. As the baby of the family I was always trouble. Screaming the house down for attention so much so that the neighbours thought I was being murdered.

Far from it, with a stay at home mum and a dad who worked all the overtime in the world to give us all the things he never had. What he didn’t realise was what we needed was him at home. Don’t get me wrong I loved all the holidays we shared and all the fun we had, but you needed your husband.

We left your home village and moved many miles away from all your friends and family. With 2 young children, I was 2 and my brother was 6 We went back to visit, but I never realised how hard that must have been for you. Not until recently do I understand how difficult it is being so far from your parents, and family.

My brother was bullied at school because he spoke differently than the other kids. One day he came home talking like everyone else where we lived. I asked why are you speaking funny, with the innocence only a child can deliver such a question.

You had no support to raise your children, that must have been so difficult for you. I remember a time when you had to walk out of the house, just to be able to breathe. I was a master at pushing buttons. This day I’d gone too far. I was frantic that you were not coming back.

Another trick I pulled was spilling water on my bed so you had to come and sit with me, and clear it up. Bless you, exhaustion was heavy on your face. Yet, your demanding little princess needed just a little bit more attention that evening.

A curious child I always found the hidden birthday and Christmas presents. Even when you concocted a genius trap in the sliding wardrobes in your bedroom so when I opened it the paper would fall. I saw the trap and after ransacking the contents of the wardrobe, and discovering a giant gorilla teddy bear and all kinds of awesome toys I did a feat worthy of mission impossible to get that piece of paper back into it’s booby trap.

Your charm bracelet was something which I loved to look at and hear the stories of each of the charms. Especially the heart with my baby teeth marks in. On your dresser stood a picture of you and dad on your way to your works Christmas party. I don’t think I was born yet. Your hair swept up in an elaborate style and a full length ball gown. The picture was black and white but I imagine the dress is emerald green. You look beautiful.

This day I’ve sneaked into you room and am admiring your picture on my way to the jewellery box to play dress up and look at your charm bracelet. My favourite charms were the little church which opened to show the congregation sitting in their pews. Also the charm which was a wedding, engagement and eternity ring clasped together.

The white leather of the jewellery box was smooth to my touch and a child’s delight at what it holds is before me. Curious as I delve into the treasures, trying on rings and smiling at the sparkly brooches before me. I see an envelope, and another, and another.

My name is on one, my brother’s on the next and my dad’s on the last. As a child I cast it to the side, this is not the treasure I seek. After my haul of treasure is over, I return to the letters. They are not sealed, and I read the one addressed to me.

Tears flood from my eyes as I read of your love and apologies, when there is nothing to apologise for. As a child I do not realise what this is, as an adult I do, and I am so glad that you wrote the notes and did not follow that path. I understand how hard it was and want you to know how much I am glad you are still with me today.

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