Anne gently laid the blanket over her and allowed herself to take some deep breaths. It had been a long night but sleep was finally here or so she thought as she watched the eyes slightly flutter.
Making her way over to the closet, she finally pulled out that trunk that had remained a mystery for as long as she could remember. Looking back over at the bed, she was relieved to see her sleeping still. Moving to open it up, the guilt washed over her knowing she had never been allowed to do this before but she had made a promise.
The trunk opened with a popping noise. The trunk itself was deep and yet there was not much in there. Newspapers that had been yellowed with time were folded over and stacked up. The headline of a war ending peeked out. There was also an envelope and a teddy bear. She pulled that out first surprised to see it since possessions were never favored in this family. It was torn slightly by the ears and it looked like it needed a few runs in the washing machine but there was something comforting about it. It had obviously meant very much to someone.
She heard sounds coming from the bed and knew time was up. Cries of mommy started to ring out. As she walked back over to try and bring comfort, her heart broke.
Grandma had been this way for 6 months now. First, she had started to forget things like keys or meeting a friend. Then it became more serious as she ended up not knowing how to get home one night from the store. Now, she was in her own world completely where she mostly just called out for her mother who had been dead for over forty years. Before grandma’s entire memory had left her, she had given Anne the key to the trunk and told her that one day she would understand so much.
Walking over, her grandma tried to get out of bed as she started throwing her arms about and wailing. Anne couldn’t understand her and leaned over to keep grandma still. Grandma grabbed the teddy bear from her arms. Between heaving and sobbing, grandma managed to curl up with the bear and slowly started to calm down. Anne watched in disbelief as her grandma fell back asleep.
Glancing at the envelope, she picked it up and opened it. The first few words she didn’t recognize and noticed the rest of the letter had more written in a different language with an English translation written under it.
This is breaking mine and papa’s hearts but it is what is best. Your name means hidden and that is what you need to do. There is not much time. Your sister will help you get to safety in London. Do not forget us. We love you. Hold tight to bear. I put something in your hiding place of the ears for you.
We love you.
Anne looked at her grandmother asleep with the bear. She gently pulled it away and hugged it to her. She wondered about the letter. She never knew anything about her grandmother’s parents or her history. No one ever said a word. She felt the bears ears and hit something a bit out of place and hard. She reached into the hole and found it. Pulling it out, she looked up in amazement at a Jewish star on a necklace meant for a child.
Anne had so many questions for her catholic grandma and knew she wouldn’t get any answers but there was one person who did.
Clutching the teddy bear, she picked up the phone to call her Great Aunt as tears silently fell down her face.
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This short story was written in response to a blogging challenge using the words, “teddy bear”. I hope you enjoyed it and will continue to follow my blog.