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Johnny Jones, 6 March 2003

We were trying to help Doug and Amy with some furniture when I found them. On top of the old coffee table turned upside down in the top of our garage were two suitcases, given to us years ago by Alice Furry, to keep for her when she went to a nursing home in Cuba.

They were old and dusty, and we haven't heard from Alice for fifteen or twenty years. We lost touch. I assume she had died. I wanted to throw the luggage away. But Chip said we needed to look inside.

What I found was like looking through a child's treasure chest. There was nothing worth very much - except to Alice and those who loved her.

A basket. Canceled checks. An Indian doll.

Why did Alice keep those things in the latching suitcase she had tied together with a cord? What did these things mean to her?

The plastic swan. A pink and green pot holder. An old issue of Home Life.

I wasn't surprised about the couple pieces of yard goods. I know Alice loved to piece quilts together. I still use several she pieced for me.

But why the blank funeral Memories book? The heavy necklace? The candy tin?

I wondered if there might be someone else in the world who would treasure her old picture, her black Bible. Her marriage license was there, too.

Going through Alice's things made me think - what are our treasures? What things will we leave behind? Who will treasure them?

We found a relative of Alice's who gladly took her things.  I was so glad.