The past has teeth

I have just finished sorting the contents of a brown leather suitcase.

This suitcase sat in a store room at my mother’s house for about a decade. To the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t been opened in that time.

It contains pictures and documents of my family dating back to before I was born. My mom gave it to me about a year ago so that I could capture the contents digitally and preserve them.

My parents have been divorced for about fifteen years. Oh, mom, why didn’t you warn me about what was in that suitcase? I have been laughing and crying for the last half hour as I sorted the contents into six piles. One for my dad, one for my mom, one whose contents I could not precisely figure, and one each for my brother, my sister, and me.

The past is our cradle and our foundation . . . but it’s also got teeth.

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