This jewelry box held a secret and story that we were on a quest to discover.
We had the wonderful opportunity to visit my sister Kathy and her family at their new home on our recent trip to Florida. They moved 2 years ago and our first visit was prevented by Covid so we were determined to make it this year. During our fun time together, I noticed my late father's jewelry box on her dresser and said:
"That's where that got to! I asked mom and she couldn't remember!"
My sister explained
"Mom gave it to me after dad passed because of the Heidelberg Castle inlaid on the box to remind me of the time I spent in Germany with SAP America."
I was able to tell her the following story about this special box that set us all on a quest not unlike an escape room feat!
Dad was stationed at Ramstein Air Force base, in Germany, when mom and dad were first married. My brother John was even born in Germany and the 3 of them lived in an apartment where the landlord's son did intricate inlaid woodworking.
Dad was honorably discharged (after 14 years of active service) and as they moved to Pennsylvania the landlord's family gifted this beautiful box to my parents.
Fast-forward 30 years to 1992 and my dad was on a stretcher heading in to a quadruple heart bypass surgery. He said to my mom:
"You know there is a secret compartment in the jewelry box and I have money stored in there."
He proceeded to tell her how to open it but, as you can imagine, her stress level was a bit elevated and she did not remember the details.
Thankfully dad came through the surgery, (although that is a whole other tale unto itself) and when mom asked him after the surgery;
"How do you open that special compartment?"
"Never mind, don't worry about it!"
Back to this present day trip to Florida, my sister had never heard the story and had no idea about the secret compartment. I knew the history but not how to find the secret compartment so the games began!
My sister Kathy is REALLY good at puzzles and loves a good challenge but was kind enough to let everyone have a try at finding the secret compartment before she showed us how she figured out how it was done. We all gathered around hoping to discover long lost treasure!
Unfortunately, that there was no money, stocks or bonds left for us to find but we were left with a great story and memory of dad!
The moral of this story is, ask your family about their memories and write them down. There will come a time when their shared wisdom and history will no longer be here and they will be deeply missed.
Missing you Poppa Frank!
Love you more...