She picked up the bottle of cleaning fluid and marched up the stairs.
"How long will you be," her son asked, resting his hand on the banister.
"Long. I should be finished by dinnertime."
Mary climbed the stairs to the second floor, climbed the pull down ladder, and opened the ceiling panel overhead. She looked around and shook her head at the stacks of boxes and unused picture frames. Moving a couple of books sent the dust flying into the air. She secured her facemask and moved a few boxes. More dust stirred. No one had been up here since her mother died. Boxes of Christmas ornaments and clothing were stacked along the sloping wall.
Behind the boxes, she found an old chest. She guessed that was her mother's when she crossed the ocean years ago. As she lifted the heavy lid, she spotted a pink satin fabric. It was her mother's dress she wore to church. Mary set it aside but noticed something heavy in one of the pockets. She put her hand inside and found a small flat metal case. Inside the case was several written notes in her mother's handwriting to her children. One of them was addressed to Mary.
"If you find this, remember I'll always love you no matter where you are or what you did. Love, Mom"
This was the keepsake Mary had looked for all these years.©A.Nation2019