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Perspective: A time capsule of love

Annie Spratt

Fifteen years seemed so far away.

Or so we thought. To celebrate our granddaughter’s first birthday, her parents asked family and friends to fill a time capsule with items of their choice to be opened on her 16th birthday.

Time, of course, flew by, and before we knew it, our granddaughter turned sweet sixteen. It was time to open the Time Capsule. Gathering around the fireplace on a cold winter’s night, her parents, sisters, and grandparents sat in eager anticipation. And in a Rip Van Winkle type moment, our birthday girl opened the box.

Greeting her first came a letter from each of her great grandmothers, now deceased. As their words were read out loud, their personalities came through so strongly that it felt almost like these beloved women were in the room with us. There was not a dry eye in sight.

Carefully and thoughtfully, our granddaughter continued to open a delightful array of letters and gifts, each as unique and inspiring as the person who gave it: a Ron Santo autographed baseball; a CD with all the hits from her birth year; a letter from a family friend who foretold her musical ability; and from me, the jewelry I wore the day she was born.

The list goes on, but most importantly, like a Genie in a bottle, love for this child poured forth infusing the room with voices past and present.

You don’t need to turn 16 to open a time capsule, however. It just takes a box, a date, a request to family and friends, and any celebration of your choice. After all, what better gift to give to the future, to be opened in the present, than the gift of love?

Marnie O. Mamminga has been a professional essayist and features writer for more than 20 years.