My visit to the attic to look for something stowed away there ages ago was rewarded by finding a box of old photographs and letters. I sat on a worn and slightly broken chair, and started to go through the contents of the box. The photos were a sepia tint, indicating that they were at least 40-50 years ago. I was familiar with some of the people in the pictures. My grand parents, uncles , aunts and cousins from both side of the family. Some of the people were totally unfamiliar. I was wondering who they were. The photos were telling a story that these were very close to the rest of the family. Then why didn’t I know them? I was wondering about this when I remembered my uncle once told me of an unpleasant incident in the family elders. That resulted in an enmity between the brother of my grand father and himself. I felt sad that this unpleasantness had split the brothers and we now didn’t even knew them.
I then looked through the old letters. One of the letter was still sealed in its original envelope addressed to my grand father with the postmark on it. I turned it over and tried to read the date on the postmark. To my surprise, it was dated more than 50 years ago. I felt that since my grand father had passed away long time ago, there would be no moral issue in my reading the letter. Very carefully I pried open the envelope and extracted the single sheet of paper from it.
It was a very interesting and surprising letter. After reading it, I felt so sad at the circumstances that resulted in estrangement of the two brothers. It was written by my grand father’s brother, to him. He, in the letter told him that he was terminally ill and wanted to beg forgiveness for the unpleasantness he had caused the family. He wanted a reconciliation with his brother and his family.
But the letter was never opened. It had sat there for such a long time, and all the people concerned had died. The rift in the family was never healed. I got down from the attic, with the resolve to accomplish this mission. I will go and find that branch of the family and will try to heal the rift.
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