It all started with the photograph. I was lovingly clearing my mother’s worldly goods away after her death. I never really knew my father – he had left us when I was little. My mother had been the strong one. She could easily have been bitter about my father, but she wasn’t and her strength got me through my tough days.
On the bottom shelf right at the back, I found the box. Just bigger than a cigar box with an unusual but exquisite silver flower coiled on top. The stem of the flower flowed around the box to form part of the lock. The unusual mechanism was dusty and gave a little with my prodding but wouldn’t open. I resigned to opening it later. If I knew what it contained I would have ripped it open right there.…