06/09/16 Francine

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“Watch these steps, Sophie. They’re very steep. And the attic is dark and dusty, so stand still until I find that light. Haven’t been up here in a while.” Francine fumbled about until she found the string, coughing a bit from the dust. “Oh, look, Soph – there’s the trunk! Come on, let’s open it!” The ancient steamer trunk groaned slightly as Francine lifted the lid. She was eager to show her granddaughter her grandmother’s purse she’d managed to bring along as she and her children fled Czechoslovakia in the mid-1930s. She’d always wondered what the story was behind that bag that made it worth the space in the trunk. “Look, Sophie, here it is wrapped in tissue. Be very careful, and don’t touch. This was your great-great grandmother Sofia’s little evening bag. You were named after her, you know. She was very brave to bring her two young children to the United States after her husband was killed. None of us would exist if she hadn’t made that trip. Now, isn’t this little bag lovely?” At 4, Sophie might be too young to understand fully, but Francine could already tell she’d be the next keeper of the family history.

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