Down to His Last Dollar

His ship was arriving in a few days to take him back home. The war was far from over. He had read in a postcard from home that his baby sister had been saving a bucket of snow for him since Christmas – she was keeping it in the barn. Later, when she would take his hand and led him to spot, the mud squishy from the spring thaw, she would say, “Someone must have stolen my snow. It’s gone. All they left me was a bucket of water.”

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This is where the story stops.  I add this to the growing pile of mysteries that I left unsolved; the questions I didn’t ask before they all left me. My boys quickly, and efficiently, tucked this enchantingly beautiful currency into the vintage album, without a thought. Free from connection or memory. (At what age will they being to ask those questions?)

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If I had the chance I would ask, “what did you sacrifice so that you would have this money to take back home? An egg salad sandwich on rye? A pair of boots to replace the ones you had with holes? Or are these dollars merely the leftovers, a souvenir, from your big-spending party night before you came back home? Tell me the truth, now. The suspense is killing me.”

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