The size of the case was the first clue as to its use, the exact size of an old fashioned writing pad. Once open it revealed a pocket, presumably for postage stamps, a loop to house a pen and a strip of leather sewn so that a writing pad could be hung through the strap allowing the writer to use the case as a writing surface.
Grandma Hall’s writing case came into my possession when she moved from our family home intoa nursing home. At the time I was an avid writer of letters, either to my Nana or to my pen friends. It seemed logical that I would inherit it rather than see it thrown into the rubbish. However, my connection to the case was tenuous to say the least. I had not been close to Grandma Hall and there was no transfer of emotion with the case, simply an acknowledgement that its form and purpose would be useful.
As youth gave way to adulthood, the case itself became redundant. The creation of self adhesive postage stamps meant that they had to be stored separately, since we seemed to only possess these on a roll rather than a flat sheet. Home computers further made the case less than useful since my letter writing no longer happened with the case balanced on my lap.
The case would disappear for long periods of time, resurfacing every now and then to surprise me with its contents. Long forgotten letters would reveal themselves to me when I opened the battered zipper. Had I penned a reply?
The last time I found the writing case was shortly after our move to Benalla. Unpacking a box, there it lay waiting to reveal its contents to me. I knew what the case contained, and was in no hurry to revisit the three documents. The last letter from my Nana, the order of service for her funeral. A last letter from someone I’d rather not remember.
With trembling fingers I unfold the pages. Once read, I refold each one and return them to the case. Wiping away a tear. Time for reflection before I put the case away.
Is it a trick of the mind that I forget where it is right now? Once found and now lost once more.