Years ago, when my Nana died, I was allowed to go through some old things in her attic. I found a lot of cool stuff. There were postcards from all over the world, a box of nothing but cancelled stamps and most importantly, correspondence. The letters I found were written by family and friends from across the globe. I found a letter from Granddad apologising to Nana for upsetting her. I found letters from her brothers when they were away in the war. There were letters from her parents congratulating her on the birth of her sons. But, there was so much, I put some of it away and didn't look at it again for many years.
When I took up that box of correspondence again last year, I found something really exciting. It was a packet of information written in what I assumed was French. I couldn’t tell what kind of documents they were. But it all looked like it had come from a lawyer. There were maps and drawings and some stuff that looked like it came from a bank or an accountant. I showed it around to a couple of people I know who speak Spanish and Portuguese.They couldn’t make heads or tails of it and suggested a translation service. I packed it up and sent it off.
I told my brother what I found. I asked if he thought it could be something important like an old bank account in Canada she had forgotten about. Brother told me he doubted it was anything important. He surmised if it had been, it would not have been found in a box of old letters in the attic. Brother reminded me that as a young married couple, Nana and Granddad traveled around Europe a lot. Brother decided the documents I found had to be concerned with those travels.
A little time passed and the documents were returned to me. Reading through I was excited to find out that Nana and Granddad once considered relocating to the south of France. The papers and maps were for a very nice little home with a few acres. There were no pictures, but the description suggested comfort and beauty. The pages that looked as though they were from a bank were simply the run down of down payments and mortgages, financial stuff. I wondered what kept them from going through with the deal. Checking the dates, I found out that these papers were drawn up eight months before the birth of my father. I searched for the letter Granddad had written in apology to Nana. It was dated about a month after the French documents. Reading it over, it made sense to me now. I wondered how different my life would be if Nana and Granddad had actually bought that little house and raised their family there.