It seemed like just an ordinary old photo. Granddaughter Natalie was showing it to her grandmother. Grandmother Lilianna had been born in Poland but had come to her new country with her parents and siblings when she was nine.
Which one are you? asked Natalie.
Lilianna had not seen the photograph before. Where did you find it?
It was with a pile of stuff in a box, said Natalie. What are the names of your brothers and sisters?
Lilianna pointed them out as she named them. There’s Franciszek and Filip. And there’s Zofia and Maria. You know great-aunt Maria. And I don’t know who that other little girl is. She must have been visiting at the time.
But, said Natalie, it’s written in Polish on the back. Daddy translated it for me. It says “Our six children”.
The photograph had taken Lilianna back to that terrible day. She knew who that fourth girl in the photograph was. It was her sister Dominika. Dominika was still alive and living not too far away. Dominika was ostracized. She had never been spoken about for decades. And now her photograph had emerged. It brought back extraordinary memories of… of…
Can I keep the photo? asked Lilianna.
Of course, said Natalie.
After Natalie left to go home, Lilianna threw the photograph into the fire.