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Great Grandpa’s Parting Gift

A man leaves behind one last legacy of love for his great-granddaughter.

An artist's rendering of a turtle

Niki was the apple of her great-grandpa’s eye. He loved to spoil her even more than I did, and I was her grandmother! If Niki’s mother said no candy, her great-grandpa slipped her a piece. When Niki wanted a toy, her great-grandpa bought it. Niki was one lucky girl!

While I was visiting one day, Niki said that she wanted a turtle.

“Those things carry disease,” her mother said, wrinkling her nose.

“How about a fish instead,” I suggested. But Niki was adamant. She wanted a turtle. I was glad Great-grandpa wasn’t there.

The next morning, we got news he’d passed away. On the day of the wake, in the parking lot of the funeral home, my daughter noticed something crawling underneath her car. It was a turtle. Not just an ordinary turtle—someone had painted a colorful pattern on its shell.

“I guess we know who this is for,” she said. We scooped up the turtle and brought it back home to surprise Niki.

“I’m going to call him Lucky!” she said.

One last treat from Great-grandpa. Niki was one lucky girl.

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