“Roco, hold on! Roco, come here!” Johnny whistled and ran after his dog.
He went to the cemetery to visit the grave of his late wife Eva because it had been five years since she died. He still felt like she had just left the day before.
He often blamed himself for her death by saying, “If I hadn’t asked you to run to the store that day…”
Eva died in a car accident on her way to the store, and Johnny couldn’t stop thinking about the tragedy that took away his wife.
He put the flowers she liked best on her grave and cried in silence. Then he turned around and saw that his dog was gone. Roco usually huddled near the grave until the funeral was over, but that day, something under a headstone caught his pet’s attention.
Johnny was looking for Roco when he heard something strange a few feet away. It was the dog digging impatiently near a gravestone.
“Roco… Stop! Roco… “What do you do?” Johnny ran to where his dog had made a dirt hill.
“Roco, get down…. come here.” Johnny put Roco’s leash on him and went to see what the dog had done.
When he saw a shiny piece of metal, he asked, “What is that?” He got a stick and used it to pull the thing out. It was a small metal box with a lock. Johnny held the box up to his ear and shook it. The sound was made by the heavy box.
“What’s this thing made of?” Johnny was curious.
He got a small rock and used it to break the lock. When he opened the box, he found gold and diamond jewelry inside. Johnny couldn’t believe what he was seeing and couldn’t figure out why someone would leave expensive jewelry in a cemetery. Under the jewelry, he saw an old, small diary that caught his eye.
Johnny picked up the diary and started to read, but when he got to the last page, he saw that it was written by a woman named Grace.
“Who is this Grace, and why did she put her jewelry here?”
When Johnny turned the journal over, he saw that most of the front pages had been ripped out. He started to read because there were still a few pages left…
“After my husband Theodore died, my daughter said she would take care of me. The first few lines said, “I believed her and moved into her house with her.” Johnny got on his knees and read on.
“The first couple of months were great. I had no doubts. But when I told her I wanted to move back in, she said she had already sold it. I was taken aback. I remember that my daughter asked me to sign some pension papers. I had bad eyesight to begin with, so I just took her word for it and signed. I didn’t know that those papers were about my house.”
Maria, Grace’s daughter, had taken all of her money and sold her house. She said she would take care of her mother, but when Grace found out what she had done, Maria decided to put her mother in a nursing home.
“My daughter took everything from me, and the only thing I have left is this jewelry. My late grandmother had them. I didn’t want Maria to get them, so I buried them near the grave of my husband. I’ll be there soon to get them.”
On the last page of the diary, Johnny saw that the date was from three years ago. He was worried about Grace and wondered why she hadn’t gone to get her jewelry. He looked in the diary for the address of the nursing home, but it was not there.
“How do I look for it?” When he suddenly looked up and saw the tombstone in front of him, he didn’t know what to think. It said Teodoro Saavedra. “His name was Teodoro, right?” So, Grace Saavedra is her name? Grace Saavedra, I’ll find you!”
A few days later, a worker at the nursing home told 89-year-old Grace that she had a visitor.
Grace was surprised. “Did someone come to see me?”
“He said he knows you, so yes.”
Grace thought it was her daughter, but when she found out it was a man, she was surprised and wanted to know who it was.
After a few minutes, Johnny went into Grace’s room. As soon as he saw her, tears came to his eyes.
He called out to her, “Mrs. Grace Saavedra!”
When Grace turned around and saw Johnny holding the metal box, she started crying. She knew right away what it was.
“How…how did you come across that? She asked, “Who are you?”
Johnny told her that he found the box near Theodore’s grave when he went to see his wife’s grave for the last time a week before.
“I owe it to my dog! I didn’t know how to find you until I saw the name of your late husband on the grave. I thought you might be “Grace Saavedra,” so I looked for you at every nursing home in town. I’m glad I found you here at last.”
Grace held on to Johnny’s arms and started to cry.
“Thanks a lot, son…. You don’t know what you’ve done! These jewels belonged to my grandmother, and my greedy daughter was trying to steal them.
“Yes, Grace… I saw your journal!”
Grace gave Johnny the jewelry box back, and Johnny said he’d go get her soon. After a few days, he came back with the papers he needed to take Grace home.
She was excited to move in with Johnny, but her daughter Maria stopped her.
Maria talked to a worker at the nursing home all the time to make sure her mother never left and to find out about any visitors and how her mother was doing. She found out from that worker that her mother had been picked up by someone.
“You can’t get my mom out of here. Maria yelled at Johnny, “I put her here, and she stays where I put her.”
But Grace stood up to her and defended the kind man, which surprised Maria.
“I want to live with anyone I choose! As my daughter, you let me down, so God gave me a son. Even though I didn’t give birth to him, he knows how to love and respect a mother!”
Grace then moved in with Johnny, and Maria had to admit defeat without knowing where Grace had hidden the jewels.