One day, Ayla, and her Grandmother passed by a charity store, their eyes fell onto a French porcelain doll with curly, strawberry-blonde locks, perched up against the window. Grandmother froze while her eyes filled with sorrowful tears.

“She resembles a doll, I once had,” she said while she stared at the doll with childlike admiration. Grandmother clutched onto her knitted scarf, as haunting memories flashed before her vision from her war torn past.

“Berry, berry…berry,” she muttered beneath her tired breath. Berry, was the name of her doll. Berry, along with her childhood was destroyed by war, during an airstrike in her foreign homeland. The last heirloom from her late Mother, was the ancient porcelain doll. Grandmother often contemplated her many losses, losses of lives, possessions and culture.

Ayla wrapped her little arms around Grandmother and said, “When I collect enough money, I’ll buy you THAT porcelain doll.”

“Oh, my dear. If God wills, you can do anything,” replied Grandmother, as she nodded and replied with a wrinkly smile.

A family of little means, they were. Ayla counted her savings, the little piggy bank and few clanking coins wasn’t enough to purchase the doll. Ayla, then decided to bake and sell some cupcakes, in order to accumulate enough money to purchase the doll.

One morning, Grandmother woke from her slumber and, in her arms, sat the dear French porcelain doll. Childlike tears fell from her tired eyes, as the ticking of the clock fell silent. The glass eyes of the strawberry-haired doll, housed many memories of her late mother’s captivating face, the smell of home, the taste of traditional dishes and the sound of frightening airstrikes. All the good and bad memories of her childhood came gushing forth. Ayla watched from behind her Grandmother’s bedroom door before she entered.

“Ayla, my child. how did you…?” enquired Grandmother.

“Elders find peace and comfort in the seeds of their youth,” replied Ayla as she leaned in to give Grandmother one big comforting hug.

“Seeds once discarded in between the remnants of war, but now, you can bloom and make new memories with a familiar friend,” said Ayla.

“I already have a new best friend, and she is more valuable than this porcelain doll,” said Grandmother with a wink.

Grandmother’s bittersweet memories of the past were washed away by HOPE for a better future.