My grandpa passed away on Sunday. I wasn't able to go see him to say goodbye, but I did send him a letter. I wanted so badly to take Rowan to meet him, and during some of his last few times of being lucid, my grandpa would always ask how Rowan was doing. I wanted to honor him in his last days by thanking him for what he had given me, and I wanted to honor him now by sharing those gifts with you.
I wish that I could come and see you in person, but since I cannot make it there, I wanted to send you a letter. I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for all of the amazing memories you gave me. When I think of you, I think of your striped overalls and the apron full of clothespins you’d let me wear when we’d walk down the sidewalk, pulling the wagon, to go hang the clothes on theline. Even when I was really little, you let me help. I remember standing by the wagon and handing you a clothespin at a time while you hung up your shirts.
When my husband and I firstlived in a house, we hung a clothesline in the backyard. I put my laundry out on the line to dry andevery time I pinned up a shirt, I thought of how much fun I had in your backyard when I was a little girl.
I remember one year, when we had a family reunion at yourhouse, you offered to drive all of us kids around in the wagon attached to the tractor. You drove us down the hill and around the little pond, and finally, when we reached the other side, drove us all under alow lying branch covered in web worms. Iremembered that we all screamed and laughed.
I loved running down the big hill and especially loved the tractor rides. I’d always get nervous and pretend we were crossing a dangerous bridge when we’d go along the narrowpath by the pond. We saw a deer one time, and every time after that I hoped we’d see one again. Did you know that Dad now drives Evelyn, his grand-daughter around on the tractor? He wears a big cowboy hat like you did too.
I remember catching fireflies and putting them in jars inthe summer.
I remember helping in the garden, and the beautiful birdfeeders, and that cat that came around all the time.
I remember when I was older, one night I couldn’t sleep. You were up and sitting at the table eating Quaker Oat Squares. You told me stories about the farm when youwere growing up. You’d smile warmly whenyou talked about it and tell me stories about your horse and country life.
I remember the nights you’d build a fire in the fireplace and how magical the fire glow felt.
I remember getting to sing with you at Great-Grandma’snursing home. You had such a loud, strong voice and you let me sing for the all the people living at the resthome. I loved the old hymnal songs and feeling like I got to make you proud.
I have you to thank for all of those beautiful memories. I love you grandpa. I miss you.