DEAR INTERTRON: A Letter to Grandpa

My grandfather died recently. We were rather close. I wrote a letter to him the night before he died, stamped and addressed it, and was ready to send it off in the mail the morning my dad called to break the news. I'm kicking myself for not writing and sending it earlier as I had planned to, but it will make me feel better to put it out into the blogosphere. I had handwritten it, but here is the transcript in its entirety.


Dear Grandpa,
I wanted to write you to say goodbye as I can't be there and I know how hard it is for you to talk on the phone right now. As I contemplate what I'll write, I walk myself through a lot of memories.

I remember playing you in HORSE on the miniature plastic basketball goal at my parents' house. I remember your praise when I won the "jackpot" on your slot machine as well as your endless supply of nickels to keep the thing running. I remember how you told us cousins to keep it down in the basement. I remember rolling down the backyard hill at your old house. I remember the generous gifts you and Grandma showered on us at birthdays and Xmas, no matter the cost. I remember the time you scolded Devin and me for picking a bunch of flowers out of your yard in an ill-fated attempt to make a perfume for April. I remember how you took care of Colin when he got poison ivy all over his legs, covering him in calamine with your bare hands. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to sounds of a train and asking Grandma if you were working on it. I remember interviewing you about your childhood for a school paper on the Great Depression. I remember creaking floors, a dishwasher running, and orange rolls early in the morning. I remember sitting on your couch covered in blankets and struggling to stay awake even though you were watching golf. I remember how you always had snacks waiting for us and how you started making me macaroni and cheese at every family gathering once I stopped eating meat. I remember you slipping me rolls of quarters to do laundry in college. I remember always having at least five options for dessert, be it pudding, ice cream, or pies, after every meal. I remember never leaving your house without a cold pop to drink on the way home. I remember your laughter when you opened an Xmas gift from my family, a pair of shoes, one shoe at a time. I remember seeing your face in the crowd at basketball games, piano recitals, swim meets, and graduations. I remember calling you every other weekend after I moved to San Francisco and begging you to come visit. More than anything, I remember simply your quiet, stern, selfless presence in our lives growing up, and I'm not sure what life will be like without it.

Reading through these memories will, I hope, bring a smile to your face, and that is how I'd like to bid you farewell. I love you!


P.S. Sorry for my handwriting; I know you always said it was horrible.




  1. What a beautiful letter, Sarah. Thank you for sharing it!

  2. This is lovely: I am so glad you posted this.

  3. I'm sure your grandpa knew everything that you wanted to tell him. Grandpas are awesome like that.

  4. Anonymous8.10.10

    this is beautiful Sarah, Thank you for sharing that letter

    I agree with the above comment. Your grandfather knew all of what you wanted to tell him. He's still a presence in your life and always will be.

    this made me cry though..

    ..because I have a lot of unsent letters too.

  5. So beautiful - though you grandpa never got to read it, I'm sure he already knew all that you write.


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