||[Aug. 1st, 2013|08:16 pm]
"Grandpa, do you miss grandma?"|
"Very much so."
Andrea looked at her grandfather with curious eyes. His eyes were filled with pain, the kind that only comes with great loss. Andrea held the teddy bear in her arms a little tighter.
"Where is grandma now?"
"In heaven." Her grandfather responded sluggishly as he rocked them back and forth in his rocking chair, staring off into the distance at the stop sign at the end of their driveway. He had put it there because of how recklessly people drove down the road, paying no attention to his driveway.
"If she is in heaven, will we ever see her again?"
"Maybe" His hands fumbled over the unopened envelope he grasped tightly, as if letting go would cause the life to flow right out of his body.
"Can I open that letter?" Andrea couldn't read yet but she always liked it when her grandfather read to her.
"Let me open it. I don't want it to tear on accident." Her grandfather slowly opened the envelope, making sure not to tear the letter inside.
Andrea waited a moment, letting her grandfather read the letter, pretending to read it with him even though she couldn't understand what it said.
"Can you read it to me grandpa?" Andrea looked up at his face as a tear rolled down his cheek.
"No." His voice cracked as he wiped the wetness from his face.
"Because it's a special letter from your gramdma."
"So it's only for you to read?" Andrea was squeezing her teddy bear, trying to hold in her curiousity.
"Yeah. Maybe someday I'll let you read it.."
Andrea walked up to the door slowly. It had been a few years since she had been inside the house. It looked old and run down now, not at all how she remembered it from 20 years ago. Taking a deep breath, Andrea slowly turned the key in the lock and opened the front door.
There wasn't much left in the house: a few chairs, a table, and a pile of papers in the corner. Not much to go through in here. Andrea thought to herself as she walked over to the stack of papers. Might as well start here.
As she thumbed through the papers, she noticed most of them were bills or doctors notes. Grandpa had only kept what was necessary. No birthday cards, no Christmas letters, nothing. As Andrea picked up the pile of papers to move them onto the table, a yellowed envelope fell out of the stack. After setting the papers on the table, Andrea picked up the envelope, only realizing what it was after she pulled the letter out from inside.
I can't believe he kept this letter all these years. Andrea unfolded the letter, her heart pounding from the adrenaline she suddenly felt.
I know that you've never really been a romantic and haven't expected that from me. I just wanted to tell you, I love you. With all my heart and mind, I love you. I will never stop loving you, not even after death. When I die, and I will, no matter how stubbornly you refuse to accept the fact, I will wait for you.
I hope you don't miss me too much. You have grandchildren to live for. My life may be short but that doesn't mean your life has to be. Live for your grandchildren, they are what has kept me going this long. Don't be in a rush to come where I am going, but I can't wait to see you again.
Tears streamed down Andrea's cheeks as she read and reread the letter. Her grandparents hadn't been very affectionate in front of her, not that she could remember. But this letter showed a side of her grandparents that she had never seen. Now she understood why her grandfather had cried. He didn't want to live without her love. Andrea clung the letter to her chest, never wanting to let it go.