A Letter to My Dead Grandfather

Dear Papa,

Sup? Maybe that’s not how you should greet your dead grandfather, but I mean it. What’s it like being dead? I imagine you watching me sometimes, especially when I was younger and doing things I considered “bad.” But that just got creepy so I stopped, and remembered that I used to have a grandpa that I was really close to.

I still feel really guilty about the time right before you got sick and died when you wanted to talk with me and all I wanted to do was watch Degrassi. I was 14 and a total idiot and I am so sorry. That is one of my biggest regrets. The boy that was in a wheelchair is now a rapper, but that is irrelevant. I wish I could talk to you now.

I’ve been having a lot of dreams where you are still alive in the past few months, and it’s weirding me out. I keep searching for meaning it them. Does it mean I need to call my grandma? I do, but not because of the dream. Does it mean that I need to start investing and getting better with money? I do, but again, not because of the dreams.

Oh yeah, so this whole Internet thing is really big now too. I’m sure you heard of it, but it’s insanely huge. I had a job that was almost entirely conducted online. Strange right? You’d probably be relieved to know that your wife is not on Facebook. She is, however in an electric wheelchair that she calls her “electric chair.” She is hilarious and kind and I love her more and more as I get older. I should really call her.

My life has been pretty a-ok so far! I really appreciate that solid you did by starting college savings for me. I went to a weird liberal arts school, but I got a good education that I use probably 75% of the time. That’s pretty high. I’m decently athletic, I run, ski, hike and lift weights, but I never really got into football, and really think the Redskins need to change their name, so we probably wouldn’t bond much over football. I do really like classic country music, and when I try to sing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline I send shivers down my own spine. I’m not a great singer but I sing for myself and love it. I’m in a bluegrass band now, and we play a lot! I wish we could talk about country music together. I think it would be really fun.

I also really like diners and have somewhat tacky taste in yard decorations. I can’t make pancakes quite like you did, but I think you’d really like my biscuit recipe. I work for a nonprofit now, and I want to maybe get into planning cities or local government and somedays I really wish I could be a writer or a musician, but most days I just want to have food on my table and a roof over my head. I think I’d like to do what you did though, and run a publishing house on the side. I can see myself as a woman with a career and many side-gigs. I want to be a bad-ass when I am old. A bad-ass is a good thing.

I don’t really want kids right now, is that ok? I know you’d never get the chance to know your great-grandchildren, but to be honest the world feels very scary to me right now and I don’t want to bring a child into it. I wish you were still around because I’d really like some advice about the stock market. I’m thinking of buying an investment property once I get a few more years of work under my belt. You could probably help me figure that out too.

I could go on for days and days but the bottom line is a miss you, I love you, I wish I could have known you as an adult. Thank you for all you have done for me. I hope that you’d be proud of me if you were still alive.

Love,

Janney

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