Dear Grandpa

14 May

Dear Grandpa,

I am twenty-two years old, and even though you’re still alive, I’ve only met you twice. Once when I was five, it was my birthday, and you smelled bad, and the other time I was ten when the whole family came to visit you and grandma in Florida, but I was too preoccupied with the opportunity to go to Disney World that I took little notice of you. I know you through the generic birthday cards you religiously send every year accompanied with a check for twenty dollars and through the ongoing stories of my mother’s childhood that she is now just letting me get a glimpse into. The stories always frame you has a bastard of a man; one who is frugal and strict. You apparently have the same station wagon that you had in the 1970s and your home doesn’t have air conditioning. Yet here I sit typing away on a keyboard that is placed on your old desk. The wood is faded and worn now, but it is still beautiful and forever classic. When I moved it into my apartment a couple of years ago I found an old picture of you and grandma in black and white. You are in a military uniform, I think it’s from the air force. Mom said you had been in the Korean War as a navigator, I’m sad will never get to fully understand your experiences in an environment of war. I still have the picture; it remains in the same compartment I found it, as sort of homage to my grandfather.

My dad doesn’t like you very much. He says you left my mother all alone in St. Louis when she was 18, while you set off to the Sunshine State. Her early twenties, as I understand them, were a pretty ruff time, full of constant layoffs from work. But I think you’re a good a man. You helped us out financially when dad got sick and had to quite his job. We didn’t go hungry because of you, and I will forever be grateful.

Thank you,

Your Grandson

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