This letter arrived in my mail box recently. I remember writing it, as an eight-year-old, seated at the kitchen table. Crafting the letter, and printing it in my best handwriting, seemed like a lot of hard work. Boyd, the best playmate ever, waited at my elbow, so that we could play as soon as I had finished.
About a year later, thanks to a tip from Papa, Dad secured a job in the town where Grandmother and Papa lived. Grandmother came to help us pack, and make the 350-mile move. As the last item was tucked into the bed of Papa’s truck, Grandmother surveyed our heap of household belongings, and said with a wry smile, “It looks like The Grapes of Wrath.” Grandmother and I became good friends, and that wouldn’t be the last time I heard her use that phrase to describe an expedition.
Beloved Great-grandma, age 90, was the oldest member of our family, and had been a widow for two decades. Months-old-Richard was her youngest great-grandchild when I wrote the letter. Great-grandma had a brother and a grandson also named Richard, and she must have been proud that another Richard would represent the next generation.
I grew up to be much like the little girl that wrote the letter. I love libraries, and read lots of books. Smokey, the gray kitten, was the first of many kittens to warm my heart. I am still learning how to write.
Dad acquired the letter after Grandmother went to live in a nursing home, and forwarded it to me a few weeks ago. Did Grandmother save my letter because she treasured the love I put in it? I hope so. I know that the letter has come full circle, full of love, from Grandmother to me.