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A Letter from the Past

Updated on September 25, 2012

A letter from the past brings up feelings from the past of lost time, love, sorrow, life and regret.

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Dear Grandma,

We are moving again but just to the lake house full time. You would like it there. You always did like the water. While I was going through sorting some much needed stuff I came across an envelope in the bottom of a box. It was a letter you had written to me in 2006. It is a little hard for me to read because of your eyesight has worsened but I still can read most of it. Your writing is shakier then I remember I see that now. I wish I had known at that time that it was not long before your death. How could I not have known?? There is never a certain time for death but when a person is in their later years of their life I should have known it would not be long.

Your letter came just 6 months after my promotion and 3 months after us moving here. That is not really an excuse but at that time I was still settling into my new career. Now 7 years later I know how that all would turn out. If I only had some clue that I would lose my job I would like to have thought that I would have put my family first. That is what I should have done anyway. But I didn’t. I thought there would always be time to make up for it. I truly believe you understood that. At least I hoped you understood.

I know now that I can never make up for the past and what I didn’t do or what I should have done. But you must know that you are in my thoughts a lot. I didn’t understand when I got the phone call that you were asking for me. I thought I was just being told when it was convenient to call or come and visit. Even the last time we talked I didn’t realize that would be the last time. You sounded like you always have. Maybe there was more of a softness in your voice but I guess I didn’t really listen. And that was the problem. I wasn’t hearing the message behind the call. If I had realized I would have been there. But I didn’t realize. I was in denial. It still bothers me five years later.

When my brother had his kidney transplant I was just minutes from you but I didn’t stop by. I felt like I should have called you first. So I drove on. That was just 26 days from your death. I have always regretted that decision. You wouldn’t have cared if I had just dropped in. But that is the way you taught us. We had to call first.

And now I can’t. I can’t call you. I can’t write and I can’t just stop by. The only place I can stop by is at your grave. It saddens me so to think you may have died thinking I didn’t love you, or that I didn’t love you as much as I should have. But I did.

You weren’t the typical Grandmother. You worked outside of the home when most women stayed home and most men worked but Grandpa stayed home with the kids. I have to think this is where I got my desire to have a successful career and my work ethics is from you. I also think I got my independence from you too.

You showed your love differently too. You definitely believed in tough love and did not show the typical Grandmotherly love. Sometimes your words were cutting and sharp even to the point of being hurtful. But as I grew up I realized that was just the way you were. Something’s I would ignore and something’s I just overlooked and some I took to heart. But you made me tougher and able to stand up for myself. You taught me a lot about life and about myself. You taught me how to fish, how to pick muscles, to make Swiss steak and to bake potato chip cookies. I will not forget that or forget you. I made mistakes and I am sorry for that. And I will always love you

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    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Your poignant hub brings tears to my eyes, and brings back thoughts of my father. You see, we had wanted to move back "home" to the west from our place on the east coast, but put it off. And put it off and put it off.

      When the final decision was made, it was too late. Before the arrangements could be made, jobs quit and others found, a home located and all that such a move entails Dad left us. I can no longer spend the time with him that I wanted to - we waited too long.

      It will not happen again. Family and loved ones are too important to allow little things like work to interfere with. I still miss Dad, but understand that it was my own fears and complacence that cost me the time with him that would have meant so much to me now.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you wilderness. A letter in tribute to my Grandma is the only thing I can do now because I too waited too long. I do know she was very proud of me when I got promoted. Its sad the things we put before family when we are young.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This is such a poignant and honest retrospective look at the things that were never said or done. But there are also echoes of very special times spent together. We all have those 'if only' moments. Maybe it is just as well, we are not able to look into the future. A wonderful tribute to your grandmother. Where there is love there is also understanding.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you so much tobusiness. We did have special times together and I'm sure she understood but that still does not heal the heart. I appreciate you dropping by and your nice comments

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      So much love and pain here. Thank you for sharing this intimate portrait with us.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you Audrey for stopping by. Yes,I loved her very much and wished I had changed a few things but you can't change the past. I appreciate that you took the time to stop by and read my hub.

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 4 years ago from Canada

      This was really beautiful. It is good to miss a grandmother or any family member -- but it isn't good to let it hurt you. Regrets for what we could have, maybe should have done weigh us down and impede our spiritual growth. If you are Christian, let me share with you that we can kneel down and in prayer ask our Father in Heaven to please let the atonement of His son, Jesus Christ, heal our heart and take away the sorrow and regret. I know our Father in Heaven and also our Savior hear our prayers and I know the atonement was not only for our sins. Jesus Christ can take away our pain also. He died for us. He knows of our every sorrow. (1st Peter 2:21) If you do not believe it -- that he also died to take away our pain if we believe in him and accept his atonement -- then think of this instead. Think that if you feel so bad about something that you think you did something wrong....then think of it as a possible trespass and then ask your Father in Heaven to let you be forgiven through the atonement of Christ. You will be given peace -- whether you feel it right then or through the ensuing days as you continue to pray this a couple times a day with sincere heart. Your grandmother wants to see you being happy.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
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      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Dahlia Flower.

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I am a Christian and I have prayed and asked forgiveness. I wrote this not only as a tribute but also as a form of release for myself. I also felt that possibly others could learn from my mistakes.

    • Duffee profile image

      Duffee 4 years ago

      Such a heartfelt write. I'm sure you miss her dearly--and I'm sure she's looking down smiling at all you've accomplished. Is that a picture of her?? Much different from what I remember.

      Cheers, Jenn.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Duffee, No that is not an actual picture of her. I tried to upload a picture but could not get it to go so I used one from the internet. If you go in and google her name her obit still comes up. I do really miss both of my Grandma's. I though I had a closer relationship to my other grandma but in writing this I find it was just a different closeness. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • Duffee profile image

      Duffee 4 years ago

      So I found her obit online-- and yeah, that is how I remember her--only a little younger. Thank you for sharing.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
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      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Duffee,I was able to save it to my desktop. did you do the same?

    • Duffee profile image

      Duffee 4 years ago

      Not yet...that is a good idea.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and beautiful. Such a wonderful remembrance of your grandma. Keep in mind she is with you still and never far, looking after you and she will do so until you meet again. Thank you for sharing.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Gypsy Rose Lee, thank you very much for your kind words and for stopping by.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Rhonda, your beautiful letter brought tears to my eyes as it brought back memories of my grandmother, I loved her so much but worry that I wasn't there for her as much as I should have been.

      But I am sure they loved us and understood and are never far away from us.

      Thank you for sharing, voting up.

    • Cousin Fudd profile image

      RobertElias Ballard 4 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

      Beautiful emotional and well written and the motivation is clear and from the heart.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hello Movie Master, thank you so much for your comments. You are right. I know that my Grandmother loved me and I think that she understood. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

      This is a very beautiful and moving letter which shows the deep connection I am sure your gram knows even now.

      The heart and love which is inside, beats with each memory.

      This doesn't stop the rhythmic rays continuing into eternity.

      Love is forever. Shared, voted into forever and above. Tweeted to those who will find peace in your inspiration and humbleness.

      Shalom

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      A great reminder on what is really important in our lives. What with all the work, the rushing around, the chores...it's family and friends that matter. Coming up on the 2nd anniversary of the death of a dear friend, all I can think is that we should have spent more time together. What I would give to hear his dear voice again, or to share a laugh, talking about just nonsense.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Jo,thank you so much for your kind words and for the tweets and votes. I sincerely appreciate it. I too think that my grandma knows how much I love her. This letter though was just something I had to put into words not only for my self but for others to learn from my mistakes.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Dolores you are so right. Family and friends should be the most important thing in our lives. Unfortunately some times we don't realize that until it is too late. You know you can always talk to your friend. I sometimes go to a place that reminds me of her and have a conversation in my head.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow, what a very poignant and touching tribute to your grandma. Your love for her shines through in this hub and I'm sure it also shone through to her, even if you weren't able to express it the way you now wish you had.

      It is painful to look back and see the opportunities we missed to say, do or visit someone dear to us while they were still alive, but of course the best way we can honor them is to make the decision that from this day forward we shall treat those who are still living the way we had wished we'd treated the one we have recently lost.

      Thanks for sharing this important lesson.

      Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      This is lovely and yet sad. I wrote a hub on give roses to love ones while they live. I too should do better to with my granny before she dies she is 80 yrs now and she can be pretty insultive and say mean things at times, but if it wasn't for her I would not have reached this age.

      So thanks to her, I live with her and need more patience and understanding from GOD to deal with her, she had a stroke last year and it seems to have damage her brain a bit at times she can get on pretty bad.

      Well I am hoping that we have a happy ending.

      Thanks for sharing you made me feel to cry, hope you find comfort

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Happyboomeernurse, you are right,it is painful to look back and see missed opportunities. thank you for your kind words and for the vote. I appreciate it.

      I am sorry that I made you cry I just really wanted others to learn from my mistake. Our Grandmothers sound similar in the way they talk to others. It is sometimes hard to look past. My suggestion is to find the good and look past the words. Maybe that will help you be able to spend more time with her.

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