The day my grandmother passed last October, a light went out inside of me. Anyone passing is one of life’s biggest troubles, and when it happens to someone who holds such a special space in your heart, the feeling is simply unexplainable. No bias words here – she was hands down one of the most wonderful women I had met in my 26 years in this world. I couldn’t believe someone so lovely was placed in my life, and even more so that one day she was there, and then she just wasn’t. Just like that. No great goodbye, no seeing you later, everything she was and all that she lived for just stopped.
The letter below is one she wrote two years ago. She wanted nothing more than to have it posted in Reader’s Digest so she could share such a cool story with everyone – how cute can you get! I found it with her things when we were cleaning out her home. I remembered how she used to hold this same piece of paper and read it to me every time I visited. Although she had read it to me more than a few times before, I remained silent and happy, and cherished the minutes as her sweet voice read every word. I wanted to get it written here so it would be shared and loved by everyone, by her family, and by friends.
When my grandfather passed in early 2007, it rocked our family. He too was such a blessing and an amazing soul. He had the biggest heart, and could make anyone laugh with his contagious, bright smile. That man was truly one in a million, and I am so grateful that my dad possesses some of my grandfather’s greatest, and funniest qualities, as it is like he is still here. He loved my grandma with all that he had, as she did him. The two of them were inseparable, and spent more than 60 years together, raising 6 beautiful kids – my dad being one of them. You are both such an example for us all.
I am in love with this story, and am so happy it was written down.
“I was only fifteen years old when I was attending Brampton Public School, and fell in love with a young boy three years older than myself. His name was George. We hung around together like brother and sister, no nonsense. It never entered my mind. We would attend my brother’s sport games; hockey, lacrosse, even fighting in the ring. We had lots of games to watch, as I had seven brothers. I came from a large family; fourteen in all, plus my mother and father. My parents were sent over to Canada from England to work on farms at the age of thirteen. They met on one of the farms in Huttonville, which was near Brampton. They worked together, fell in love, and got married. They bought a house in Brampton, and there they raised our big family beautifully. My dad worked at the second largest greenhouse in Canada, which was called the Dale Estates. It was known all over the world. When we were kids, we played hide and go seek under the main roads, where the big heating pipes ran to other parts of the greenhouse.
George and I went together until he was called up to join the Air Force. War had broken out and he left for overseas. I received letters from him at first, but then they stopped.
One day, I was at a party at my friends home and I met a young man named Albert. We fell in love and got married, and had a beautiful family; three girls and three boys. The years slipped by and they all grew up, finished school, fell in love, married and had their own beautiful families. Albert and I were alone again. My husband had a bad heart, and eventually passed away after being married for over 60 years. It left a hole in my heart.
One day my phone rang. I answered and a gentleman asked to speak to Katrina. I told him he must have the wrong number, but before I could hang up he said, “I don’t think I do, your sister gave me this number!”. I was a little confused, when he then mentioned a gold ring with a black onyx and a gold letter ‘K’ on top. I knew at that moment I was talking to George of all those years ago. He had given me that ring before he left to go overseas. After all these years without a word, he was on my line. I had to tell him unfortunately I had lost the ring some time ago. In the next days that followed, my granddaughter and son came over for a visit, and I told them what had happened. My granddaughter started to laugh, and I asked her what was so funny. She said, “Gran. I have your ring.” I told her she must be mistaken, as it had been almost 70 year since I had seen or even thought about it, yet she insisted she had it. When my other son was cleaning up the basement some time ago, he found a ring with a ‘K’ on it. Because my granddaughters name started with a ‘K’, he decided to give it to her.
Two weeks later, I went to my son’s house for Christmas dinner, and sure enough my granddaughter came up with the ring that George had given me all those years ago. What a gift that was. First, him calling me after all those years, and then finding the ring he had given me. I put the ring on my finger, and we all had a great dinner. My son drove me home later that night, and when I took my coat off I noticed that my ring wasn’t on my finder. I thought for sure I had lost it this time for good. I called my son and told him to keep an eye out for it. I was heartbroken.
Two weeks went by and my daughter-in-law called to say she had found the ring in her car! All in all, everything turned out okay. I am now ninety years young, and George is ninety-four. We still keep in touch and call each other every day. So good luck to all you young lovers today. There is always hope and remember God is watching over all of us.”
George helped my grandma through my grandfather’s passing, and kept her days so bright for the years and days until she left us. For that George, you were her angel in disguise, and I cannot express how thankful I am for that. You lifted her up. I got to see the excitement on her face when she simply saw your name on her call display. She would tell me something about you every time I saw her. You helped fill a piece of her heart and life that was impossible to get back.
Grandma and Grandpa, I am extremely lucky and blessed to have known the both of you. You both taught me so much; to love unconditionally, to be kind, generous, respectful, humble, to give more than you take, to make everyone feel welcome and at home, to open your home to anyone who needed your help, to help anyone who needed it. You taught me the small things are of the biggest importance; time, moments, words. You are irreplaceable. You have both left a place in my heart that no one will be able to fill again. I wish I get to meet more people like you, as you were both my treasures in a sea of millions of people.
With love always, lea xo