Long before my Daddy developed Alzheimer's, he decided that he wanted to
save something special for me that I would enjoy in the future. So he took
a cardboard box and filled it with things that I could go through after he was
gone. He sealed the box with packing tape and told my Mom to keep it
for me. Mom told me about the box after Daddy died. I knew that nothing
in the box was time sensitive because Mom explained that the contents could
be viewed whenever I was ready. I was very close to my Daddy and I
waited a long time to open the box. I wanted to be clear headed and ready.
Yesterday I opened the box.
Inside the box were hundreds of hand written letters from Daddy to
my grandparents. We lived in a Chicago suburb and Daddy's parents
lived in Ohio. He faithfully wrote them letters each week. I wrote a
post about Daddy's letter writing several years ago right after his
passing when I was preparing to write his obituary. In that post I
explained how he wrote letters to his parents postmarked from all the
various countries he visited each year for his work. You can read
that post here.
The letters in the box I opened yesterday were ones that Daddy
wrote while he was home in the US, and all of the letters included
something about me. Every week for years, he wrote about me
from the moment he found out he was going to be a father. He
wrote about me while my Mom was pregnant.
They called me "Bumpy". My Mom ~ whose name was Dorothy, but they
called her Dot or Dottie ~ never got much rest while she was pregnant
because I was so active.
I also learned things about me that I never knew. Once when I was
about three years old, my Mom took me to visit her Mom in Indiana
while Daddy was in Washington, DC on business. We rode on the
train from Chicago to South Bend. On the way back some man from
Oklahoma was keeping me entertained by wiggling his ears. I laughed
but probably got bored with the same trick so I said loudly ~
"Now take out your teeth", which made everyone in earshot laugh.
Now I can guarantee that I inherited this trait from my Daddy's Mom.
Grandma was always saying something outrageous that would make
everyone laugh. Grandma laughed from morning till night and she
made everyone laugh with her.
My dear Mom and Daddy were older when they had me. I was
their first and only child and I think I disrupted their schedule quite a bit.
It had been just the two of them for many years before I made my
surprise entrance. Keeping up with an active toddler is tiring when one
is a young parent, but I can imagine really exhausting when one is older.
Try as they might, I never wanted to go to sleep at night. Mom
consulted with the pediatrician, and the other moms in our neighborhood.
No one could come up with a good solution to the problem, so
they just endured. So many of Daddy's letters discussed the issue of
his little "night owl" with the grandparents.
Mom would already be fast asleep (shear exhaustion no doubt).
Daddy would be reading or watching TV and I would be in my
room trying to guess what chair he was sitting in or something,
anything from going to sleep.
But, aside from being the daughter of a prolific letter writer, I discovered
the real reason I grew up to be a blogger and here it is ….
During one of my late evenings I shouted ….
Read All About It!
Even way back then I somehow knew that I would be a blogger :-)
Have a great weekend y'all!
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley