It’s been twenty-two years since I last saw you,
but I want you to know I think of you often.
I’ve tried to nudge events from this side
to help you and the family, and I’d like to think I have.
Your guardian angels are exhausted, by the way.
Tell your Mom I love her, and we’re all here,
including the uncle that named her, my brother
that was listed as missing from Pearl Harbor all those years ago,
blown off course in his plane, just as we thought.
Tell your Dad his parents are very proud of him, too.
I didn’t think that first marriage of yours would last,
and I’m glad I was right. What, I still speak my mind!
He was cruel to you, always bullying and pushing.
You found your spine and your real love.
I like this one.
Tell all three kids I wish I could have known them longer;
they were so little they probably don’t remember me much at all.
I love your idea to plant purple Shirley tulips in my remembrance;
have the kids help you when you do.
I get to see a whole field of them whenever I want now.
I see you’re a writer; I told your Mom you could!
Maybe if this letter gets to you, you can write about it.
Don’t be in a hurry to get here, but don’t fear getting here either.
All my love,
Grandma, the former Shirley Erck