An Open Letter to the Grandparents I Never Met

Dear Grandma Marie and Grandpa Bertie,

Although I’ve never met you (except for the few months that Grandma was here to hold me when I was born), I miss you both dearly. Throughout my young life, I’ve noticed your absence and it’s taken a toll on me in many ways.

There are people I know that have—or once had—amazing relationships with either one or both sets of their grandparents. They’ve gotten to spend time with them, share wonderful memories, and experience the unique love that can only come from a grandma or grandpa. Sometimes I get so incredibly envious of those people. They don’t know how lucky they are.

There are so many things I want to tell you! I’ve started my third year of college, I’m happily in love with a man I know you’d adore, and I’m accomplishing my dreams of becoming an author one day (and one page) at a time. I’ve made some amazing friends, been to so many places, and experienced every day like the true blessing it is. I only wish you were there to see me play my last game of soccer, walk across the stage at high school graduation, or get all A’s in my first year of college. I know you’d be cheering me on the whole way and encouraging me to always do my best.

The stories that Mom and Dad have told me about you help, but they also make you and incredible love just out of reach. I know I’ll never get to truly know you, but I’m glad that there’s an abundance of precious memories from others that I can hear about and learn from. Regardless of all the other things I wish I could say to you, I want this letter to be about expressing my gratitude for who you were and what you left behind for me to cherish.

A huge part of your legacy lies within your children, and the mark you left behind as parents and as indivdiuals is apparent through them. I see how far your guidance has changed the lives of my aunts, uncles, and especially both of my parents. Thank you for raising Dad to be the man he is today. He’s wonderfully kind, selfless, and joyful. He’s always looking at things in a positive way, and I admire him so much for that. All of these qualities (and many more) make him the best father in the world because he had you two to teach him what great parenting looks like. I know he’s forever grateful and blessed to have been your son.

Thank you for raising Mom too when she was at a time in her life where she needed that unconditional love and support. She looked up to you both as being amazing, loving parents, and I know that she was inspired by you both to raise my siblings and I with that same tenderness and care. Also, thank you for taking her in and loving her like one of your own. I know she values every second she got to share with you and ever lesson she got to learn from you about life.

Although you’re not here to see me grow up, you have no idea the impact you’ve made on my life through the people you’ve touched along with the memories and things you left behind. Grandpa Bertie, I will never stop being appreciative of the brave man you were as you went and fought for our country. Since elementary school, I have always been grateful to share the medals you earned and been honored to talk about you being a hero. Grandma Marie, our house is filled with your many sewing projects, and I cherish the amount of love and hard work that went into every single one. Your ring is also one of my most prized possessions, and it will be forever.

These are only small, daily reminders that you're always here with me when I need you. I thank you so much for that, and I miss you all the time. I only wish I could meet you now and have this conversation--and a million more--in person. 

For all the milestones that lie ahead for me, I promise to cherish you in my heart through every one of them.

Love, Alex