Mom’s letter to Grandpa

Here is a letter we have my mother wrote to her father.  It is very tender and sweet.  In fact, it is heartbreaking.  This shows the soft side of Mom so many do not get to see anymore.  Honestly, this is the Mom I miss.

June 14, 1984

Dear Dad,

Remember when I was 3 yrs old and got my finger cut off.  I can still picture how scared and afraid you were.  I think it hurt you worse than it did me.  Then to hear all the guilt in your voice when you said “How many times have I told you to stay away from the lawn mower”?  How you kept saying “I should have shut it off.”  I know when I lost it again 5 yrs later you were having flashbacks.  But it wasn’t your fault I just wanted to see the blade go around.  I guess I just got started in life on the wrong foot.

Do you remember the pictures that mom took of me cutting your toe nails.  I used to cut your toe nails and calluses off all the time.  You never got mad at me when I’d get too deep.  I was still cutting them even after we moved up to Idaho.

I used to love it when you and I went hunting and fishing.  I still have to grin when I think of the time when that fish slapped my face.  Or when we were up Ox Killer and you had got your deer.  I was watching you gut it.  I picked up this thing and was looking at it.  When I asked what it was and you told me they were its BBD’s.  I got so embarrassed.  You grinned and laughed.  You know I don’t ever remember you laughing out loud.  You always laughed on the inside.  I wish I knew why you did this.

I loved it when Uncle Spence used to call me Little Nor.  It made me feel so proud.  I loved you so much and looked up to you as my idol.  You were the perfect Dad and I wanted to be just like you.  You know I’m more like you than you ever knew.  All the times when you wouldn’t fix my car but made me fix it myself with you looking over my shoulder made sure I did it right.  I thank you for it.

It seemed every time I got hurt you would chew me out.  When I was in that wreck and got my face ripped up you told me I should have been home where I belonged.  When I got my hand hurt there wasn’t much you said but I knew you blamed yourself.  I knew you better than you think or thought.  Your face told the story.  I know why you never would come and see me in the hospital too.  It hurt you so much to see me in pain.  You just couldn’t handle it.  Mom told me that was one weakness you had.  That’s OK, I understand or understood.  I still loved you anyway.

I’m sorry when I moved back to Utah that I didn’t keep in touch with you as much as I should of.  I wished someone would have told me that you and mom separated a little sooner.  It used to kill me when I would come up and talk to you at work.  You totally blew me away the 1st time.  I had never seen you cry before.  We cried on each other’s shoulders.  I would always feel so sad because you always felt so sad.  You know Dad if I would of come up that weekend and seen you maybe you would still be alive today.  I’ve often wondered about that.

When you were killed I wouldn’t and couldn’t believe it until I seen for myself.  Once I walked into Payne’s I knew but I prayed.  I stood over you for hours staring, touching, holding and feeling you.  I wanted to open your eyes.  When I was holding your hand I wanted you to squeeze mine.  When I kissed you I wanted for you to kiss me back.  But you never did.  After a long period of time I started to hallucinate.  I seen you move.  But each time I seen you move I would reach down and touch your hand and it was cold and hard.  I knew that I was just seeing things.  Only in my mind you were moving.  I still didn’t want to believe you were dead.  At the viewing in Webb’s I knew you were trying to talk to me because your mouth had started opening.  I waited and waited hoping you would say something.  But you never did.  At your funeral I gave up, lost hope.  I knew you wasn’t going to get up that’s why I couldn’t stand by your coffin with the family.  I couldn’t except you as being dead.  I still can’t but I know you are.  I was scared when Mom, Doug and Jackie were saying Good-Bye for the last time.  They were in such a big hurry to close the coffin that I didn’t get a chance to get over and say Good-Bye.  But then I think to, that maybe I didn’t want to say Good-Bye either.  It haunts me now because I feel so bad that I didn’t.  Sometimes I wish I had of so that you would let me go.  I will always love you Dad.  I will never ever forget you.

Dad when I met Milo he reminded me of you in so many ways.  Jackie and Mom think so too.  So don’t ever think that you aren’t on my mind.  I named my little boy after you and his dad.  Doesn’t that tell you something.  I’d give anything if you could be here to play with Paul and Sissy.  I know they would love you so very much.  I know you would be proud of them too.  I know you’d like Milo, too.  The two of you would of got along fine.  I sure wish you could of met him.  Milo would have loved you.

Well Dad, I guess I’ve told you everything I had to tell you.  Everything I can think of right now anyway.  I just want to tell you again that I love you and always will.  I won’t ever forget you.  I just wish you were still alive.

Love Always, Sandy

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