Dear Gramma Conway,
When I started to write this letter (yesterday, when it was due) I just sat for a moment, thinking about you, remembering you. I immediately got all teary. You’ve been gone for almost 15 years now, but sometimes I still miss you like it was yesterday.
You were a major influence on my life, I think you must know that. There are many, many people that helped me grow my love of reading, but none so much as you. You loved to talk books with me. You loved to give me books. You loved to loan me books. You loved read books that I suggested. It was a passion that we shared equally. As a matter of fact, it was to me that you bequeathed your beloved, well-worn, book collection. I still have many of them. Not all, because, let’s face it, you had a lot of books. But I still have your bookcase, it’s in my home. I remember it from my childhood, in the poker table room (which I also have, btw), bulging with books. I’d visit and race into that room to see what was new from last time, what you’d let me borrow.
There were some you wouldn’t let me read until I was “older” and I’d stare at those spines, wondering about them and what mysteries that they could hold that I was not yet ready for. By the time I was, they were simply good books, the mystery somewhat lost on my teen years.
You are also the one who taught me poker, and how to gamble, and how to play every card game known to man, and you played dress up with me, and always said a prayer over me before I went to sleep at your house, and you bought me my orange mustang, and always, always had endless time to play with me. Life was never rushed with you. Time seemed endless and filled with hope for what was to come.
Then Grandpa would come in and do something funny or brash and he’d scare me or make me laugh or do anything at all to interrupt our play. And then you’d scold him, but in a tone that was clear to me, even as a child, that you were not serious, and then he’d laugh his booming laugh and you’d sneak your arm around me and cuddle me close as we all laughed together. The times I spent at your house are truly some of the very best memories of my childhood.
I could go on an on with this letter, but it’s actually harder than I though to write this. What it boils down to is this. You have been a huge and lasting influence on my life. You are one of the people I was closest to growing up. You loved me so well, as I loved you. I still miss you and always will.
Thank you for being part of my life,
(to see why I am doing this, read here)