Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Grandpa came to visit around Halloween, back in 1961. You can see the three year old Borepatch (center), with older brother, father, and Grandpa. You can see what this visit meant to three year old Borepatch.

Grandpa lived pretty far away. It was a long trip from Kansas to Ohio back then, especially for him, but he came as often as he could. It wasn't enough for a three year old, but he did what he could. Grandma had died before I was born, and he lived alone. I hope it was a real treat for him when he came to visit - I know that it was for me.

His last visit was at Christmas, 1963, and when he left to go home, I was simply inconsolable. One of my most treasured possessions is a letter he wrote to me when he got home. He wasn't an educated man, or a wordsmith, but I think it was the first letter I ever received. There is something tangible about an object that was touched - created, really - by someone else. This only exists because someone cared enough about someone to make it.
Fredonia, Kan
Jan 6 - 64
Dear Borepatch,

Here is a letter just for you. Your daddy said how you felt about Grand Pa going home. Well I was upset too a few tears wet my cheeks too. You know big boys can cry, too, don't you? Well maybe some day we can live closer to each other and can see each other more often.

You are lucky to have a sled. If you were here you would have to use your wagon for no snow has fallen since I got home. It has been cold but no storm since before Xmas. Snow left mostly the day before Xmas.

I am having a cold the last 2 days now. Sure makes me feel tough. Well, boy you have all your folks to be glad with and Grand Pa has no one. Well, will see you again some day. Write me a letter when you can.

I am still, Grand Pa
Grandpa died 23 days later. I never wrote him that letter, until now. Hope to see you again some day, Grandpa.


Anonymous said...

I regret not knowing my maternal grandfather better.


Bob said...

Great post, Ted.

Paladin said...

The photo, and the letter, are both treasures. I lost my Grandpa over 20 years ago, and there's still a hole in my heart. You'll see your Grandpa again, as will I.

Side note:

Hey... lil' Borepatch has hair :)

ASM826 said...

Thanks, Borepatch. Sometimes it is the personal things that put everything else in perspective.

The Czar of Muscovy said...

Excellent post. Perfectly done.

soulful sepulcher said...

I have one from my grandmother asking me to bring her some roses from the garden. It was short and simple, and she died shortly afterward. ('78)When I came across the letter, I read it and hoped I had done that.

Thanks for sharing, it's true hand written notes from people mean much, much more later.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing. In the end it's only family that matters.

Every body ...hug some one you love today.

See Ya

Whit Spurzon said...

Great post.

Borepatch said...

Thank you, everyone.

Ed Miller said...

My Grandpas were already gone by the time I arrived, so I always felt like I had my face against the window, just looking in on a party I wasn't invited to...

It brings to mind that Tennyson quote, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". How true.

- pupista! (barking mad on the right)

Lissa said...

Just lovely, Borepatch.

. . . . You were so CUTE as a child. What happened?!?

(sorry, I had to!!)