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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

A too-late letter to dear Grandma

Jess Shut Up


First of all, I am so sorry. Sorry I never came to try and fix our relationship. I will carry that burden now for the rest of my life. But most of all, I am sorry that we did not get to say goodbye to each other. Know this if nothing else: I still loved you through it all.

There are a few things that will always remind me of you. The toy, “Light Bright.” You would get down on the floor with me and we would put the colored pegs in together, making a colorful picture of twinkling lights. Christmas will also always remind me of you. You seemed to love to decorate with Christmas décor everywhere you looked. I always thought your tree always looked the best, jam packed with ornaments that each told a story. You always spoiled us at Christmas, too. We could always count on getting at least one thing we wanted as kids from you. Sitting down with the “wishbook” and marking the things we wanted was always an exciting time as a child.

Yard sales. Yes you were the one who introduced this community adventure to us. Still to this day, I cannot pass a sign without the temptation to stop.

As I got older, your history-telling was one of my favorite things. From JFK to World War I and II and about the many places you had lived. I loved the way you could tell a story and transport us back to that day and age. I will miss that very much.

I remember looking at photographs of you when you were younger, and I always thought you looked like a movie star from the golden era. You had an aura of glamour to you like most of the best movie actresses of that time. The joy on your face was always glimmering off the photo and still makes me smile when I think about it.

I know you had a rough life growing up. Your mother died giving birth to you, your father died when you were a teen and you had to take care of your bed-ridden grandma. Your life had crashed around you at a very young age, but through it all you still managed to carve out a very important place for yourself. I will always be in awe of how you managed to overcome those obstacles. Especially when Grandpa died way too early and left you in that spot once again. You once again overcame your circumstances and carried on. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak that you went through. Well, I kind of can, I am feeling some of it right now.

Everything I wanted to say to you cannot be expressed here in this letter. I wish I could have let my pride down and come and talked before this happened, but I guess the stubbornness of both of us got in the way. Every time I wrote a column I could not help but think of you, and whether you liked it or not. Especially the ones on patriotism. You and Grandpa always will seem like the best “Americans” I ever knew.

Hopefully one day we will meet again, somewhere behind those pearly gates, and we can embrace each other in a big hug. Just like the one you are having with your mom and dad right now and Grandpa. I love you. I will miss you very much. From your grandson.

(To all of you readers out there, if for some reason there is a riff or a relationship that needs mending in your life, don’t wait. Try and fix that relationship today. There might not be a tomorrow.)

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