Cheer up, son

My grandparents with my uncles. The little boy in overalls is my dad.

I was recently going through a box of paperwork at my parent’s house. In the process, I found a letter from my grandfather to my dad dated Christmas Day, 1941; dad would have been nine-years-old. The letter said:

Dear Eddie,

Remember how you cried around because you had to wear wool trousers that itch. Cheer up son, life is just full of things that are unpleasant.


Your Daddy

I framed the letter and put it in my kitchen. I think it is remarkable the note survived over seventy years. It was tucked in a folder with dozens of performance reviews from my father’s long career at Bellarmine Prep. It obviously meant a lot to my dad. It also made me think of the small stack of letters I have that my father wrote to me, all banded together and tucked away. I spoke about these letters in my father’s eulogy. Did he write to me because his father wrote to him?

Every year, on my childrens’ birthdays, I write each a letter. I started this because of the notes I received from my dad. I like to think that this will continue on, that the letters will stretch out over centuries, urging us all to cheer up.


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