Written for the class “Public Relations Advanced Writing”
During my first year at Mount Saint Vincent University, my mother was chronically concerned that I would be homesick. On top of the dozens of care packages she sent throughout the year, she also had my relatives write me letters which would periodically pop up in my mail box. The first letter was from my grandfather – my Grampie.
It is written on a small sheet of note paper, no more than three inches by six inches. He had donated money to the Canadian Wildlife Federation and they had sent him the sheets as a gift. It was a god-ugly green color with a picture of a baby bob cat at the bottom. At the top, his name was typed “Mr. George W. Deviller” – to add that personal touch.
The note is short, simple and written in barely legible cursive. It is dated September 10, 2005. It reads:
How are you doin’. I trust you’re settled into your new quarters by now and making loads of new friends. It’s exciting times all right. I trust the Mount is to your liking. Do I hear the girls outweigh the boys almost 8 to 1? I see! You guys don’t stand a chance. How I envy you.
I was in Halifax yesterday to see my doctor ‘Sergian’ about my operation 12 years ago. He gave me a good report which was comforting.
Take care of yourself, Jeff.
Love Grampa OXO
I had a black Dollarama frame empty in my desk and on a whim hung the note on the wall. As I moved six times, I kept the note and hung it wherever I called home.
It was just so… Grampie. His grasp of modern slang (‘How are you doin’) mashed with his outdated lingo (‘quarters’) captured my down-to-earth grandfather. The fact he was comforted, comforts me. His kind words at the end show the love that my grandfather had for his grandchildren. It was, however, the side note ‘How I envy you’ that struck me as both funny and strikingly genuine. It was my grandfather in a nut shell. He loved women. He was human, but his humanity made him all the more likeable.
Over the next two years, my Grampie’s and my Grammie’s health deteriorated both physically and mentally. Before long, my Grammie was put in a home, while Grampie stubbornly clung to his freedom. In 2007, my grandfather had a gout attack and was sent to the hospital. While there, my grandmother died in her bed. He passed away six months later.
Throughout his life, my Grampie wasn’t always the perfect man. However, throughout my life, he was the perfect grandfather. Nothing that I inherited from him so encapsulated the man I knew as well as this note. It hangs in my bedroom to this day.