4 years

It is crazy to think that my grandmother passed away almost 4 years ago. While I was living in South Korea, I received the news that she had been diagnosed with ALS.

Tonight I was deleting files from my computer and came across the letter that I wrote to her while I was traveling before I surprised her for Thanksgiving in 2012. It says all the things that I wanted to tell her, but never found the words or the time to share. One morning before I left for work in West Virginia, I felt like I needed to read the letter to her. At this point, she was completely immobile. She could not longer speak, swallow, or open her eyes.

While I read her the letter, a single tear emerged from her eye and ran down her face. A few hours later, I got the call that she had passed away. Don’t wait to tell someone what they mean to you or how they’ve impacted your life.

November 11, 2012
Hanoi, Vietnam


Our Earthly lives are both too short for me to express my gratitude and love that abound in my heart for me.
I’m so thankful that, not only have you watched me grow into the person I am today, but have been here to guide and assist me through my life thus far.
You were right there beside Pap not letting me play on the computer until I had practiced reading and my new vocabulary words.
You were there to join me in elementary school during lunch for Grandparent’s Day.
You watched me play sports.
You cheered me on as I walked across the stage to collect my high school and university diplomas.
And now, when I travel around the world, you are just an email or skype call away.
Your love and support has never wavered.
You have always been there to congratulate me during the best moments of my life.
Not only have you been there for the best times, but also the darkest times.
There has never been a moment I couldn’t count on your encouragement.
Your words and advice have led me through so much.
Even when you tell me things I don’t want to hear, I know you’re right.
I can always count on your honesty.
You have taught me so much about life: The importance of education, to think for myself, the true meaning of success and happiness, selflessness, to yell ‘bullshit’ at the TV whenever a politician is speaking, take responsibility for myself, to love, to stand firm for what I believe, and most importantly, to just be me. Telling me to be happy and don’t worry. Everything will work out for the best.
Finally, thank you for always being proud of me. Thank you for being excited for me and my endeavors. Thank you for the unconditional love. Thank you for always being a light in my darkness. Your light will shine for eternity. I love you now and always.




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