Dear Coley and Peyton,
Grandpa and I love you both so much and treasure our time together. I didn’t mean to cry when you left for the airport but saying goodbye is getting very hard for me. You both have been so brave flying by yourselves back and forth to and from Dallas for so many years and now and I would like to ask you to be brave again.
As you can see I am getting weaker because of my ALS disease and it makes me very sad and that’s why I cried a lot when you were here this summer. I really wanted to talk with you both about death and dying but didn’t know if it was my place because everyone reacts to this subject differently, especially adults.
I want you to know how I feel about death so you aren’t wondering after I’m gone. I’m not afraid of dying but some people are afraid of it. I’m not afraid but I’m sad because I love spending time with you and our time together will be cut short.
I remember the first time I experienced the death of someone I really loved. I was in junior high school, only a little older than you two when my Uncle Clem died. Cole and Peyton, it really hurt my heart to lose someone I loved so much. At first I was hoping it was a sad dream and I would wake up and my Uncle Clem would still be alive but my sad dream remained sad.
Aunt Debbie and I would spend time in the summer with Uncle Clem and Aunt Marie just like you boys do with grandpa and me. They lived in a small town called Hesperia and they own a store called the Hesperia Variety Store. This store reminds me of the Lakeside Emporium because both stores sold candy but the variety store sold a lot of household items too. After Uncle Clem died and we would go to visit Aunt Marie we were still sad but Aunt Marie would make our visit special even though Uncle Clem wasn’t there. I was sad for a while but then something magical happened; whenever I thought of my Uncle Clem I had happy thoughts.
I want you both to know that my love for you will never die and I hope you don’t waste too much time being sad because you’ll have important things to do. When you come to visit you’ll have to show Harrison all the fun things you’ve experienced like tubing, driving the boat, sledding, hiking and Wine Time. This will keep you both busy, but please don’t forget to giggle a lot for me.
I love you so much,