In everyone’s life there are a few things that stays with them forever, no matter what. The letter from his grandpa was one such thing for Joey.
By the time you get this letter things would have changed a lot. I wouldn’t be around like the old days. And I apologize for it. But let’s not get into any guilt trip today. Today is your thirteenth birthday, big day for my big boy, yeah? Not every year we get into the teenager phase, do we? A very happy birthday, my child. All my blessings to you. I hope your mother has been giving you all your gifts from me, until now, I remember you used to call me in excitement. Even though sending gifts gave me as much joy as you got in receiving them but sadly this is my last gift to you. This letter.
Remember when we last met? You were 8 years old and I, well, I was let’s say quite older. I still remember how you used to run towards me and hug me tight. You were my precious. And I know you were just a young child to go through the separation. But it was for all of ours good, wasn’t it? Tell me Jo, are they happy now? Your mum and dad? I hope they are. I can’t disagree with your father. Your mother was one tough person to deal with even as a kid, don’t tell her but she sometimes was a pain. I hope she has found peace in her life now. How are you? Are you happy? How is school? Do you still find your English teacher cute? Ah! I miss those days, Jo. I miss them. Walking till your school to pick you up, cooking for you, playing with you and listening to your stories. I miss having strength in my arms and legs. Mother might not have told you but you deserve to know, I am sick, very sick. I don’t know until how long would I be able to fight the illness and that is why I end my regime of sending you gifts. I don’t want a year to come when you live in hope all year and don’t receive anything from me. I don’t want to be the person who disappointed you. I wouldn’t want you to remember me as that. Promise me Jo, promise me, you will only remember the happy days with me and not the ending ones. You wouldn’t sit and cry. You would support your mother, she may be tough to handle but she is one emotional person. Don’t give up on her. After me, she would only have you. Be with her, child.
You are growing up, Jo. I want to tell you a few things that I learnt in my life, though I wish I could be around to tell you this as and when they came up but..I don’t think that would happen. Jo, people may tell you that some people are bad and some are good but remember it doesn’t matter. You should be good and polite to the people who are polite to you even though people will tell you they are bad, you should always trust your instincts. There would be times in your life when you would feel alone and lonely, don’t be upset then. You would have the right people around you at the right moment. I say you should spend a little time with yourself every now and then; it is healthy, it will help you to understand and sort out things going on. It would also give you time to explore yourself. Yes! Very necessary that is. You know how I always lived my life with gratitude? Well there is one thing I regret. Not speaking up. I know later I started to, but I guess had I started doing that earlier, things would have been a little different. May be better, who knows. But son, you don’t miss out on anything. Doesn’t matter you are good at it or not, if doing that makes you happy, do it. Don’t miss out on happiness any day. Also, be independent but don’t be detached. You might not understand all this right now, but I am sure you will one day. Life is long and full of ups and downs. Don’t be too sad when you are down and don’t be too high when you are up. Try to always live a subtle life. Never let go off people, who were there in your downs, when your life starts going up and always, always be there for people. Be there for everyone even if the other person hates you because Jo, life turns the table. And we wouldn’t want anybody, no matter what, feel lonely, right? I know your life wouldn’t be the same as mine. You will learn many more lessons than me, be brave then Jo. Be brave and be truthful to your mother and yourself, because then I wouldn’t be there to either understand or save you. Oh! You would also be in love Jo, what a feeling that is. The best I say. Love will make you experience a lot of things no matter you wish to or not, they just come along with it. Like heartbreaks, don’t be sad when your first love doesn’t turn out right, I know you will cry and it would be acceptable, crying won’t make you weak. Another lesson, don’t listen to men who say men don’t feel pain. That is a lie. Big lie. I am feeling pain right now, and I felt pain when I had to go and live away from you.
I don’t know whether I wrote everything I wanted to, weak memory, you see? Anyway Jo, I hope you forever are happy and life is fair to you. I hope you get all the joy you deserve and I hope you turn up to be a good man. Make me proud, child. Make your mum and dad proud.
“Still have it?” Jo’s mother asked entering his room.
He wiped the tear from his sleeves, “Could never let it go,” he said giving her mother a smile.
“He did help me in a lot of problems, you know? All the things he said to me, they helped me most of the time. And when they couldn’t just reading his letter did.” He added.
“He loved you more than me. He loved you as much as he loved my mother, to be honest.” She replied leaning on the door.
“I know. He says you were a pain as a kid.” He said, trying to break the sadness.
“Haha, I sure was one.” She replied laughing.
“Happy 21st birthday, Joey” She said giving him a big box of present.
He argued, “Mom, you know you did not have to”
“I know, but your grandfather would want me to. Open it.” She smiled.
A long brown coat, a vintage watch and a grey cap.
“This is his..I remember.. Oh! I loved his this watch..why so late?” He asked
“He made your 13th birthday special, it was an important phase. I wanted him to do the same on your 21st. He would have wished it.”
“He would, indeed.”
He hugged her mother and went out to cut the cake. His father had come too.
“Wherever you are, I hope you are happy.” He said blowing the candles.