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by Richard L. Provencher  
3/21/2008 / Relationships

"Dear Great-Grandma,

It's neat sitting at my desk, typing a letter to you on my new computer. Mom says you were a nice person. Such a shame I didn't get to know you. You must have been special. After all, you're my mom's grandma. I'm sure glad we have your picture in our family scrapbook. I get a good laugh when I look at it.

Are you watching over me right now? They say angels are supposed to do that. I bet you are one, great-grandma. I think of you a lot. Remember the first time mom held me? It was just after getting out of the hospital. Mom said, you told her I was a beautiful baby. Can a boy actually be beautiful?

I'm twelve now, it's okay for you to say that. Did you mean like a flower? I really like flowers, but please don't tell my friends. I don't want them knowing, in case they think I'm weird or something. Daffodils and tulips are nice. Pussy willows too. At least flowers make people happy.

From my window I can see the sun warming the birds. They like our feeders. There go two Chick-a-Dee's and a Barn Sparrow. And look -- even pesky Blue Jays have to eat. Sometimes they act like bullies. That's mean, picking on little birds.

And the same thing happens at school. I mean, when little kids get pushed around. One day I thumped Peter, for trying to take Susan's banana at lunchtime. She's only in grade five. I'm in grade seven. Maybe you were watching me. Then you know I got in the doghouse for coming to her rescue. She was glad I helped. And it made me happy. But, my friends still tease me about it.

I might even grow up to be a teacher. Get a life. Do you believe that? Sometimes I say things I don't really mean. Dad says it must be wishful thinking. Maybe it's because I like making up stories. It's the same as being an author.

Remember when I was three? You told mom and dad to buy me a toy tractor for my birthday. You said one day I might want to work in the woods. And be just like my dad. I used to sit on his lap when he ran the skidder. Well, I think I'm going to be a pilot instead. Guess what?

Dad taught me how to drive a D-2 Cat. He even let me try it by myself. Last week I was able to clear land near our sugar bush. You know the one. Mom and dad brought you there, a long time ago. It's a whole two miles back in the woods north of Bass River.

Mom says you used to say it was too far to walk. But, you can't fool me. I saw you in a picture with mom and dad beside the maple sugar evaporator. You did it. Hey, you know the time when I had the chicken pox? That was awful. Everyone called me "Spotted Boy." Imagine having your friends laugh at you.

Mom says I was five years old. They were meaner than a dirty dog. I bet you would have taken me in your arms like mom did. I mean, if you had been around then. And you know something? I would have let you.

What is it like to die great-grandma? Is it the same like when I buried a bird in my backyard? Mom and dad said only his body went into the soil. And now he helps the grass and flowers grow. It works really great, too. You should see that patch of grass now. It's thicker than anything in our backyard. Maybe your job is to help me grow up. You know, by watching over me.

Yes, I think I like that. Right now, you're probably sitting on a branch, peeking through the window. You're really an angel. Sometimes I can feel your eyes following me. Even when I'm fishing along the creek for brook trout. Or when I'm paddling with dad in the canoe.

It's like you're breathing on my arm, and your breath is warm like the sun. I really like camping overnight too. Did you see the big one I caught on the Stewiacke River? I think Uncle Lawrence was jealous. It was a monster fish. Well, not really. But it was awesome and I did a lot of bragging at school, maybe too much.

I'm doing better with my grades now, great-grandma. Imagine, 90% in Phys-Ed! Everyone says they're proud of me. So many things are going great for me. My sister Jo-Ann is home from Chef's school in PEI. And my dog Sheeba is getting along with our cats. Like I said to mom, "Finally."

And now I got this new computer. Well, not really brand new. But it's a great birthday present. I wish you could have been at my party. Then I could see if you look the same as in your picture. Maybe you're more beautiful than a Monarch butterfly, my favorite. You don't mind me saying that, do you?

They float around just like a kite. And they bring good feelings to everyone in the forest. Besides, they don't bite like mosquitoes.

Mom wants me to come for supper now. And dad just got back from visiting grandpa. So, I'll write some more after. Okay? Before I go, want to listen to a little song? Some of us kids at school made it up. I'm not a good singer, but I want you to hear:

"Don't say ain't, or your mother will faint
your father will fall in a bucket of paint.
Your sister will fly, your brother will cry
and my dog Sheeba might call the FBI."

Are you looking at me right now, great-grandma? If you are, I bet you're proud of me. And you know something? I want to be a butterfly too.

Love from, Paul."

* * *

Richard L. Provencher 2005

81 Queen Street, Unit 6, Truro, Nova Scotia
Canada B2N 2B2 Phone (902) 897-2344
E-mail: [email protected]

Word Count = 1,000 for the above story.

Richard enjoys writing poems; many of which have been published in Print and Online. He and his wife, Esther are also co-authors of stories and a print novel. They are "born again" Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International, in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.

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