I’ve been thinking a great deal about letters recently. I do a thing on my Twitch stream in which I write letters to people anonymously addressing topics they’d like advice on or just offering a few kind words. The hope is that the letters were of some comfort to the recipients and that people watching the stream benefitted from what I had to say. I got away from doing those streams, but I’m reinvigorated to not only start doing them again but also to write letters to others for any number of reasons.
I missed writing letters in general. I forgot how liberating it can be as a communication medium. I do so much live communication these days that I had forgotten how nice it can be to compose my thoughts and use more than the bare minimum number of words for once.
As I indulged this feeling, I asked on Twitter who people would write letters to if they could, and I got some great responses. For me, that person would be my Grandma Yee, who died in December 2019. Being all about the letters right now, I decided to make that idea a reality and write the letter, which I’ve shared below. It’s a bit of a status update on how the family has been since she passed.
I’m sorry I haven’t written you sooner. It’s been more than a year and a half since you passed, and it’s been an incredibly trying time with a global pandemic making life extraordinarily difficult. I’m not glad you died when you did, but I’m in many ways glad you didn’t have to suffer through the pandemic, which is only now subsiding. Despite this time being truly horrible, our family has worked hard to be careful so we could share little bits of time together.
The biggest reason we were so cautious is so we could spend as much time as we could with Miles, your great-grandson. You loved him before he was born, and I know you’d have loved him even more after. He’s so funny, playful, inquisitive. I didn’t know me as a toddler, but I feel like maybe I was like that? Either way, he’s as loved as a baby could be, and he’s growing up so fast. Mom and dad love spending time with him, too. I know their grandparenting skills came from observing you and Grandma Nakashima in action. Since Stephanie went back to work, they’ve been babysitting at least a few times a week, and it’s something they look forward to dearly.
Stephanie and her partner, JB, are doing well. We knew JB was a great dad already, but Stephanie took to motherhood very naturally. And when we gather to eat, it’s around her table. I know you worried about who would bring the family together when you were gone, and she and JB have naturally stepped into that role. You’d be so proud.
Dad’s health continues to be a concern, but he’s a fighter. He continues to participate in clinical trials for new drugs to combat multiple myeloma, and while there’s still no cure, he continues to take care of himself so he can be the best father and grandfather he can be. Mom’s his greatest supporter, and I try to be the most dutiful son I can be.
I started my new job just a few weeks after you passed. It’s hard work, but I’ve enjoyed it as well as the fact that I’m being paid a livable wage. I miss working for the newspaper, but I was living paycheck to paycheck. I feel like I can build up a safety net for the first time ever. At some point after I felt I was settled in and doing good work, I shed a tear, thinking that that was what you had always wanted for me — a good, steady job that helps me build for my future.
And even though I’m still single, I feel like the future will be okay. I’ve made some incredible new friends from across the world, and I’ve had a few crushes here and there. I have no doubt I’ll find love. Ironically, your funeral dinner was pretty much the last time I spoke to Aimee. I invited her because she loved you dearly, and while she still loved (maybe loves) me, she said something so odious that I knew it was over for good. It wasn’t meant to be, and that’s okay. I’m happier with myself than I’ve ever been at any other point in my life.
I don’t know how it works up there, but if the fictional representations are accurate, I hope you’re looking upon us fondly and proudly. Every day, I aspire to be as good, kind, and giving as you were. And I regularly make dishes you taught me to make! I thank my lucky stars you had such a talent for cooking. With all this, I can say with full confidence that your legacy will live on for generations to come.
Thank you for always believing in me, even when I didn’t feel I was worth believing in. I’m proud to be your grandson, and I’m going to make sure people know that.