Dear Pa

Dear Pa

A Story by Emily Marie

When I was a baby my grandfather died of colon cancer. I never got the chance to know him, but I remember him in my own special ways <3


Dear Pa,

            ‘HALPER, JOSEPH F. Blood type O. Catholic’ that is what your hospital dog tags say; the dog tags that I wear every day. And I keep them tucked away, in my shirt next to my heart so that even though you aren't here I will feel your presence. From time to time the tags will show and curiosity catches the eyes of people who ask the same question; “whose are they?” And so begins the tale of your demise. Even though I was a baby and have no memory of what happened, the image, created by what I've heard is surreal and familiar. Hospital bed moved into the living room so you can spend your last moments with the ones you loved. Everyone was sleeping. Mima heard you gasping for breath and opened her tired eyes to see through the darkness; see her lover call for their only son. “Paul-” but your voice barely there just couldn't stretch past the walls to his sleeping figure. And so your last breath concluded the life of a man who died at the age of 61 from colon cancer. It didn't matter that the three grandchildren you had would grow to twelve, or that Paul named his only son after you. The empty seat at the dinner table wasn't significant, our future wasn't considered important enough to see, and your life became a statistic. After I tell that story they once again say the same thing “Oh, I’m so sorry.” And my reply doesn't stray too far “It’s okay.” In truth it is alright; because you left behind an impression. A piece of your personality stuck to our home and can be felt anytime memories of you are spoken or seen. I love you with all my heart and try to still make you a part of my life even today because the dog tags around my neck state that heaven is not that far away. I hope you look down on me and feel a sense of pride in what you see. ‘HALPER, JOSEPH F. Blood type O. Catholic’



One of your twelve Grandchildren,


© 2012 Emily Marie

Author's Note

Emily Marie
Please leave comments and reviews~ <3

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It's really touching.
I love your last words. Made me sigh a bit. My grandpa died too. I wasn't very close to him, but I do miss him. Very well done. Heartfelt.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Emily Marie

7 Years Ago

I know how you feel
A very nice and beautiful story. Your Grandfather would be honored by these words. People can touch our mind and heart in a short time. No weakness in the amazing poem. Thank you.

Posted 7 Years Ago

I agree with DC Patterson. He said everything I would have said. I really enjoyed this story.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Emily - this is compelling and you quickly create a bond with the audience that makes the emotional transfer work smoothly.

You made me as a reader identify with your experience and for just a moment I became a silent witness at your Grandfather's passing.

I love the way you open and close with the simple facts of who your Grandfather was, but inside the sandwich is the truth of who you think he was.

All you had were details passed on by others, but you created a framework to best reveal those details and create something more wonderful than the sum of it's parts.

If you can make another human feel emotion, then you have begun to harness the power of story telling.

Keep writing stories!

Posted 7 Years Ago

Emily Marie

7 Years Ago

Thank you! I'm happy you felt this way

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4 Reviews
Added on October 3, 2012
Last Updated on October 3, 2012
Tags: cancer, letter, grandpa, grandchildren, tragedy, life, death, love, family, remember


Emily Marie
Emily Marie

Chicago, IL

I am 17 and am vegan. My writing is personal and I am passionate about it, so it'd only make sense to share it and open it up for advise. Please share your opinions I love to hear them :) more..

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