The letter was handed to me in an indifferent manner by the solicitor. The simple plain brown envelope had been found among the probate documents from my grandfather’s estate. I carefully opened the envelope and began to read through the spidery final words of wisdom from the man who had always been a guiding light in my life.
“My Dearest Child,
We have had such a special relationship over the years. You have been a treasure and a joy to me. I have enjoyed every moment spent with you and I wish I could still be there to hold your hand through to your adult life and beyond but alas that is not to be.
I know that you are reading this because a chapter of my life has just ended. Smile for me because the new eternal chapter is just dawning. I know you will mourn but don’t pitch a tent and encamp at this very dark lodging house. I challenge you to continue where I left off…making every day count.
I know how you have floundered at difficult times in your life so I have written down a few suggestions that might help you move forward at this time. Please don’t consider this a lecture…merely the interfering words from your loving granddad.
Here my wonderful child are some of the things I urge you NOT to do:
o Don’t waste your days in worry. Life has a way of working out.
o Don’t stress over the details…in the end the details are insignificant and easily forgotten in the mists of time.
o Discard those things which cause you pain and move on because they will only stymie the life you can have.
o Refuse to accommodate hate in your life. Hate is acidic and corrosive and leads to considerable harm.
o Don’t allow your physical body to dictate what you can and can’t eat and what you will and won’t do.
o Avoid those things that could easily ensnare you in unwholesome habits, for they are a moment to acquire and often a lifetime to break.
o Take no pride in rewards and praise for they can be your undoing in the area of pride.
And here my treasure are some of the things I invite you to ACTIVELY do:
o Seek that which brings peace between you and others. People are the only things that have true value.
o Take responsibility for your actions and apologise quickly for any wrongdoing. This is the key to a humility that many never learn to obtain.
o Encourage everyone you meet with a smile, a nod, a thank you, a touch, a wave, or a word as this will chase away the enemy of isolation in your life and in theirs.
o Set your hands to care and reach out to others and ease their distress. In serving others we find true joy.
o Remember to stop what you are doing each day to consider the weather, the flowers in bloom, and the changing of the seasons, as this will ground you to a sense of time and place.
o Do one new thing every week to keep the sense of adventure alive. It is adventure that reminds us how interesting the big wide world is and how unlimited the possibilities are if only we dare to try.
o Do not give your heart away to anyone unworthy or unable to treasure the generosity of that gift.
o Love much, love completely and love well.
o Record the magical moments in words in pictures and in mental notes to enjoy forever.
o Submit your life to the One who knows the beginning from the end and can guide you more efficiently than you could ever hope or dream.
I pass you the baton. Run a joy-filled race.
Your loving granddad xxx
I folded the letter and returned it to its envelope for safe keeping. Stepping out onto the street I looked out at the sunny view and took a moment to smile at a little girl as she skipped along the street. Life was continuing just as it always did and it was time for me to move forward into whatever adventure it had in store for me... with a little help from my Granddad.
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