These are the words I would say

Dear Grandma:

These are the thoughts coming to my mind today,

I had always assumed that I would be present at your funeral going on right now, but then life happened.  I ended up in Pittsburgh, for the moment, with my 5–month-old Liam, your youngest great-grandson, so it’s difficult for us to travel. You stayed in Estherville, Iowa. You had five older grandchildren, and lots of other family and friends nearby. We last saw each other Memorial Day weekend 2012, just a few weeks after William and I got married. You were quite frail in your wheel chair. We exchanged a smile in the midst of the family gathering.


These are the thanks I would give,

Thank you

for the week we spent together one summer when I was in middle school. We watched Wheel of Fortune and The Bold and the Beautiful. We laughed and played a lot of cards.

Thank you

for always remembering my birthday.

Thank you

for the beautiful  poetry


This is the comfort I would give,

I would touch your cheek and give you one final kiss before you are lowered into the ground, if I was there. I would wrap my arms around those who took care of you during your final days, if I was there, because their lives will change the most. I would catch up on my other relatives’ lives.


These are the things I regret,


 That I didn’t take the initiative to talk with you more when I had the chance,

that I didn’t remember you birthday as often as you remembered mine,

that I didn’t grow up closer to you, that you never met Liam, that I won’t get to hear my father give the eulogy


 These are the things I shall never forget,


How you revealed yourself in your poetry in a way I had never known. I didn’t realize that you had written so many until just a few years ago, when Mom, Aunt Maureen and I read through several spiral notebooks. They were gems that commemorated all your grandchildren’s Confirmations, high school graduations, Baptisms and birthdays and so much more. You revealed your sincere affections for us. I myself have dabbled in poetry but have never considered it good.


 This is the prayer that I pray,


 I pray that you are joyful, dancing and playing cards in heaven. Is it everything you imagined it to be? I pray that you and Jesus are watching over all of us today, me in Pittsburgh, the others in Estherville, as we honor your life. I pray that God will comfort all of us.  I will pass on your poetry to Liam as your gift. God took you home February 18, 2014. I think you were ready. In 95 years you were widowed twice, outlived two daughters and so many friends. Orva Clark Kaltvedt, I bid you goodbye in my own way today.



Published by Digging Deeper

I have a TESOL degree from Iowa State University and taught for three years at Kansas State University and one year at Chatham University in Pittsburgh while earning a Master's degree in Fine Arts in creative writing. I am currently a stay at home mom for two children and have returned to Des Moines, Iowa, where I grew up. Religion has always been a part of who I am but only in the last 10 years have I considered myself a genuine Christian. In my writing I explore issues of faith and how it relates to living life, sharing my faith and my personal journey of growth in my daily walk with God, so I'm not a theologian or a seminary student, but just enjoying uniting faith with a love for writing.

One thought on “These are the words I would say

  1. Beautifully stated, Leslie. I’m sure your Grandma is smiling down upon you, William and little Liam. Love never dies.

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