A Letter to Cari, July 2014….

23 Jul

Hi Sweetie, I have known you for just over 9 years and 2 months. I met you when you were about an hour old, and held you when you a little over 24 hours old.  You captured my heart the moment we met.  Cari you have been magically special to me since that very 1st day.  I am sure by the time you read this I will have reached the end of retirement, and probably by a good bit.  But I wanted to spend some time with you today recalling and recollecting. 

You are my only grandchild, and because of that I have done everything in my power to help spoil you, and I don’t care who knows.  Your grand mom and I have showered you with gifts and treats.  But don’t let your mom kid you, we did the same thing to your mother as she grew up.  She was just as much a princess at 9 as you are at 9.  But the similarities don’t end there. Your mom as a blond until she was 10 or 11, she enjoyed reading, she was tall for her age group, sports were something she did cause she was told she had to participate (much like you are told) she was good in school, but had to be pushed at some subjects just like you, she had a great enjoyment for music, and you seem to have inherited that as well, and heck even a tiny bit of me has rubbed off because you seem to like the “blues” when we are alone in the car listening to the radio.  Your mom and I also shared some tastes in music for years, but hers likes changed as she grew, while mine stayed rooted.  She, like you she was a beautiful little girl.  And Cari at 9 you indeed a beautiful little lady, dressed up or dressed down, your beauty can’t be taken from you.

I have found you to be much more respectful of my illness than I anticipated.  You have grown up seeing me ill, using oxygen, and being limited in how far I could go with my oxygen line.  You have grown up seeing the cannula in my nose and this wasn’t a reason for not giving me a kiss on the cheek.  You acceptance of my health issues will be of significance to you as you age.   The kindness and consideration you automatically displayed to me will be of great comfort to many folks during your lifetime.  Never stop caring for others Cari.

Since our earliest times we have played well together for the most part.  “Sit on me Grandpa” has always been one of my favorites.  Smiling we have played WII bowling numerous times and you have consistently kicked my butt, LOL I think you cheat at “go fish,” but I can’t prove it and you always win.  And the 1st time you did the “I Got Yahtzee” dance about made me pee my pants.  It was the cutest thing I had ever seen, but I did grow tired of it by the 3rd time that game. LOL LOL. Because your mom was also playing and getting her butt kicked also, she didn’t have a good time, and we both teased her.  You’re like me, my family, and your mom, you don’t seem to like to lose, and can be quite gleeful when you win.  Heck you might even rub it in a bit more than necessary.  But I can handle it, just be aware your mom is extremely competitive and will enjoy beating you a card and board games.  Then there is the XBOX360, and your love of the racing games, that just tickles me to death.  Nobody wanted to play my racing games until you showed up, and I love the racing games.  We have sat in my office for hours play Sega Racing, and now we are moving on to the more sophisticated racing games that use lifelike cars, on genuine racetracks from around the world.  I really enjoyed that. Smiling, we have had a ton of fun together.  We spent hours laying together in my and grand mom’s bed watching movie after move, or in the office, watching the Disney Channel until I thought my head was going to explode.  I remember the countless times you sat patiently waiting for me to finish up something on the computer before we began play.  I don’t ever remember you interrupting me to ask if I was finished, you always showed every bit of your patience.  Cari I have added a picture of us playing Wii when you were 7.

Playing Wii


Do you realize that it is because of you that your grand mom and I bought this home? It had to have a swimming pool, a place for our grand baby to play, to laugh, scream, jump, giggle, and have water fights, dunking, splash battles and learning to swim.  We knew you were coming long before you got here.  And we made sure that our home would be a place you always felt welcome, and knew you could always rest your head. 

Cari there is so much I haven’t even addressed, for instance your performances at dance recitals, or taking part in the Christmas pageant or your performances at school choir events.  We haven’t talked about going to the movies, or when I took you and your Mom and Dad up to Kentucky to introduce you to your great-grandmother, and your great uncles and aunt. Or how you are growing up in a digital world and adapting so well. I have a ton more to say, probably a lot you probably don’t even remember.  But I will share my memories with you so you can have mine.  This will be part of my gift to you.

Love, Grandpa.

Folks, as you know when I am not writing about my fight with COPD I write stories for my granddaughter.  It is my way of being here for her at the end of my retirement.   95 percent of the stories to date have been about me, my family, my adventures, my life, my daughter, and on and on, which will be great for Cari to learn about me, and I will continue to write those stories.  But I have decided, to write specific letters to Cari, where I will reflect on events that happened between Cari and I. 

As always if you have any questions, concerns or issues please feel free to contact me. Take care and have a good day.  Bill


Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Letters to Cari, Ramblings


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

34 responses to “A Letter to Cari, July 2014….

  1. Dawn/Tom Trattner

    July 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Bill–loved today’s message to your granddaughter. What a treasure. Dawn Dawn Trattner

    • FlaHam

      July 24, 2014 at 6:37 am

      Dawn, That is very sweet of you to say, thank you. Be safe, Bill

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    July 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Beautiful. Priceless. Love, filled with love, words and photo. ❤

    • FlaHam

      July 24, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Paulette, Smiling, Paulette you are truly a wonderful friend. Sometimes I think I could write poop on a tissue and you would think it was good. I do love you for it. And for all the other reasons we have become friends. Take care Bill

      • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

        July 24, 2014 at 11:03 am

        Poop on tissue? Hmmm, I’m laughing at that metaphor. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          July 25, 2014 at 7:12 am

          LMBO, Paulette, I really thought you would enjoy that metaphor, it came to me in a moment of genius. Love Bill xoxo

  3. Chatter Master

    July 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    These are your most valuable posts Bill. ❤

    • FlaHam

      July 24, 2014 at 6:41 am

      Colleen, Thank you for your kind words, these will yet another way for me to stay in her heart. Take care, Bill xoxo

      • Chatter Master

        July 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        I don’t think you have to worry about being in her heart Bill. ❤

        • FlaHam

          July 25, 2014 at 7:20 am

          Colleen, I think it is a fear we all develop as we age, and especially if we know we might not be here for the long haul. I’m almost as fearful of the time when I fade from yours, or Paulette, or Huntie, or Brenda, or Julie’s memories, and all of the friends I have made since beginning my blog. I don’t think anyone wants to slip away totally. Take care, Love Bill

          • Chatter Master

            July 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm

            I share that fear/concern. But Bill, you have no worries about slipping away. 😉 ❤

            • FlaHam

              July 26, 2014 at 9:07 am

              Colleen, That is so sweet of you to say I won’t slip away, that is a powerful statement. I truly want to be there in spirit for Cari, and as you well know, my writing is how I intend on being there. Thank you, Bill

              • Chatter Master

                July 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm

                Your words are only part of your legacy Bill. Your image, your laugh, your experience with Cari….. all of it will add up. You will always be one of her Giants.

                • FlaHam

                  July 27, 2014 at 7:33 am

                  Colleen, I can hope to be a Giant, yet I don’t need to be. But thru my words I know I will be there for her as she ages. And if by some chance at some point down the road that by reading my post it eases her thru a difficult time, then every moment I have spent writing this is completely reimbursed. Soft smile she is happy so am I. Take care, Bill

  4. Clowie

    July 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

    That’s lovely. You both look as though you’re having a great time!

    • FlaHam

      July 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Clowie, Thank you, we do have a great deal of fun together. Smiling, but sometimes we get tired and we both need our naps for the fun to continue. Take care Biped Bill

  5. huntmode

    July 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Oh, Bill, how I wish I had some of these letters from anybody in my family! You brought tears to my eyes with that third paragraph. So glad you two have had time to meet and know one another. Lucky for both of you. Best ~ Hunt

    • FlaHam

      July 25, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Hunt, Cari is a wonderful child, and I know she is a child. I will whine and complain because grandpa’s can and are suppose to do that, but I also love her with every grain of sand in my soul. She is a good child, and I want her to realize I did appreciate that. Please take care, Bill

  6. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    July 24, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Bill, Families are so important and you are a major role model in Cari’s life. Because of you she’ll have wonderful memories of a man that was always loving, kind, gentle, wondrous, giving, and fun. We have far too many little girls growing up in the world today and their lives are empty of men like yourself and unless a miracle happens, they’ll never know truly good men exist. You and Cari are fortunate to have each other. Sheri

    • FlaHam

      July 25, 2014 at 7:29 am

      Sheri, thank you for your so so sweet comment. I am indeed very fortunate to have Cari as my granddaughter. She is a really sweet, but also spoiled, but I can take some credit in helping that come about. I really want her to have the ability when talking to friends a thousand years from now to be in the conversation when the conversation goes to “Grand Parents.” She is special and I do wish I were going to be here to share things we haven’t gotten around to yet. Take care, Bill

      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        July 26, 2014 at 12:24 am

        Bill – It’s a grandparent’s God given right to spoil their grandchildren. It holds true rather there’s one or twenty-five. Cari’s life is richer for having you and your wife a big part of her’s. She knows she’s loved unconditionally and what a gift to have been given at her tender age. Without a doubt, Cari will bring up the conversation about how her Grandpa – – – and then the story begins and no one is going to get a word in for at least the next hour or more. Trust me, her Grandpa stories will continue throughout her life and she’ll pass them on to her children and so on. You are setting part of the stage of who, how, what, etc. a noble gentleman acts, is, behaves, and can always be counted on. You are the role model and an excellent one. Sheri

        • FlaHam

          July 26, 2014 at 9:26 am

          Sheri, That is one of the sweetest replies I have gotten to a post. I was going to go no no no I am not any of those things you said, but the fact is I do try and live by a code that encompasses all of the traits you posts suggests. I have lived the better part of my life trying to do so. But I will be the 1st to admit, that for every positive trait, I have a negative one as well. Lucky for me the good seems to outshine the bad. I am fortunate to have Cari and to be an influence in her life as the years go by. That makes me extremely grateful. Posts such as yours which recognizes the effort and your comments truly bless me. Thank you, Bill

          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            July 27, 2014 at 10:49 am

            Bill – It’s so true for all of us to be those role models; I don’t care what anyone else says, it’s darn hard work. However, I so believe in positive role models and then role models and mentors as an individual moves into the later stage of life. Cari is starting at the right place and with the right person for knowing all about what it’s like to loved unconditionally and to give that love in return. None of us are perfect and I’m right in there with you. I work on my negative traits and sometimes I see success and sometimes not. I pray, the good will someday outbalance the negative. Have a great and joyous day. Sheri

            • FlaHam

              July 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm

              Sheri, There is no doubt in my mind that your balance sheet is on the positive side. I know from my own experience that talk is cheap. I feel from my reading of your posts and our interaction in the comments section of both my and your posts that the BS has long since been removed from our words. The emotions we express, be it outrage or joy, anger or pain, happiness and belief through our words reflect our true feelings. Yes some we temper and others are free flowing, but they are BS free. That is the key. Thank you again for all the kind words you have given me. Take care, Bill

          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            July 27, 2014 at 10:49 am

            Bill – It’s so true for all of us to be those role models; I don’t care what anyone else says, it’s darn hard work. However, I so believe in positive role models and then role models and mentors as an individual moves into the later stage of life. Cari is starting at the right place and with the right person for knowing all about what it’s like to loved unconditionally and to give that love in return. None of us are perfect and I’m right in there with you. I work on my negative traits and sometimes I see success and sometimes not. I pray, the good will someday outbalance the negative. Have a great and joyous day. Sheri

  7. DeeDee Granata

    July 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I love this one. And I love your reference to poop on toilet paper. Haha. I enjoy my grandkids so so much. So I think I truly “get” this one!

    • FlaHam

      July 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      DeeDee, You have no idea how much I appreciate your words, your wisdom, and your willingness to allow me to kick you in the butt when you need it. But this one was special to me, and I am truly glad you got it. Take care, Bill

  8. Nancy

    July 26, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Bill,I think these blogs will mean more to Cari than if you left her a pile of gold. Love you.

    • FlaHam

      July 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Nancy, That was so very sweet of you to say. Take care, Love Bill

  9. kanzensakura

    July 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    This is so wonderful. I wish I had letters from those I love and who have retired. I can remember their voices, how my grandmother smelled on Sundays when I snuggled up to her on the church pew, my father’s voice and his laugh. How I would love to see their precious handwriting and run my fingers across the words and hold them to my lips. This is such a beautiful and priceless gift you are giving your granddaughter. I have no doubt they will be precious to her. Hugs.

    • FlaHam

      July 27, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Kanzen, In the shallow and the deep end of my heart and soul I know I am doing her good, and I know in doing so I am helping me. The medium I use embraces technology as much as I do, and folks will still be reading and looking at pictures a 100 years from now. So Cari will have plenty of time to enjoy this. Smiling, I know I am doing us both good, that makes me happy. Thank you for you sweet and kind words. As I read your statement about how you wish you had their written stories caused me remember exactly why I am doing this. All I have left from my parents and my grandparents are my memories, thankfully I have those as scattered as they are. My letters to Cari will re-enforce what memories she has of me. Smiling that does make it worth while. Take care, Bill

  10. Wanda

    July 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    What a wonderful photo! Yours and Cari’s matching smiles are as much an indication of your relationship and common tendencies (can you say COMPETITION?!) as anything else I can think of. I also like how you interweaved Allison’s tendencies into this post. There is not a doubt in my mind that Cari (and her mother) will treasure this post.

    • FlaHam

      July 29, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Wanda, I thank you for each of your comments, and I have never been insincere each time I do so. Your words as sweet and the vision you offer is exactly what I want to see, thank you so much for your wonderful insight. Take care, Bill

  11. benzeknees

    August 13, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Very nice memories for your granddaughter.


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