Dear Johnny,

2020 isn’t beginning as I hoped. I went and got the flu shot on Tuesday the 7th. On Wednesday, I came down with what I thought was the flu. I vomited for twenty four hours and nothing I did would stop it. Thursday, the ninth I called the doctor and he insisted I come in. He immediately ruled out the flu. He checked my stomach and sent me immediately to the hospital. Yup, Gramma went grumbling the whole way. I did briefly consider blowing the doctor off because he’s always such a worry wart.

Too make a long story short. I had acute pancreatitis and my duct was blocked with a gall stone. I got to spend quality time in the hospital, on a liquid IV diet until they operated on Monday. I got another battle scar about the size of the one you had on your leg.

Remember how impatient you were to open your tools that you had just gotten at Home Depot with your Dad. That box cutter was sharper than you expected, wasn’t it. I still remember how upset Jacob was that you passed out seeing your own blood. You didn’t like the hospital anymore than I do. Necessary evils, that you and I tried our dangest to avoid.

Jacob had his first wrestling match this weekend. He doesn’t have your grasp of the mat yet. He laid there while the boy was holding him down and didn’t resist. He seemed comfortable in the pictures, your Dad sent me. I am so proud of your Dad. He was coaching Jacob at the meet.

I’m not ready to go to wrestling matches yet. My stomach knotted right up just looking at Jacob. Wrestling was always your thing. You were really good on the mat, Johnny. I haven’t been able to look at all of your wrestling pictures yet.

Do you remember that match when you were young like Jacob against the girl and you lost the match? You were so mad you lost, especially since your opponent was a girl. You never let that happen again, did you?

You’re great grandfather died on January 10th while I was in the hospital. The memorial service is in May. It’s been along time since I’ve been back to Vermont.  He had breathing issues for a long time, his death wasn’t a shock like yours was. My father was 83. He would have been proud of your carpentry skills. My father loved working with wood like your Dad and you.

We love you and miss you so much, Johnny.


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