A Christmas Letter

“Will you be in heaven with me, Grandpa?”
That’s what I asked my Grandpa when I was just 3 years old. The story goes that from that moment on, he never touched another drop of alcohol (he was an alcoholic) and he asked Jesus into his heart. He started going to church every Sunday. The idea of not being in heaven with his first Grandchild was his Come to Jesus Moment.
I’ve heard that story since I was a little girl. It’s always been one of the most cherished memories.
But ever since my Grandpa passed away, I feel in some ways that my Grandma has used what was once a treasured memory against me. She asks me often why I don’t go to church. “You’re the reason your Grandpa came to know Jesus. And now you won’t go to church!” She’ll say. (Often.) I have felt so judged
On Christmas, she gave my daughter a bible. Inside was a handwritten note from her.
“I want you to read that letter in front of the family.” She said. I felt angry with her. I assumed she was trying to shame me publicly in front of my family for not going to church.
I asked my sister to sneak the letter into my bedroom so I could read it privately before reading it in front of the entire family as my Grandma had requested.
As I read, I felt the anger melt away.
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I may not agree with the things she says, but for the first time since my Grandpa passed away, I am at least able to understand where she is coming from.

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