A Tribute to Gramps

A Tribute to Gramps

From A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul

A Tribute to Gramps

The following letter about our grandfather, Harold Poster, was written by our mother, Patricia Levin. Our grandfather attended Harvard University. For his fiftieth reunion book, a form letter was sent out asking what official titles, achievements, awards, etcetera people had received and what they had accomplished since leaving Harvard. Our mother was very upset about the way the letter was written, as it implied that unless you had achieved some higher goal, you were a failure.

As my mother’s letter will attest, our grandfather was a wonderful man, whose goal was to keep his family happy. He succeeded 110 percent! Our grandpa passed away eight years ago, and not one day goes by that our hearts don’t ache from missing him so much.

Dear Class Secretary of 1934,

I am answering this questionnaire on behalf of my father. My father suffered a stroke about four months ago. Although he understands mostly everything, he is not able to write or speak clearly.

You ask on your questionnaire for a list of offices held, honors and awards received, and I am at a loss to think of any official titles my father has held. However, this is not to say that he has led an uneventful or uncharitable life. If awards were to be given for “Wonderful Father,” “Exceptional Grandfather” and “Devoted Friend,” then surely he would have won them all. Never in my memory has there not been time for my father to be with his children, never a problem too large that Grandpa couldn’t solve it. And when his friends tell me what a fine person he is, what a devoted friend, what an understanding man, I want to tell them, “I know, I know, he’s my father; I’ve always known this.”So, although these honors were not gained by a higher education or written on diplomas or awards, they are nonetheless meaningful. They were acquired by living every day to its fullest and bringing happiness to his children, grandchildren and friends.

So, under the titles of honors on your questionnaire, the best honor of all, I suppose, is mine. I am honored to say Harold Poster is my father.

Sincerely,
Patricia Levin

The response to our mother’s letter followed a few days later:

Dear Mrs. Levin:

As Secretary of the Class and Editor of the Fiftieth Report, I have the task of reviewing all of the questionnaire returns before they proceed to the printer. I say “task” but generally speaking, it usually is a pleasure.Of all those reviewed, I couldn’t help but write you about the one I considered the most warm and satisfying contribution for our fiftieth Report. I can tell you without reservation that it served to describe a person who has achieved honor and success in his life far exceeding the vast majority who have listed paragraph after paragraph of alleged honors and successes (financial, to be sure!).

My only regret is that I did not know your father in college and in the intervening years. Now I know what a truly fine man he is and a lucky person to have produced his replica in you. I do hope he is well on the road to recovery.

Many thanks for your wonderful reply!

Sincerely,
John M. Lockwood, Secretary
Class of 1934

Dana O’Connor and Melissa Levin

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