Nice people stop by my office to take care of their estate planning. Recently, a client shared a letter with me. It was a letter to his grandson. He wanted it delivered after he died, along with a check from the sale of his house.
I want you to know how much you have meant to me. When I first held you in my arms, you were 2 days old. I couldn’t believe you were my grandson. What a miracle. As the years passed by, I always cherished our time together. Remember our first Mariner game? You were eight and we sat right up close. Between the pop, two hotdogs and I’m not sure what else, we had such a great time together. I always appreciated that as you grew older, you still took time to attend a Mariner game or two with me each spring. It meant a lot to me, especially when I knew you had a lot of other things to do and people (girls) to see. I don’t think I ever said thanks, but then I don’t think it would have sounded right; we were just spending time together. When your grandmother died a few years ago, those baseball games meant even more.
I was very proud of you when you stayed on the soccer team the year your dad died, and I still remember the year you won the team inspirational award. You inspired me. When you graduated from high school and then again, from college, I wanted to tell you that you were my hero. You were. Now, you are married and you have three kids, and what a terrific husband and father you are. If your dad were still around, I know he’d be so happy with the way you have turned out. You are receiving a check with this letter. I wish it could be more, but the check is not important. Just remember how much I love you and that I am your biggest fan. I’ll be rooting for you wherever it is I have gone. Love, your grandpa.”
This letter made me think. If I were Ben, I think I would feel better about the words than the dollars. How about you? Have you written a letter to your grandchild? What would you say?