The Room After Saying Goodbye to my Grandpa

By: Sebastian Caldwell

Tags: A Way In the Wilderness Fall 2022 Issue

The Room After Saying Goodbye to My Grandpa

A candle at the center of the table, light burnt out cold. This candle was provided to us by him as
a gift a few years prior, but never lit until now. The scent of lemongrass fills the room.
A cross sits firmly on his desk. Inscribed was the verse Jeremiah 29:11, “for I know the plans I
have you for declares the Lord…” It was metal, and scratches from wear and tear over the years
had made the verse barely visible.

Two letters also sit on the table. One open, and one closed. The one that is sealed is a crisp
envelope, clear white, with a stamp at the center to, and accompanied with fine writing. On the
front was written “my final words for you.” Starting with,

“Dear Sebastian”

The second letter was opened, disheveled, and parts of the printed words no longer legible. The
paper was damp, and crumpled. The pages were weathered away being held many times
beforehand. It featured the final words spoken to Blake. The contents of the letter would suggest
pain, hope, and thanking him for being a great grandpa. The letter ended with three words:

“I love you”

A family photo with Blake and my mum, both smiling, happy, and joyful. In the background of
the photo was an unknown lake in BC where my mum’s family once took a vacation together.
The silver picture frame was illuminating the gloomy room, reflecting the deep yellow light from
the candle. “19 June, 1994” was the date the picture was taken, many years ago.
A file, placed on the table, marked “Notes from Teachers Association.” They covered the
motions, bills, and representation of nineteen years of service working with schools across the
Northwest Territories.

A joke book, clearly weathered away suggesting the book had been read many times over. The
first page of the book had a line of cursive writing across the page, “Owned by Blake.”
An essay just recently marked was placed on his desk amongst a variety of other papers scattered
about, it was written on the idea of free will, with a grade of “A-.” At the top of this paper were
the words.