Dear Nana and Papa,…
And so the letter went, the letter I wrote to my grandparents and mailed to them in Florida, where they live for the winter months, asking them for permission to read the letters they wrote to each other when my grandfather was in Vietnam. I grew up with my nana whispering the stories of their courtship in my ear as I fell asleep tucked soundly in bed between her and my papa. They met not long before he was shipped to Vietnam for duty. Throughout his entire service, they sent letters back and forth. When he returned home, they were married on New Year’s Eve in 1968.
With their permission, during Christmas break, my dad and I ascended into the attic above the garage and found the cardboard box tucked behind random pieces of furniture and remnants of obsolete technology stored away in a small closet in the corner. We slid out the box before returning everything to its original place. When I packed up my things to go back to Ann Arbor for winter semester, the box traveled with me. I drove with a piece of my family’s history tucked safely in my backseat.
For my repurposing project, I will be writing a few chapters of a much longer fictional piece, that I hope to complete in the Capstone course. I want to write a fictional story based on my grandparents. Their love has inspired me my entire life, and I want to honor them and also share their story.
While I was going through the box searching for the story, I found a small, black photo album. Inside were photographs of my papa in Vietnam that he sent home to my nana. On the back, was a little note, and at the end he had written, “Love You Always.”
Reading my grandparents’ letters, I am taken back in time. I get to know who they were before I was ever even thought of. Their letters are an inspiration to me, and from them, I want to create a story that is an inspiration to others.