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Christopher Damlo column: Ode to a loved one -- Grandpa leaves gardens of memories, words of wisdom

Dear Grandpa,

I would like to dedicate this letter to you in order to lament your passing into the house of God.

As expected, I will miss you ardently, however, your suffering in this life is over. No longer shall you be bound by the chains of mortality. You will no longer suffer under the confines of humanity. You will no longer have to be bound by your oxygen tubes and medications.

Your legs will no longer keep you confined to your house and chair. You can now walk the endless forever green gardens of God. Your flowers will bloom for eternity in heaven. Your love will always be remembered by all of us.

I remember when you and I used to cultivate the gardens of your lake lot, and your own personal gardens. Seeing you create life from the black dirt is one of my finest memories. I still can perfectly picture the first time you and I walked in the freshly cut green grass of the lake lot.

I also remember my utter failure in knowing how everything worked. Despite my lack of knowledge, your expertise pushed us on. You and Grandma digging in the garden and me mowing on the ancient, rustic, green John Deer. You always loved things that grew, the smell of the lake, the wind blowing in the trees.

In the end, you had to give up these things due to the limitations of humanity. I saw you cry for your lost passions. I cried inside and out, knowing you could not enjoy the things you loved most in this world.

I remember all the words of wisdom you gave me. I also recall all the $20 bills you would slip me for any minuscule task I would perform. I do not think I ever told you how much I appreciated everything you have done for me.

I know you loved me very much, and I know how proud of me you are. I want you to know I love you so very, very much, and I appreciate all the lessons you taught me.

I remember hearing stories of how proud you where of being a part of the military. Your patriotism knew no bounds. You loved this country through and through, and that will always be remembered.

You always had my back no matter what I did. I can recall a few instances when I would be grounded, and you would let my mother know how you thought about that and stick up for me, no matter how much I did indeed deserve to be grounded.

One of the most painful things I have ever had to endure was watching your body decay, and watching you succumb to age and disease. You had a passion for life that I have never seen before. You fought the good fight until the bitter end.

You died with your loving wife, my grandma, at your side in your own home. I know that was what you always wanted. I know how much you loved each and every one of us, and I know how much each and every one of us loved you. You will be missed greatly Grandpa.

However, I am very grateful you now know no pain, and you will enjoy the endless pleasures of the kingdom of God. Make sure and ask God a few questions for me, and thank him for allowing you to have the longevity that you have.

Love, your youngest grandson, Christopher Michael Damlo

Christopher Damlo is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School.