elisabeth, family

Letters from Pop-pop

A friend once told me that Arizonans clean out their closets in the summertime because it’s so hot outside. Well, she was right. I’m now in the process of cleaning out the closet in our guest room. We recently bought a 9 foot pre-lit Christmas tree at a yard sale down the street (I can’t wait to decorate for Christmas), and we have no where to put it!

The closet is home to several big boxes and a barrel full of things from my childhood. Unlike me, Stephen can fit all of his childhood stuff into just one box! Going through my childhood and girlhood things has made me realize that I seemed to save every card, letter, postcard, and note I ever received! I also realized that I used to write and receive letters a lot more often than I do now. I found letters from camp pen pals, a valentine from my kindergarten teacher, cards from graduations and birthdays, epistles from my mom while I was at college, newspapers written by my creative sister Charis, and letters from Pop-pop. I thought I’d share a few funny snippets from his endearing cards.

November 11, 2000

My math teacher got me to help another boy in our class many long years ago but I think he eventually flunked out; or maybe he just quit school altogether. He didn’t graduate, but that was fairly common back then. I obviously didn’t help him too much.

November 27, 2001

We did have a happy Thanksgiving with a meal at Calvin & Debby’s at 1 o’clock and at Doug & Tracy’s at 4. That way you can eat more total.

Your cousin Matthew killed a deer last Sat. (a cute little yearling buck with big brown eyes) 🙂 Oh well a deer is a deer, huh? The family has to eat.

November 9, 2007

I’ve been so busy piddaling around the yard, etc. Being retired I now have time for some of the things that I didn’t when I was only tired.

I’ve gotten letters from Rebekah, Charis and Ruth Anna that I need to reply to. I may have to get out my carbon paper and save some time like I did when Calvin, Renee and Shawn were in college. I would personalize each one a bit and rotate who got the original over time.

March 17, 2008

Happy 25th to a granddaughter to be proud of. I know we’re not supposed to be proud but sometimes we can’t help it.


When Rebekah and I were tiny, my dad had an inspirational idea. He asked our grandparents to write letters to us to be opened on our 13th birthday. I never saw letters from my dad’s parents, but Pop-pop and Mom-mom wrote letters to us and our cousins. These two letters are now some of my most treasured possessions. Pop-pop wrote his letter when I was 1 year old, and Mom-mom Hilda wrote hers when I was 5–just one year before she passed away after a fight with cancer.

Pop-pop’s Letter, July 23, 1984:

Dear Betsy, [I used to be called Betsy as a little girl.]

We’re still amazed at how fast you’ve developed or advanced since you were here at Easter.

You’ve learned to walk and “talk.” But most of all its your personality that has blossomed out.

We’re blessed to have two grand-daughters that are so different and yet so nice in one family.

By the time you read this you’ll be a teenager, that obnoxious age, or is it? No, I think its a great time. We’re praying that you will be saved and living for Jesus.

We’re glad that you’ll be living at Seaford soon and we’ll get to see you often and all through the year.

If the Lord tarries and it pleases Him to leave me here another 14 years, we will probably laugh at this letter after you open it and read it on your 13th birthday.

We thank God for a grand-daughter like you.

Lots of Love



Mom-mom’s Letter, September 1988:

Dear Betsy,

Just this week you started kindergarten. What a sweet, little kindergartener you are–so bright-eyed and when you talk you become so animated and cheerful. I love you dearly. You are so cute with your long, blond hair and your eyes fairly dance when you talk!

When you read this, you will be 13 years old. You are entering the stage of being a young lady. When you were small, you asked Christ into your heart which made me very happy. Now that you are a teenager it is my earnest hope that you will live faithfully a life that is pleasing to the Lord. You were very fortunate to have parents who have tried as hard to make sure their little girls were trained to put Christ first. When you were small you all enjoyed singing little Christian choruses. I hope you still enjoy singing for the Lord. As you grow into a beautiful young lady permit your parents to still guide you through these sometimes difficult years. Try to always do the right thing which isn’t always what your friends might decide to do. I know you’ll develop into a fine, responsible adult. Have a happy birthday. I love you. I’ll see you in heaven.

Mom-mom Taylor

And, the next October, she went to live in heaven. And last August, Pop-pop got to join her.




2 thoughts on “Letters from Pop-pop

  1. That is so sweet Elisabeth. I was crying when I read them. They would be so proud of you and Stephen for growing in the lord, bringing Silis up to know him as well.

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