Mike Adams
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This is Part VII of a series. Click here for Part I, II, III, IV, V or VI.

The man and his wife were married while they were still in school and had a little boy before they graduated. The second child was born several years later. They had a very good life with in-laws taking the two-hour drive to visit the grandchildren from time to time.

But like most good lives a curve ball was thrown their way. The man and most of his co-workers lost their jobs in a big company shake-up. He took the opportunity to start life anew by forming a small business with his brother-in-law. But this meant relocating to another state more than 700 miles away.

There was another tragedy several years removed from the present story, which shook his mother-in-law and made her relationship with her grandchildren all the more central to her existence. She was indeed upset when he moved and took the grandkids away. And that was really the beginning of the end of the man’s relationship with her.

A few years went by with no visits from his mother-in-law. Soon, his wife would start to take the children on trips to see their grandparents and the man would just stay at home. Eventually, their conversations would exclude him altogether. She would call his house to speak to her daughter or grandchildren and simply hang up the phone if he happened to answer.

Time has a way of slipping by when there is something we are trying to avoid. So even when his children graduated from college their grandmother wasn’t there. They would both be married in the coming years but she would not be there on those occasions either. The anger that was an effect of separation between a grandmother and her grandchildren had now become its cause.

Later on, after 14 years of separation, the man was preparing for the holiday season. It would be his grandson’s second Christmas but the first one he would really enjoy as a boy who could now walk and talk. Maybe it was more than the approaching holiday season that caused him to pick up the pen and write the letter.

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Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.