Editor's note: Amy Dulebohn's father, Joe Dulebohn, died Dec. 27, 2011. Following are excerpts from a letter Amy wrote on behalf of her 21-month-old daughter, Joe's only grandchild, for his funeral.
Mommy says that you are in Heaven now. I sure do miss you, and Mommy says she does, too. She says that we can't see you anymore, but you are watching over us and that makes me happy.
Mommy says that you are in a better place now, and you are like you were when she was a little girl. You are strong, brave and fearless. You aren't hurting anymore, and you can jump up and milk the cows, and work in the fields. You are able to butcher hogs, catch chickens, cut down a Christmas tree and walk around the lake at Cowan's Gap after a late-summer picnic.
I wish I could've known you when you were able to do all those things, but Mommy promises to tell me about them as a I grow up. I'm glad I got to be in your life for as long as I did. I know sometimes you were very tired, but you were still very patient with me and all my toddler energy.
Thank you for sharing all the good food with me that you did. You taught me to eat Swiss cheese, country ham and butter bread. And the best treat of all was the yummy pop that you shared with me. I know Mommy wasn't very happy about that, but I am pretty sure she will get over it.
Mommy says that you were the best man she ever knew, and I think she is right. She says you always took care of her and Granny and Aunt Tammy, and they never had to worry about having enough food, or a warm and safe home and Mommy and Aunt Tammy always had plenty of toys and clothes, even though it might not have seemed like it to them. And when Mommy and Aunt Tammy were old enough to drive, you even bought them their first cars. I sure hope Mommy will do that for me when I turn 16.
Mommy also says that she will never forget the look on your face when you found out that she was expecting me. I'm not even 2 years old yet, so I can't imagine what it is like to turn 79 years old, and I really don't know what it would be like to find out on that same day that you are going to get your first baby granddaughter. But it must've been something that was really special for you. I am glad I was your granddaughter, and I am proud Mommy named me after you, even though you told everyone that I was named after "that old farm dog" that she loved so much.
I'm still not sure I understand why you had to go, but I am happy that you feel better now. As much as I liked helping Granny take care of you, I know you don't need help anymore. Thank you for taking such good care of me and Mommy and everyone else while you were here. We love you and will never forget you.
Big hug, Pap. Bye bye. See ya, Pap.
Your Baby Girl
First-time mother Amy Dulebohn is a page designer at The Herald-Mail. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.