A Letter to My Centenarian Grandpa


A centenarian is someone who has lived 100 years or more. With a birthday next month, my grandpa is going to be 104 years old. If I am to live that long, I hope to be like him.

Here is a copy of the letter I handwrote to him for Grandparents Day:

Dear Grandpa,

Did you ever think being born one year before the sinking of the Titanic, you would live to see its 100th anniversary?

So much history has flashed before your eyes. The good and bad. The world at war and the world rebuilding. People hating and people loving.

Did you ever think that you’d be a grandpa to 10 grandchildren and a great-grandpa to 20 or more great-grandchildren? And also an adoptive grandpa to the children who’ve lived near you and knew you were a tough chess player who loved to share his fresh baked cookies?

Who knows how many adoptive grandchildren you have.. Kids who are now adults and who’ve been influenced by your love, generosity and simple wisdom.

Did you ever think that when you wrote your autobiography, Flowers for Cina, at age 92, you’d still have over a decade more worth of stories to write (a second edition, maybe)?

One reviewer commented on amazon.com that your life story is ordinary yet extraordinary. I know the friends that I’ve shared your story with would have loved to have a grandpa like you.

Did you ever think that you’d be able to keep up with all the technological advances over the years. From being active on Facebook to keeping a smart phone. Staying in touch with family and friends is important to you. And it means a lot to us.

Did you ever think you’d learn the secret to a long, joy-filled life?

The secret to a long life from things you’ve said must be faith, dark chocolate and flaxseed oil. Thankfully, I’ve got the first two, but I’ve got to work on the flaxseed oil.

You are a beloved grandpa, and I am so thankful I get to be called your granddaughter.

Happy Grandparents Day!

With Love,




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