The Last Letters of Jason R. Seaver

Chapter 3-Carol's Letter

As Mike enters the guest bedroom, he sees his mom playing and laughing with his kids and Carol's youngest son climbs on her back and wraps his arms around her neck. This causes a smile to spread across Mike's face because just a short time before his mother was hysterically crying and sad over his father's death. Children always seem to make things better, at least for a short time.

Mike finally decides to approach his mother and get her attention.

"Are you guys torturing grandma?" he says to his kids.

They all look up at him and laugh.

"Hi, daddy!" they all say excitedly.

Maggie looks up at her son and smiles.

"We're just having some fun!" Maggie replies as she tries to tickle one of the kids.

Mike smiles at his mom.

"Mom, can we talk for a minute?"

Maggie's face suddenly becomes serious as she stands up and puts her arm around her son.

"Of course we can talk." she says as she leads Mike to the other side of the room.

Mike wraps his mom in a tight hug.

"Thanks for the letter from dad and allowing me to read it alone. I really needed that."

They pull out of the hug as Maggie looks at Mike.

"So you are feeling better now after reading your dad's letter? You don't blame yourself anymore?"

Mike shakes his head.

"No, dad explained everything in the letter and I realize what happened to him was nobody's fault. He doesn't blame me, so I shouldn't blame myself." he explains.

Maggie smiles with tears in her eyes as she puts her hand on Mike's cheek.

"I'm so glad to hear that. I'm so proud of you, Mike."

Mike has tears in his eyes.

"I know, mom. Thank you." he says to her as he wraps her in a hug.

As Maggie hugs her son she spots Carol with her boys. Her oldest son, Seaver is really taking the death of his grandfather hard. He was very close to him. Carol is trying to comfort him as he sits with his head down and his arms across his chest. Carol hands him a tissue as he looks up at her at takes it from her. She sits down next to him and puts her arm around his shoulders and holds him. Her youngest just stands there quietly, still a bit confused as to what is going on. Maggie realizes that this is the perfect time to give Carol her letter.

She pulls out of the hug and gives Mike a kiss on his cheek.

"I need to go talk to your sister." she tells him.

Mike nods.

"Okay mom. I'll go spend time with the kids."

Maggie smiles and nods as Mike walks away and approaches his kids. Maggie walks over to her daughter and grandsons. She smiles down at the three of them.

"Carol?"

Carol stops what she is doing and looks up at her mother and smiles.

"Hi, mom."

Maggie smiles back at her daughter before answering. You can hear Seaver blow his nose as he keeps his head down.

"There is something I need to give you from your father. Can you spare a few minutes?"

Carol smiles before answering.

"Sure, mom." she replies as she stands up.

She looks down at Seaver as she places her hand on his head.

"I'll be right back, honey."

Seaver nods.

"I'll keep him company, momma." her youngest boy replies.

"Thank you." she says as she smiles at him.

He just nods and sits down next to his brother.

Maggie takes Carol's hand and leads her to the chair over by the door. Once there, Maggie picks up the manila envelope containing the letters, opens it and takes out the letters that are remaining. She finds the one for Carol and hands it to her.

Carol takes it and looks at it.

"What is this, mom?"

"It's a letter your dad wrote to you sometime before he died. He wrote one to me, to Mike, to Ben and to Chrissy. I have already read mine and so has Mike, so it's your turn now."

Carol nods as she continues to look at the letter in her hand.

"You are more than welcome to take it into another room to read it so you can have some privacy." Maggie explains.

"I'll read it in the bathroom. Thanks, mom."

Maggie nods as she watches Carol walk to the bathroom and close the door behind her.

Meanwhile...

Once Carol has closed the door behind her and has familiarized herself with her surroundings, she finds a place to sit to read the letter. She decides to sit on the bench that's under the shelf by the bathtub. She walks over, pulls it out, leans it against the wall next to the shelf and sits down. Once she sits, she looks at the the envelope containing the letter before opening. She runs her fingers across her father's handwriting as the tears fill her eyes.

"Oh, daddy." she manages to say before she opens the envelope.

Once she has it open, she pulls the letter out, unfolds it and begins reading.

Dear Carol,

If you are reading this than I have passed on. I'm so sorry that it had to be this way. My death was nobody's fault and it was something that nobody had any control over. I don't want you to blame yourself for my death. I just hate that it had to be so sudden and so soon, there was so much more that I needed to tell you. I want you to know how proud I was of you and how proud I was to be your father. You were the best daughter that a father could ever ask for. I just hope that I never let you down and that you knew how much I loved you. You have something special, Carol. You always worked hard and never gave up on anything you ever did in your life. I was so happy the day that I found out that my daughter was going to be a lawyer! It was one of the proudest days of my life, next to your birth of course. From the moment you were born, I knew that you were going to be an incredible human being and an even better daughter.

You are so much like your mother, so much like her that it scared me. Your mother is the most incredible, beautiful person I had ever met in my life and if you had to take after one of us, I'm glad it was her. I loved your mother so much, Carol. She's a smart, feisty, headstrong, giving, loving, stubborn, passionate woman who kept me on my toes. I needed someone like her in my life to keep me grounded and sane. Once you kids came along, I knew it's what I wanted for the rest of my life.

I'm so happy that you found such a good man to marry in Scott. He takes good care of you and your boys. I loved being their grandfather and I know they looked up to me. Your son, Seaver is the best kid in the world. He and I were so close and I know he's probably the one that is taking my death the hardest. I also know he's strong like you and will be there for his little brother and cousins. You were always scared that you wouldn't be a good mother, Carol but you are the best mother to your boys because you have such a good mother yourself. She taught you everything she knows. I know you finally realized that like your mother, you can have a child and still have a successful career. It's hard work but it's worth it in the end. It all works out eventually.

I want you to remember me fondly and remember me with smiles and laughter, not tears. Life's too short to be sad and depressed. It's a big world out there and I want you to enjoy it to the fullest because as you can see life goes by so fast and can be over so quickly, in the blink of an eye. I will always be with you in some form until we can be together again in eternity.

I love you, Carol Anne and I can't wait to see you again someday. Always remember that when you get to thinking about me and missing me. Until we meet again.

Your loving father, Jason

As Carol reads the last words of her father's letter she can't stop the tears from falling. Before she realizes it, her tears have wet the pages of the letter. She reaches over and grabs a tissue as she wipes her eyes and face.
"Oh daddy, I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again. You were the best father a girl could ever ask for and I was proud to be your daughter. Thank you for everything."

As she says this she folds up the letter and places it back in the envelope. She stands up and replaces the bench back under the shelf. She walks over to the sink and looks in the mirror. Her eyes are damp and red from crying and her face is red and damp. She puts the letter aside as she turns on the faucet and washes her face with the cold water. Once she has done that and is satisfied with her appearance she grabs the letter, walks to the door, opens it and steps out to face her family.

To be continued...