Dear Rose

By Jane Greenip ‘22

Dear Rose,

I know you never liked me

I think I first realized it when I was 14

And Jack was sick

You no longer offered to make me grilled cheeses

Or take me down to the pool

You just stopped caring about what I thought

I’m not sure if it was because I was a girl

Or because I was my mother’s daughter

Because I know you never liked her

But you loved Jamie my aunt

So maybe it wasn’t because I was a girl

I know you didn’t really enjoy seeing me

You kind of just tolerated my presence

I wasn’t the oldest

But I wasn’t the youngest

I’m the middle child of my own family

And the middle child of the cousins

I’m not quite Justin

And I’m in no way Jack jr.

But you liked them

I remember when I started visiting you at the nursing home

You didn’t know who I was

And you know what’s sad

I wasn’t.

Sad that is,

I actually expected it

I was your least favorite

I would explain to you that I was Johnny’s daughter

Your son’s daughter

That you were my grandma

I remember when you picked up the photo from Johnathan’s bar mitzvah

You told me that you liked most of the people in the photo

Except for one

My mom

You pointed at her and said you didn’t like her very much

Now my mom was with me for that visit

And I explained to you

That’s my mom

Your son, Johnny’s wife

And you looked so confused

It was sad.

Now I sit here

After getting the call that you had passed

And I’m not very sad.

I suppose that makes me a terrible granddaughter

I was told that you had tested positive for COVID

But I know that’s not truly what did you in

We were told by the staff there

That even if you hadn’t gotten COVID

You would have had only a month left give or take.

Ironically your passing

Was like a weight off my aunts’ shoulders

You were always so angry

At least when I knew you

I remember my mom asking my dad if you were always like that

And he told us no

You weren’t

So, I wonder what happened to make you so angry all the time

It must have been exhausting

Despite me knowing you didn’t like me

I hope you’re happy now

I know you’re probably with Grandpa

Don’t hassle him too much

He covered for you a lot when he was alive

He didn’t tell us that you were “sick” in the way you were

Because he loved you

I wish I could have asked how you met each other

Because my Nana loves to talk about her family and her past experiences

But you never really allowed me to get close enough to ask

I heard bits and pieces from my dad

But that was it

So, here I am

Writing you this letter

Telling you it’s ok

I forgive you

It’s alright you didn’t like me

It’s alright that you forgot who I was

I just hope that you know that I’m ok

And I hope you’re ok

Sincerely Johnny’s daughter,


La Primavera

Rachel Voellings ‘22