Emily Miller: Dear Grandpa

While The Recovering Politician is dedicated to making the most of our second acts, we’ve usually focused on the second (or third, or fourth) acts of adult professionals.  We’ve ignored literally the second act of most everyone of us — the act of leaving home for college or adulthood.  Until now.

Our newest Friend of RP, Emily Miller, started Miami University this fall; and she will be sharing her thoughts about this awesome, scary, exciting, bewildering transition.  She’s a very insightful, thoughtful, and eloquent writer.  And she also happens to be The RP’s oldest daughter.


Dear Grandpa,

You were here for such a short part of my life, and I missed you during so many of important events. You could have watched my failed attempt at trying to play basketball, and you could have listened to Daddy and me play guitar together on the holidays. I would have loved having you read an Aliyah at my Bat Mitzvah while watching me grow into an adult in the Jewish community and in the world. I missed you at my high school graduation, and I should have been able to call you with the news that I was going to attend Miami University.

While I begin this new chapter in my life, I have been reflecting on my past. What did I learn during the past 18 years that prepared me for college? While specifically reflecting on the past year, I realized something that I learned from the death of a good friend; let the ones you love know how much you appreciate and cherish them.

When you died, I was much too young to understand the importance of this idea, and I never got the chance to tell you about the big effect you had on my life. It might be too late to tell you now; and whether or not these words reach you, I am hoping I can at least honor you by showing people the great influence you had on my life.

There are so many things that you did for me for which I am eternally grateful, but when I think about how you inspired me, two big things come to mind. The first is your love of books and literature. Thank you for always reading to me and insisting that I learn to read myself. I could always count on a stack of books being there when I came to visit. Thank you for assuring me that I would some day be able to read fluently and not letting me give up when I struggled. I didn’t believe you when you told me that some day I would enjoy reading, and I could not believe that anyone could do such a thing for fun. Not every child gets the enriching opportunity of constantly being read to, and I am so thankful that you provided me with this. I know people to this day who do not enjoy reading, and I feel sorry for them because they are truly missing out on a wonderful gift. Thank you for this gift; my love of literature is all thanks to you.

A specific book comes to mind when I think about all the times you read to me. The Lorax was your favorite book to read to us because it highlighted an issue that you were passionate about: the environment. Your love of all things nature was truly inspiring. I was always amazed at the fact that you planted hundreds of trees. Thank you for helping me build and keep that beautiful garden. I learned so much about nature and the world from you. Because of you I know how to appreciate this planet and I know how important it is to take care of it. I truly believe you dying while it rained was no coincidence because you loved the rain; something that I too have come to love.

Not everyone is so fortunate to receive such important gifts as these, so I cannot say it enough; thank you. I am so proud to be able to say that I am the granddaughter of Robert Miller. I miss you so much, and I hope wherever you are, you are reading a wonderful mystery novel in the midst of a rain shower.

Your Loving Granddaughter,

Emily Beatrice


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