Wesley LeBlanc: Grandma can have my kidney (if she gives it back in 40 years)


WITH LOVE – Hey Grandma.

Yes grandma. Not anyone else – I’m talking to you. I know you’re my biggest fan when it comes to my writing, so I knew if I wrote a letter to you here, you’d definitely see it. Who doesn’t love a surprise while reading the paper Thursday morning?

Our family recently received some not-so-great news about your kidney and a rather rude cancerous tumor that’s decided to call it home. It looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to that kidney and you know what I say, good riddance. You shouldn’t keep a kidney that’s willing to perform such an act of betrayal as allowing a tumor to develop.

Jokes aside, this news hit hard. You’re a cancer survivor and the last thing our family wanted to hear is that cancer has reared its head back into our lives again. I remember getting the call from my mom about your situation. I remember breaking down into tears sitting in my office chair at home. I remember thinking about what must be going through your head, through papaw’s head.

I remember wanting nothing more than to just hug you.

It looks like we’ll all be saying goodbye to your kidney soon and hey, that’s OK. Living with one kidney is possible and if you really need a second one, I’ll happily give mine up but only if you promise to give it back to me in 40 years when you pass away at the age of 120-something.

These kinds of situations are tough because we’re all left feeling kind of helpless. If I could, I’d trade places with you in a heartbeat. You’re tough though. You put up with my mom and my uncle for decades and papaw for even longer. You beat cancer once already. This lil’ tumor ain’t got nothing on you!

You will get through this and your family will be right beside you every step of the way. I will be right beside you every step of the way. You’ve been one of my role models for as long as I can remember, grandma. You’re the reason I’m even able to do what I’m doing right now: write. You always bought me books I wanted to read, and you always encouraged me to write what I was feeling, what I was thinking.

Without you in my life, I know that I wouldn’t be a writer. I have you to thank for the jobs and opportunities writing has given me in life. You’ve spent 25 years making an impact on my life – who I am, how I treat others, how I treat obstacles and how I love those around me – and I hope for at least another 25 years of that, if not more.

I don’t really have a bigger message here for you or anyone else reading it, no moral to the story or big revelatory moment. I just love my grandma and wanted to do something to make her smile.

Grandma, I hope this made you smile.




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