Remembering Lawrence Cranberg

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that my father, Lawrence Cranberg, passed away Monday morning at age 94. I know he would want me to express to his customers – past and present – how much he has treasured their wonderful calls, letters and e-mails in the 35 years since he invented the Texas Fireframe grate. What could be more satisfying to a former physics professor than to inspire thousands of Americans to carry out a physics experiment in their own fireplaces – enabling them to see and feel Kirchoff’s Law of thermal radiation at work? A born teacher, my father could turn even an ordinary occurrence into an opportunity to explain a scientific principle or a theory.
If you’d like to know more about my father’s life and work, below is a transcript of his obituary. Feel free to share memories or thoughts by clicking on “leave a comment” after the tags at the end of this post.

Warmest regards,
Nicole Cranberg

Lawrence M. Cranberg PhD, 94, passed away on November 21, 2011 surrounded by his loving family. Cancer was the cause of death. Lawrence, a true patriot, was born on the 4th of July in 1917 in Bronx, New York, the eldest child of Fanny Rubenstein and Hyman Cranberg – Polish and Russian immigrants. Lawrence married Charlotte Mount on October 31, 1953 in New Mexico at the Old Santa Fe Courthouse.

A nuclear physicist, inventor and entrepreneur, Dr. Cranberg’s career spanned seven decades, but the wonder and beauty of science was always on his mind. After graduating from Townsend Harris High School at age 16, he matriculated from the City College of New York, Harvard University, and The University of Pennsylvania.

His career in science began in 1940 at the Signal Corps Engineering Labs where he was a Senior Physicist. Dr. Cranberg developed systems of target detection and location-based use of infra-red radiation, a precursor technology to today’s autofocus cameras. He later joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he became a fellow of the Atomic Energy Commission.

At Los Alamos, he was a protégé of Hans Bethe, and conducted groundbreaking research on high energy neutrons. Dr. Cranberg was appointed to the US delegation to the First International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy at Geneva in 1955 where he reported on his work. Among his many widely-cited publications were papers in The Scientific American and Physics Today. Dr. Cranberg also generously shared his intuitive insights with colleagues; one such insight directly led to the discovery of the neutrino. Dr. Cranberg was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1958 – his nomination made by 1995 Nobelist and neutrino pioneer Frederick Reines and J.M.B. Kellogg. Once introduced as “Mr. Nanosecond” by Sir Denys Wilkinson to a London physics conference, Dr. Cranberg developed the means to measure a billionth of second before “nanotechnology” was a word; his “time-of-flight” method of measuring neutron spectra became the foundation for neutron spectrometry.

Following a Guggenheim fellowship in 1962, Dr. Cranberg was instrumental in securing a large federal grant to the University of Virginia to build and to become founding director of its Physics Accelerator Laboratory. He was a devoted scientist and teacher. Thirty years later, one of his grateful graduate students would endow a scholarship and faculty research in his name at George Mason University, remarking that Dr. Cranberg inspired him by exemplifying the work ethic of American scientists.

Dr. Cranberg didn’t hesitate to fight for justice whether it be the case of his own academic freedom, or his involvement in the lawsuit that eventually forced UVA to accept women into its formerly all-male undergraduate school. In 1971, after winning an AAUP hearing that declared his academic freedom had been invaded, Dr. Cranberg moved to Austin where he joined a small high-tech company, eventually starting his own firm to develop fast-neutron techniques for the treatment of cancer. He was always grateful for the welcome arms of the private sector and of Texas, calling it “The Land of Milk and Honey”.

In 1975, Dr. Cranberg applied the laws of physics to fire-building and invented the Texas Fireframe grate. Later dubbed “The Physicist’s Fire” by Time magazine, his invention was featured in news stories on CBS and BBC. His company is now run by his daughter.

An advocate for social causes throughout his life, Dr. Cranberg fought for racial equality in Virginia (he also recruited the first black graduate physics student at UVA), for the freedom of Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov and for scientists and inventors not properly credited for their work. He wrote incisively about topics from the ethical problems of scientists to the pseudoscientific basis of Marxism. Dr. Cranberg’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate from Texas was inspired by his desire for science to better inform decisions in and of the law. Dr. Cranberg’s capacity for indignation at injustice was matched only by his optimistic belief in his ability to fight for change and to make a difference.

Dr. Cranberg was a loving, devoted husband, father and grandfather: his last words were “I’m the richest man in the world.” His enthusiasm, generosity, sense of humor and his quest for knowledge, truth, and justice are just a few of the qualities that his family, friends and colleagues will always remember him for.

Dr. Cranberg is survived by Charlotte, wife of 58 years; son Alex of Austin, Texas; daughter Nicole and husband Giff Crosby of Cos Cob, Connecticut; and grandchildren Jacob, Hannah and Clare. Other surviving family members include brother, Gilbert Cranberg of Sarasota, Florida and sister, Sylvia Troy of Beverly Shores, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Niels Bohr Physics Library Center for History of Physics.  Please type “In Honor of Lawrence Cranberg” in the comments box. A memorial service will be held by the family at a later date.

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23 Responses to Remembering Lawrence Cranberg

  1. lysa summer says:

    I met Dr. Cranberg over dinner at his daughter’s home a number of years ago. I remember an evening of lively and interesting conversation. And knowing I was a journalist he pushed me to look into and write about rights for seniors…even at age 90 he was still an advocate for those who needed it.

  2. Zilmon Smith says:

    I owned a small manufacturing business and machine shop in Austin in the 1970’s. Dr. Cranberg first came in to have us help fabricate, machine and weld some of his prototypes for the fireframe. Then he would be back telling us what adjustments he wanted to make until he perfected the design. It was always a pleasure to listen to him explain what he was doing and how it worked. I did not know his impressive background at that time, but it was obvious he was a very smart, educated man. I am proud to have been able to help him in a small way. My condolences to his family.

  3. Tony Melli says:

    In Memory Of
    Lawrence Cranberg, PhD
    (Jul 4, 1917 – Nov. 21, 2011)

    On this day of thanksgiving from what I just read,
    My thoughts to those good in this life by that led,
    Obituary of a great man Lawrence Cranberg, PhD,
    Who was a shining example of best in anyone to see.

    He was always a gentleman and a Physicist of note,
    For the betterment of a civil society his efforts devote,
    His appearance and demeanor there none can deny,
    Were impeccable and always very pleasing to the eye.

    Lawrence Cranberg a man all could call as a friend,
    His hand out in friendship he would easily extend,
    Toward so many good causes put his genius in play,
    And the fruits of his efforts helped create better day.

    So the Randalls discussion table has lost one more,
    He will remain in our memory as those gone before,
    His love for life lived with his last words he unfurled,
    Relating to family “I am the richest man in the world”.

    The riches that he spoke of not that of money or wealth,
    But to the life that he lived and to his Spiritual health,
    The agreement with living, for his family friends, wife,
    Were the riches that he spoke of exemplifying full life.

    Tony Melli
    11-24-2011

    Charlotte our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family on this day.

  4. I met Larry at a key point in my life. It was the beginning of my career and I was his daughter’s creative partner in an advertising agency. Since Nicole and I spent so much time together I would hear a lot about him, his distinguished career, his work on the Atomic Energy Commission, his struggle at UVA, his campaign for Senate and of course the Texas Fireframe. It was all so impressive. I thought of him somewhere in the realm of super star—an important person who did big things.

    But the most impressive thing to me about Dr Cranberg was how intensely he listened to you. I remember, it was probably around 1979 and Nicole and her parents took me to dinner near her apartment. That night I was feeling very sophisticated, very New York, and I remember catching myself blathering on about something ridiculous and suddenly thought “oh my god, this guy was part of the Manhattan Project, he must think I’m a complete airhead.” But he didn’t. He was listening and interested and curious. He was just a great man to have a conversation with—so involved. And he had a great sense of humor.

    A few years ago Larry and Charlotte came to a party of ours. Since they didn’t know anyone there, I was concerned that they had good time. Whenever I looked around he was locked in conversation, drawing out stories from people that I hadn’t heard and telling his own. And, of course, there was a lot of laughing. I think he talked to everyone there. He was, without a doubt, the life of the party.

    More recently, especially regarding the Texas Fireframe, I have found myself bragging about Nicole’s Dad, The Physicist. His story always impresses. I’m grateful that I knew him and that I’m such good friends with his family. It’s easy to see why his last words were, “I’m the richest man in the world.”

  5. Andrew Cranberg says:

    The following is a note I sent to Nicole last week that I felt I could share with whoever sees these posts. Additionally I wanted to mention that I was with Gil over Thanksgiving along with my siblings families last Thursday and in comments prior to starting the meal Gil mentioned Larrys passing and among other comments about Larry listed some of his accomplishments. I’m sure some of these remarks were for Gil’s grandchildrens to absorb and remember their great uncle by. My note to Nicole follows:
    Nicole
    Wanted to extend my/our condolences as well. Dad called me first thing yesterday morning and told me the sad news. I like everyone else thought very highly of your Dad. Although I didn’t see him much over the years I heard plenty from Gil about him and his various accomplishments. I believe he always said he was out right brilliant and a genius on different occasions. Please extend our sympathies to Alex and your mom as well.

    Andy and family

  6. William Lanouette says:

    Lawrence Cranberg was a colleague who became a friend. We first met discussing nuclear-energy, a topic I’ve studied as a writer and policy analyst for decades. Larry always seemed to have fresh perspectives on these issues, and — I soon discovered — on almost everything else. He reached his opinions through rigorous analysis and skepticism, often with a touch of whimsy and humor.

    I came to know Larry best when I interviewed him for an oral history. Here, too, he was rigorous and humorous. He described a lively intellectual youth that continued his enthusiasms into a career as a physicist. And above all, he could brag about his discoveries but also laugh at his foibles. Who can forget that gusty laugh? Those twinkling eyes? Those stories told with the flair of a vaudevillian.

    Larry’s intelligence and humor thrived memorably when he ran for the U.S. Senate, a campaign that led him to apply creative solutions to persistent public policies. He loved the scuffle of a good debate, and showed himself a true gentleman by how he respected opposing viewpoints.

    Reflecting on his life during the oral history interviews, Larry said often how much he valued his family — first his determined parents, then his beloved wife and children. He lived a full and happy life, setting a wonderful example for those lucky enough to know him.

  7. Nicole Cranberg says:

    When I was a child and Dad’s scientific pursuits were at their most intense, he was often deep in thought – the original absent-minded professor. “What’s he doing?” a friend of mine would ask as Dad sat motionless in the living room – no book open in front of him or television turned on. “He’s thinking” I’d respond. I actually had to explain this phenomenon to people. Sometimes, I’d delight in interrupting Dad’s thoughts by asking him if I could have a million dollars. “Mmm hmm” he’d respond – too deep in thought to process my question. “He said yes!!!” I’d shriek with laughter, though he never seemed to mind. I later came to appreciate the things Dad was thinking about – not that I understood anything more complex than high school physics. But I didn’t have to. The science he spoke about at home was not neutron spectrometry. One time he and I were sitting on a porch swing that creaked as we swung back and forth. He explained the physics behind the mundane, barely noticeable creaking sound. Nothing was too small or insignificant for him to marvel at, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Our bond deepened when I later took over his company, merging our talents.

    But physics wasn’t Dad’s only passion. He loved music, trees, travel, history, astronomy, politics, the American flag, the morning paper, lox and bagels, a beautiful tie, (one often landed on the other), a good movie, a good book (non-fiction) and his beloved computer. He was a man of letters, and he wrote and received them in large volume. As he neared the end of his life, he went through his “dispersal” period in which he’d send boxes filled with precious documents to libraries and archives across the country. He never quite finished the dispersal process, so my brother and I still have plenty to pore over. The day he died, I pulled out his black leather box of most precious documents because it made me feel close to him – reading his words – and words written to or about him. I have my own collection of letters from Dad – I’m a hoarder of e-mails and can punch in August 2007 and still read his words of encouragement, “Great letter Nicole! Keep it up!” just below an e-mail about a favorite subject of his:

    Dear All,
    Sam Ruben was my first cousin. He discovered Carbon-14, and applied it to
    unraveling the mechanism of photosynthesis. He died in the forties in a lab
    accident. Here at last is the story, in a book published three years ago…
    A Bridge Not Attacked, Chemical Civilian Research During World War II [by Harold Johnston], World Scientific Press, 2004, Chapter 3, Sam, pages 88 to 127.

    Of Dad’s many passions, family and friends trumped all. And he brought us together closer than ever as we rallied around him the last year of his life. My mom – his best friend/rock of Gibraltar/confidante/letter vetter/partner of 58 years through thick and thin was the center of his life. Nothing lit up Dad’s face like seeing her walk into the room. But he was pretty crazy about the rest of us too – his kids, grandkids, brother and sister, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and his dear friends. The feeling was mutual.

    We’ll miss him, and it will never be the same without him.

    Love you Dad.
    Nicole

  8. Sylvia Troy says:

    What a marvelous man! A generous and loving older brother who even paid for my wedding some 65 years ago! He had a wonderful intellect and an especially sharp mind which he inherited from his father. He had a great life: it was long and fruitful. He did great things and had a loving wife and two wonderful children of whom he was immensely proud.

    I shall especially miss our weekly, and sometimes daily, phone conversations these past months. He was clear and sharp until the end.

  9. Giff Crosby says:

    I’ve been lucky enough to have Larry Cranberg as my father-in-law and my friend for nearly 30 years. He and his wonderful wife Charlotte made me feel completely welcome and comfortable from the first moment we met. And very soon afterwards, there I was in Mazatlan, Mexico, on a Cranberg family vacation that their daughter (and my future wife ) Nicole invited me along on.

    We– Charlotte, Larry, Nicole, her brother Alex, and I– all had so much fun trying to make our way around Mazatlan with our sparse Spanish-speaking abilities, that the tradition of peppering our conversation with great Spanish words and phrases stuck. One day, not long after Nicole and I were married, Larry pointed out that I was now his hijo politico, which means son-in-law. And that Charlotte and he were my madre and padre politico. And that’s how it stayed. I think we kept using these phrases not just because they were fun to say, but also because they left room for more meaning and feeling than the handle “in-law” ever could.

    Larry was that rarest of breeds: a bona fide genius who also happened to be a people-person to his very core. Larry was so passionate about his pursuits and interests, it was contagious. For me in particular, he got me so interested in what he and his colleagues had been doing at Los Alamos, I read up on the subject, just to become knowledgeable enough to hold up my end of what I am sure were rather simplistic conversations for a nuclear physicist. But if Larry felt that way, he never let on, tirelessly filling in my meager knowledge with real facts and great anecdotes from that singular place and time.

    That was Larry—a brilliant, learned guy, who was always happy to bond with another human being through interesting conversation. You couldn’t spend a day with Larry and not come away believing that humans are an amazing species and America is a great place where anything is possible.

    Larry will live forever in my memory, as my friend, as my father-in-law, and as a role model for how to live your life with vigor, grace and good humor come what may, for all the days you are given on this planet. His wife, children and grandchildren were the light of his life, and they were all reminded of that fact often.

    Larry, I love you and I’ll never forget you. Thank you for being my padre politico.

    Giff

  10. Donna Friedenreich says:

    I regret that I never met Larry Cranberg because he was an amazing human being! What a legacy he leaves for his family, friends, and the world. I have known his loving wife, Charlotte, for over 10 years through the Austin Area Garden Council. I consider her a dear friend who always speaks with integrity and from her heart. I read Larry’s obituary to my family and friends at Thanksgiving, saying he was history-maker who lived his life to the fullest and we will miss him! Let’s all celebrate Larry’s life because it was one that made this world a better place.

  11. Gilbert Cranberg says:

    I was Larry’s younger brother. Eight years separated us. As far back as I can remember, I was in awe of him. One of my fondest recollections was sitting in our living room when his friends visited and enjoying their bull sessions. I am able , these many decades later, to recollect the names of his friends — Harold Reis, Irving Seigal, Victor Brudney, Ruben Maloff — because their conversations left such a lasting impression on me. I cannot recall specifics of what they talked about, but in all probability it was about current affairs, which Larry and his friends cared deeply about. My own lifelong interest in politics and the like stems from exposure at an early age to the lively discussions conducted in our living room.
    Larry was unusually articulate. One of my prized possessions is an appreciation Larry wrote about our father and his book collection. It was a beautifully expressed tribute, which I will share with anyone who is interested.
    Larry was a physicist. As a greatly admired older brother, he could have influenced me to pursue a career in science. He never did attempt to have me follow in his foot steps. He simply let me find my own way. For which I am grateful. That is among the many gifts I owe to a remarkable brother.

  12. Dick Orton says:

    I met Larry in a most unusual way. He was enrolled in Hospice Austin and I was asked, since I lived in the same retirement facility as he, if I would be willing to serve as the volunteer on the hospice team serving him. I agreed but wondered what a retired physics professor and a retired social sciences person might have in common. God does indeed work in mysterious ways. We had a wonderful time together. We exchanged stories of our lives and became enthralled with each other. We even had some good talks about God. Heavy duty mutual respect was our bond. I shall always treasure those weekly moments with him.

  13. John Ickes says:

    So sad to hear of his passing. My wife thought his fire frame was a great idea and that we should get one to try in one of our 4 fireplaces. As an inventor myself, I saw his invention as the perfect combination of simplistic and elegance. He really hit the fire nail on the head with this one! While we will miss his presence, his ideas will live through the rest of us who can really appreciate his work.
    God bless and RIP LC…

  14. Marcia Cranberg Wolff says:

    Uncle Larry, my father’s older brother, seemed to me, from my childhood on, to be an exuberant, brilliant, charismatic and handsome figure. Physically he reminded me of a cross between conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein, and authors Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller. I always imagined he must in fact know them, and I felt proud to be associated with the brand of New York-style intellectualism characterized by my uncle and my father, both highly productive, and passionate about their respective areas of endeavor. When I was a child at family gatherings, Uncle Larry and Aunt Charlotte treated me like an adult, with attentiveness and affection. Uncle Larry recently gave my young son a thoughtfully compiled and framed collection of articles about an illustrious scientist cousin, so my son would know about the accomplishments of his forebears. With similar kindness, when my mother recently died Uncle Larry had enlarged and framed a lovely photograph of her that was in his possession, and shared that with our family. I always felt honored to converse with and learn from him. I am glad I was able to tell him this before he died. He will be missed.
    With love, Marcia.

  15. Lee Cranberg says:

    I am saddened about Uncle Larry’s passing. My memories of him are warm ones. To me, he was indeed avuncular — a benign and loving figure — with additional traits of charm, handsome looks, and keen intelligence. Visits with him were always a treat.

    The last time I saw him was at Ellen Cranberg’s Bat Mitzvah in May, 2008. He was almost 91, but he cut an impressive figure. He was impeccably dressed in a suit with vest-pocket handkerchief throughout the weekend. Highly articulate and with his trademark charm, there was no sign of mental slowing. He was thoroughly engaging and clearly the most impressive nonagenarian I had ever encountered.

  16. Marty Kanetzky says:

    I’m sure your dad and your mother would agree that of course you and Alex are his most important contributions to human kind. I will tell you that I think so highly of your father–of course for his intelligence, but also for his willingness to try to make a difference in this crazy world. I think his run for the senate may have given me a little nudge in the direction of running for school board–if he was willing to put himself out there–why can’t the rest of us try?

  17. Jim Cranberg says:

    As my brother Lee said, the last time we saw Uncle Larry was at my daughter Ellen’s Bat Mitzvah in May ’08 and I will never forget that visit by him to Milwaukee that weekend and to my home on Sunday a.m. where we were hosting a casual post-Bat Mitzvah brunch for family and out of town guests. He was among the first to arrive at our house that Sunday a.m. and was by far the best dressed of all the guests, wearing a dark blue suit (as Lee said “impeccably dressed” and who remembered the vest-pocket handkerchief, and I also remember a matching bright red tie). He also gave Ellen the same “thoughtfully compiled and framed collection of articles about an illustrious scientist cousin” as my sister Marcia referred to in her tribute that he gave her son recently, a most unique and special gift for someone to receive on their Bat Mitzvah. I only learned later that his trip to Milwaukee that weekend had gone less than smoothly. Travelling alone, his arrival was quite delayed as from the airport he was apparently mistakenly brought first by the van driver to a different branch of the same hotel, way on the other side of town (by the time of his arrival to the correct hotel he fortunately had not missed any of the Bat Mitzvah weekend’s festivities). I did not learn this from him though–he appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the entire weekend and this most special visit (among seeing other relatives, he was reunited with his 2 siblings, my dad and my Aunt Sylvia), as I did.

    My dad had always referred to how smart he was, and of course we all knew about the Texas Fireframe he invented, but I had little inkling growing up of his other accomplishments in the field of physics which I learned more about when reading his touching obituary, and which are incredibly impressive. He will certainly be missed, and I extend my deepest condolences to Aunt Charlotte, Alex, and Nicole.

  18. Susan Nichols says:

    I always knew my Uncle Larry was a smart guy but I remember him most as my uncle who always had a smile on his face, always on the verge of laughing. He seemed to love being around us kids when we were little and was interested in everything we were doing. We never lived in even the same part of the country but I remember our visits with the Cranbergs very well because they were always so much fun.

    The Cranbergs are a hearty bunch and Larry lived 94 years, mostly in good health. He had a great life. You can’t ask for more than that.

  19. Judy Troy says:

    What I remember most about my uncle was the way he would sweep into a room like a movie star and call women, including his mother, darling, just like Cary Grant would have, who for a while I thought he was.
    And that my father would call him in the middle of the night with questions, for example, about the sun seeming to change shape as it set over the lake, and that Larry never minded. I will miss him. Really like the photo of him in his cowboy hat.

  20. Jocelyn Tomkin says:

    Tribute to Dr. Lawrence Cranberg

    Larry and I first met in the early 1980s through the pages of Physics Today, which had published a letter of his attacking the scientific pretensions of Marxism. The letter made it clear that he was a professional physicist, had a deep knowledge of Marxism, and was critical of both Marx and Marxism. This unusual combination of qualities caught my interest so I got in touch with him. As we got to know each other I found him to be a man of vast political experience and knowledge and a shrewd judge of political questions. For me, who is a Boy Scout in such matters, he became a political guru.

    I was fortunate enough to be invited to dine out with Larry and Charlotte on a Friday evening and this became a regular weekly event as we patronised a variety of restaurants around Austin. Larry, who had a penchant for putting things on a formal basis, christened our exclusive little trio The Austin Gastronomical Union. I am an astronomer so it was a source of perennial amusement to him that someone from the astronomical profession should be a member of the Austin Gastronomical Union.

    Although quite capable of being combative, Larry was first and foremost courteous, restrained and considerate. One of his engaging characteristics was the way in which he would ask one a question in a manner which showed he was genuinely interested in one’s answer. This sense of being at the center of his attention gave one a pleasing feeling of self-consequence.

    Larry was the best type of American; full of initiative, forward-looking, energetic, determined, and possessed of a keen, courageous mind. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends, and, although it might not know it, by his country.

    May he rest in peace.

  21. Robin Dean says:

    My husband bought a Texas Fireframe grate two years ago and we use it every night. We have loved the warmth it has provided and will always be thankful for this wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  22. Jake Crosby says:

    I’ve already written this on Facebook, but I’ll say it again here:

    Grandpa Lar was the best grandpa a grandson could ask for.

    I have so many great memories of him – from riding around in his truck, to going fishing with him and my dad. It seemed like yesterday when I celebrated his 50th anniversary with Grandma in Santa Fe and visited Los Alamos – the location of the Los Alamos National Laboratory – where he worked and where my mom was born.

    Even at a ripe old age he maintained his complex knowledge of the physical sciences and was so good at being able to explain physics to lay people. Back in high school, he would help me with my physics homework whenever I asked him to.

    I remember all the interesting conversations we had; he always enjoyed hearing from me. One time, I made an unexpected phone call to him a few weeks before he passed away. I cannot remember who I was trying to call, except that I hit the redial button and on the other end came his voice! He was so grateful that I called and I was so grateful that I wound up calling him, albeit accidentally!

    Shortly after he passed on, I had a dream that I got a phone call from him on my cell while I was driving. We had one of our usual colorful exchanges, but then as he was telling me something, the reception crackled and the call got disconnected. I continued driving and from far away I saw him! He was standing on the deck of a waterside restaurant – waiting for me. I pulled the car up to it and got out, but as I was running up to the building to greet him, I awoke. Then my mom called and I told her what happened – I was in tears – tears of sadness that I would never be able to see him again, but tears of joy that I felt I got to see and talk to him just one last time.

    I have so many great memories of spending the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa every year. I’m sad that I won’t be able to spend the holidays with him this year.

    Grandpa, I’m thinking of you this Christmas Eve.

    Love,
    Jake

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