Letters for Emily

Letters for Emily

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743521116
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 01/01/2002
Edition description: 3 Cassettes
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 7.12(h) x 1.13(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

My bed is frigid and the room dark. I've placed many blankets on my bed, but they don't stop the cold Wasatch wind that penetrates to my bones. I stare through the window at my snow-covered plants and realize I will miss my garden. I will miss the way the carrots emerge from seeds not much bigger than dust. I will miss thinning beets in the late spring. I will miss digging for new potatoes in the fall. I will miss harvesting buckets of zucchini for unsuspecting neighbors who will then have no idea what to do with them; and I will even miss watching the plants turn brown and die each year as winter sets in.

My garden has taught me that every living thing must die. I have watched it happen now for scores of years — I only wish I could have a few more summers in my garden with Emily.

I have other grandchildren, and I don't mean to play favorites, but the others live far away and seldom visit. Emily visits with her mother every Friday. Though our ages are more than seven decades apart, Emily and I are best friends.

My name is Harry, a laughable name for a man who's been completely bald most of his life. But, hairy or not, it's my name nonetheless. It was my father's name before me, and his father's before him. I wish I could say it was a name I passed on to my own son. I can't. When he was born and it came time to give him a name, we chose Bob instead. He rarely visits; he never writes. Now, on occasion, I wish I'd named him Harry as well.

Strangely, I'm not bitter about what is happening to me. Why should I be? I am no better than anyone else. I am no wiser, no stronger, and no smarter. (Okay, I am smarter than ol' man Ross who lives next door but that's beside the point.) So then, why not me?

I hope to go quickly so I'll be remembered as Grandpa Harry and not as the person I'm becoming. I fear I'll be remembered as a contemptible, cranky old man and that thought sickens me. The fact is, I'm losing my mind. I have Alzheimer's — an insidious disease that causes the nerve cells in the brain to degenerate. As it works its havoc, the brain shrinks and wastes away — dementia sets in, causing disorientation and confusion. There is no cure, no way to slow its determined progression.

This disease is a thief. It begins with short spells of forgetfulness, but before it's finished, it steals everything. It takes your favorite color, the smell of your favorite food, the night of your first kiss, your love of golf. Droplets of shimmering water cleansing the earth during an invigorating spring shower simply become rain. Mammoth snowflakes blanketing the ground in white at the onset of winter's first storm merely seem cold. Your heart beats, your lungs suck in air, your eyes see images, but inside you are dead. Inside your spirit is gone. I say it is an insidious disease because in the end, it steals your existence — even your very soul. In the end I will forget Emily.

The disease is progressing, and even now people are beginning to laugh. I do not hate them for it; they laugh with good reason. I would laugh as well at the stupid things I do. Two days ago I peed in the driveway in my front yard. I had to go and at the time it seemed like a great spot. A week before, I woke up in the middle of the night, walked into the kitchen, and tried to gargle with the dishwashing liquid that is kept in the cupboard beneath the sink. I thought I was in the bathroom, and the green liquid was the same color as my mouthwash. I get nervous. I get scared, and I cry; I cry like a baby over the most ridiculous things. During my life, I've seldom cried.

There are times when I can still think clearly, but each day I feel my good time fading — my existence getting shorter. During my good spells, now just an hour or two a day, I sit at my desk and I write. I crouch over the keyboard on my computer and I punch the keys wildly. It's an older computer, but it serves its purpose well. It's the best gift Bob has given me in years. It's an amazing machine and every time I use it, I marvel at how it captures my words. Younger people who have grown up with computers around them don't appreciate the truly miraculous machines they are. They create magic.

I'm not a good writer, but I've loved writing stories and poems all of my life. Writing always made me feel immortal — as if I were creating an extension of my life that nothing could destroy. It was exhilarating.

I no longer write for excitement. There are times when my back aches and my eyes blur, and I can't get my fingers to hit the right keys, but I continue. I write now for Emily. She is just seven years old. I doubt she'll remember my face; I doubt she'll remember the crooked fingers on my wrinkled hands or the age spots on my skin or my shiny, bald head. But hopefully, by some miracle, she will read my stories and my poems and she'll remember my heart, and consider me as her friend. That is my deepest desire.

At times I feel bad that I'm not writing to my other grandchildren, but I hardly know them. While they visit every Christmas, they don't stay long. They are courteous, but they treat me like a stranger. It's not their fault. I'm not angry with them, and I hope they aren't angry with me.

My worst fear is that before I finish, I will slip completely into the grasp of the terrible monster, never to return. If this happens, my prayer would be that those around me might forget — but they will not forget — and then, worse than being forgotten, I will be remembered as a different person than I truly am. I will be despised.

I vow not to let this happen, so during my good times, I write — I write for Emily.

Copyright © 2001 by Camron Wright

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Letters for Emily 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. It flowed easily, right from the start and all the way to the end. I loved every character, you could really relate to each of them. This book is not depressing, but rather uplifting. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a life inspiring book. It'll make you look at your own life and your own actions and think of how you can be a better person to everyone around you, even strangers. I came on here to check for other books by this author and am very disappointed to not see any.
tchrreader More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a grandfather who has Alzheimer's disease and some kind of a depressive disorder. He leaves his grand daughter (Emily) some letters that have clues associated with them. Emily has to open the clues and finds lots of great advice. I liked this book. It had some great advice pieces and helps you to remember what a gold mine the older generation can be. This is a sweet story, one you will remember for awhile. I read this book in four days because I couldn't put it down. You will like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down!!! The lessons were fantastic! It really made you think and try to figure out the poems with the characters!!! A great read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Millions of elderly people are diagnosed every year with Alzheimer's disease. 'Letters For Emily,' is the story of Harry Whitney, a man who died from Alzheimer's disease. After Harry's death, his son, Bob, and wife Laura went through his belongings. They discovered letters and poems he compiled in a book for their seven year old daughter, Emily, with whom he was very close to. The best part of this story, was how author Camron Wright mixed in real events with fictional characters. His grandfather Harry S. Wright had the same disease. He also, left behind a book of poems for his children and grandchildren to forever cherish. This is one book not to be missed out on.
soleenusa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved! this book.All starts with a book written by a grandpa to his granddaughter with little bits of wisdom he wants her to remember. Because of that book we get a glimpse of the (complicated) relationships between fathers and sons, brother and sisters, husbands and wives,parents and theirs kids, etc.It is really worth reading but do so with a box of Kleenex by your side.
chickey1981 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first, I thought that this book would just be a trite rewriting of "The Notebook" except the letters would be to a granddaughter not to the loved one. But soon it turns into a puzzle book where complex emotions get worked out with the remaining living relatives. Emily, actually was not the main character in this novel. Her parents, who had a crumbling marriage, took front stage. I was glad in the end that Bob wasn't as horrible a person as the entire book made him out to be. The same I couldn't say for Greg- was there Anything redeeming about that man?!Anyway, it was a fast, pleasurable read!
kallmon75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An outstanding book, a must read!Heartfelt and touching
nyiper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Such a sweet story---tenderly told. And you really cannot guess what's coming next as the story progresses---at least I couldn't! I was interested to learn in the website for the author that he started out by self-publishing until the book finally got "noticed." Who knows what makes a book survive to be officially published? I guess we LibraryThing readers are helping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bookworm2110 More than 1 year ago
To me this felt like a story that just the family would enjoy. You know when your with a group and four people are related, they tell a story and laugh there head off, but it's not that funny to you. That's what this book felt like to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an incredible book. I was very touched by the grandfathers love for his gran daughter. The poems are witty, and the letters give great advice.
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fransmom More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at the author's book signing in Plano, TX. Didn't know about him or the book but felt compelled to purchase it. The book was beautifully written and sweet. It definitely touches the heart. Thank you, Camron.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an outstanding book!! I couldn't put it down. At one point I was crying so much I could barely read the words.Every lesson taught is easily related to your life which makes the book easy to connect with! I give it a ten and suggest it to everyone and anyone, young and old!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Letters For Emily is a greaet book! Camron Wright's Letters For Emily is the best book i've ever read! Emily who is seven visits her grandfather Harry every Friday. harry has Akzheimers disease. Emily's parents Bob and Laura are having Marriage problems and are begining to split up. Once Harry dies Laura finds three books full of his poems. Each poem has a code to unlock a letter to Emily on the computer. The greedy brother in law found one gold coin and now all he cares about is finding money. This is a great book with a shocking ending! I recommend it to anyone and everyone! It's a great family book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Letters for Emily is a sweet tear-jerking book which is sure to touch your heart. A nice change from typical love stories this book is about a grandfather named Harry who has Alzeimers disese. When he is not being affected by the disease he write letters to his innocent,smart granddaughter named Emily containing hidden messages, tresures and lessons. Harry's son Bob doesn't have a good rrelationship with his father. He recently seperated tfrom his wife Laura. Throughout the book he connects with his father throgh the letters that tell stories about Harry's childhood, his first love, who happens to be his mother who died when he was jut a kid. Through these lettters meant for Emily, harry being as clever as he is, helps everyone around Emily including laura, emily mother, who struggling with her divorce with Bob and keeping a smiling face for her daugther. Laura faces both huge and small chalenges l=some as simple as picking emily up from school on time. You will be engulfed in the characters worlds as you feel for each character and see the world through both Bob and Lauras eyes. this book is perfect for anyone who loves books that you just can't put down! I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't remember reading a book that touched my every emotion as 'Letters for Emily' has. I think everyone will be able to relate to this story, one just never knows when the last time you will see a loved one will be. This book reminds us all that we should say 'I love you', more often.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most amazing and thoughtful books I have read in a very long time. It not only gives you choices but ever so carefully leads you in the right direction. I put it right up there with Tuesdays with Morrie. These are 2 books that should be read by every single person regardless of age or sex. It is truly about learning life and how to live it to it fullest, and to enjoy life at it best. It is helpful and dlightful for all ages.