It was ten in the morning. Grandfather had just finished drinking his coffee. However he was busier than usual today. He was in a hurry to go to the post office. His best friend had definitely sent a letter to him as it was his birthday today. So, grandfather quickly dressed up neatly in new clothes, combed his hair, picked up his walking stick and set out for the post office. It was always on the 15th day of every month that grandfather would get ready and go to the post office invariably to receive the letter. On very rare occasions however, when he was unable to go to the post office, he would ask me to go and collect the letter on his behalf. My grandfather was a retired professor who now spent his days reading books, nurturing plans and watching T.V.. His post retirement life although mundane was still being spent nicely hitherto.Then on one fortunate day about five years ago grandfather received a letter from one of his friends Stuart who had attended the same school as grandfather. On receiving the letter his happiness knew no bounds. The last time when I saw grandfather this overjoyed was when grandmother had visited New York with him. However after her demise grandfather became a recluse. He did eat, travel and laugh with us. But his squeals of joy and laughter were no longer present. It felt as if he was going through the motions. His childlike laughter was hardly present. But this letter from uncle Stuart somehow made him the person that he was before grandmother's passing away. Then uncle Stuart wrote letters to him occasionally and grandfather also wrote back to him. It became a ritual for them. However there was an abrupt halt in the process. Suddenly there were no more letters from uncle Stuart for three months continuously. Our worried grandfather wrote to him several times asking why he had suddenly stopped writing to him .In fact he even went to the post office to check whether they had forgotten to deliver letters to him by mistake but to no avail. I saw grandfather sinking into a black hole of sorrow slowly and embracing depression once again. I dearly wished that one day uncle Stuart would write a letter to my grandfather again and he would become the happy person that he was just sometime ago . And a month later the postman knocked on our door and there it was - a letter from grandfather's friend Stuart. Grandfather felt as if he had recovered his lost source of joy. In the letter uncle Stuart informed him that he had not been keeping well since three months hence the delay in writing letters. From then it became a monthly affair. Uncle Stuart would write to grandfather and grandfather would write back to him and ask me to drop the letter at the post office on the way to my workplace. As a regular fair, grandfather came back home today with the letter in his hand and told us how happy he was to be able to listen from his friend today since it was his birthday. He opened the envelope and read the letter with a wide smile imprinted on his face. Seeing him beaming with joy, I only wished for more letters for grandfather from uncle Stuart. Grandfather said aloud,"I wish Stuart keeps writing letters to me till the day I die. He keeps our memories alive." While we were all congratulating him on spending so many years on Earth in a healthy way, my sister Elijah came up to me and whispered in my ear,"I've got to tell you something." I asked her,"What?" Elijah whispered in my ear again,"Uncle Stuart has passed away three months ago due to an age-related illness . Then who is writing these letters to grandfather?" I was dumbfounded when I heard this. But I said to Elijah,"It is shocking to know this but…um… I mean.. since grandfather is happy to get these letters, let's not reveal that truth to him. It'll only make him sadder and lonely. He is already infirm." Elijah nodded in agreement and then said, " But all said and done we do need to know who is writing the letters on behalf of uncle Stuart." Later that night when everyone was asleep Elijah tiptoed into my room. I knew Elijah had an inquisitive mind and she was intelligent enough to figure out who was behind all of this. I also knew that she would not sleep that night, in the quest to find out who it was.She said to me,"I know who is writing these letters on behalf of uncle Stuart". I asked her who it was. She said, "The one who drops grandfather's letters in the letter box."
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