Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • The letter reads:

    Dear Angelica:

    Happy Re-Birthday! Years ago, or "in the old days" if you so prefer, it was believed that at the age of 21 life was renewed. It was a year of destiny. Reaching it, life started all over again, a feat recognized by giving citizens full responsibility and declaring a person to have come "of age." Unfortunately our much faster life-style, in our times, has allowed the prosaic 18 years, to replace the enchanting 21. So happy Re-birthday! Happy Renewal! Life ahead of you seems bright and promising. Enjoy it.

    With lots of love from your grandpa,
    Javier Palos

    My grandfather was a writer, a story teller, and the best conversationalist I've ever met. I never tired of our countless talks about the origins of words or one of the many stories that would come out of him as naturally as a hello. I imagined that he'd store these up in a book like the Aesop's Fables, Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales, or Arabian Nights books that I'd read at home: each story as interesting and colorful on it's own, but all part of a greater masterpiece that was his life.

    My grandfather gave me this letter on my eighteenth birthday, 363 days before he passed away. It was an unexpected and shocking passing, and I've never found anyone since that can come close to his intelligence, wisdom and his words. . . because the way he crafted his words whether in his stories, his poems, or his letters were truly the work of a wordsmith. That letter is the most beautiful thing I own. Not beautiful alone for the paper he selected with it's gilded edges, for his penmanship that reminds me of him with one glance, or for the mere fact that it was from him, but for the words that he crafted on that page. Words alone that would be meaningless, but as a writer, he created something magical that contained his wish for me when I turned 18, and what I know he'd wish for me now if he was here.

    It's become a personal tradition of mine to read this letter every year on my Birthday and on New Year's Eve: the two days of each year where I stop and think about where I am in life. Now, at the age of 30 and 12 years after he wrote it, it is my most prized possession. So, this year as I read his letter to me on another New Year's Eve, I wish he was here so that I could share with him all the changes my life has taken this past year, and how very much I'm looking forward to living the next year in the spirit that he wrote this in: with a sense of renewal, and looking ahead to a bright and promising year that I will take the time to enjoy.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.