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A Grandfather’s Encouragement

“Gramps” was a tireless promoter of all six of his grandchildren–even if it required a letter to the school principal.

A grandfather's encouragement.

My grandfather, Leroy J. Sonier, “Gramps” to almost everyone who knew him, was a tireless promoter of his grandchildren and made no bones about bragging about all six of us.

He celebrated his 98th birthday with the angels in heaven this June, so I’ve been thinking a lot about him, especially at work. He was super proud of my job at Guideposts and Angels on Earth, and on one occasion took it upon himself to right what he considered a terrible wrong.

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The Clarion Herald, New Orleans’s Catholic newspaper, ran an article about exceptional graduates from Archbishop Chapelle High School, my alma mater. Among my fellow “Chipmunks” were judges, surgeons, a member of the National Security Agency, high-ranking government employees, CEOs, at least one nun. Gramps flipped. Where was my name?

He shot off a surprisingly stern letter to Chapelle’s principal, pointing out the oversight. I was so embarrassed until I got to the end of the carbon copy he sent me. He’d signed it, Sincerely, Gramps.

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