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Dear Grampy ...

My oldest, Nicole, shared her thoughts today in a letter to Grampy. She gave me permission to publish it. It is so special and so sweet. I know that Sammy is probably still smiling: 

Dear Grampy

This week was very hard for us to learn that you were leaving for good. You are famous for always bouncing back. So when dad sent us a message that hospice was coming, I thought to myself, it will be ok, I’ll still get to see him the next time I go home. But I feel terribly sad that I am not going to get the chance. I hope you know how much I love you even though I will not get to tell you one last time in person.

The main reason I’m writing this letter is to tell you what I’m thankful for. Unfortunately, often times, only upon reflection do we do a good job of this. But when we lose someone, all of sudden it’s as if a wave of memories wash over us. And like a movie montage, we picture all of the things that we remember about that someone who is no longer here.

Here is what I fondly remember about you...

When we were little, over the summers, Alissa and I would go to New Orleans to spend time with you and grammy. You would pick us up from the airport in your "Sam Momberg Interiors" labeled mini van. We made sure to put our seat belts on extra tight because Lord knows it was going to be an eventful drive into Metairie. Grammy would put on her Les Miserabes, Cats or Annie sound track and the adventure began.

The days were filled to the brim with fun. We’d start our morning with a delicious bowl of Sun Flakes and coffee creamer only to be washed down with one of Grammy’s Diet Rite sodas with a straw. Then we’d head to the store to do a little work. I loved the carpet samples. I don’t know why. But I just loved it so much when we would help customers go through and pick them out. I’d play on the old type writer and write letters home to mom and dad. We’d grab a glass bottle coca-cola from the old fashioned soda machine in the back. And when lunch finally came, it was always Po Boys! The best. Usually throughout the day I’d get a smattering of your dirty jokes too. It didn’t matter if I was four or fourteen at that time, they were always appropriate for some reason. There were definitely some classics: one about Miss Piggy, A super man joke and a plethora of "three men are in a bar" (one was always jewish)....I could not wait to repeat them to the Century 21 realtors that Grammy worked with and I really looked forward to telling them to your bowling buddies. They thought I was a riot. Mom and dad were horrified.

But Sunday was really our day. We’d wake up early and go for our mall walk. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as "mall walkers" but you were the king of Lake Shore Mall. Man, you were fast. And you knew everyone. "Hey Sam!" was all I heard for laps and laps around the mall. Then we would hit Shoney’s breakfast. One big plate of delicious. You always had pancakes with lots of syrup. You ordered extra hot coffee, which you always returned because it wasn’t hot enough. And then it was time for the real fun...bowling. We would meet up with the guys from temple for our routine Sunday match. Little did I know how many times my bowling skills would come into use later in life. I can hear you saying, "aim for the arrows on the ground, stand a little to the right because of your natural curve, thumb up, now shake hands with the lane. Don’t look at the pins!" I’d get so mad if I messed up, but you were always so patient with me and encouraging. You were so proud of me...your grand daughter.

When the day was over we’d head home. Nights were always fun because it was usually filled with card games. We played lots and lots of Gin Rummy. Of course, I hate losing, so I think you let me win most of the time. That was better for everyone involved probably.

There are so many more funny stories I could share but I just hope you know how much I appreciate our time together. Thank you for such fond memories of New Orleans. Thank you for making me a good bowler. Thank you for teaching me how to play cards. Thank you for giving me the Momberg sense of humor (nothing better than self proclaimed hilarity). Thank you for being proud that I was your grand daughter. And thank you for being a wonderful Grampy.

Baby number two is on the way. If it’s a boy, we will give him your name. Sam, it’s a good strong name.

Give our love to Grammy and Uncle Wayne "ya hear".

Love always,



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