Lifestyle & Human Interest

Grandfather Chokes Up When Granddaughter Starts Singing Song He Wrote in the '80s


A grandfather was moved to tears on Christmas Eve after hearing his granddaughter sing an original song that he had written back in the ’80s.

Chera Willett has childhood memories of her father, Mike Brook, singing the song that he wrote about a soldier who had served in Vietnam.

Brook, now 69, had wanted to join the U.S. Army when he was 21 years old.

But old football injuries and hearing loss in one ear prevented Brook from being eligible to join.

Brook was moved when he heard stories of veterans who had served in Vietnam, and was inspired by one man’s journey in particular.

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Brook turned the story into a song and would tear up as he sang it to his children.

Fast forward to 2018, and Brook was with his family on Christmas Eve. His granddaughter, Karli Willett, told grandpa she had a surprise for him.

Willett, an aspiring singer and songwriter, made a recording of herself playing and singing her grandpa’s cherished song.

Brook had no idea what he was about to hear, but as soon as the first melodic line floated through the air, his eyes lit up with familiarity.

Brook began to cry, scarcely able to process the emotion of hearing his own granddaughter sing the old, very personal song.


“To us, it is a childhood memory of my dad putting his heart into the lyrics of a song and crying as he sang it,” Chera told StoryTrender.

“A special memory growing up.”

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Karli explained that her parents came across the lyrics to the song in an old paper box while cleaning out the garage. “My mom broke down in tears as she remembered the song,” Karli wrote.

“My daughter being a singer and songwriter, I immediately had the idea to finish the song and record it as a surprise for Christmas for my Dad,” Chera Willett said. “It was a precious moment.”

The beautiful bond between grandfather and granddaughter was evident as “paw paw” began sobbing with pride and joy at hearing Karli’s lovely voice paired with an acoustic guitar.

“He broke down in tears when he heard the song; happy, proud tears!” Chera Willett said. “It was just the sweetest moment.  A moment that took us all back and a moment that we will never forget!”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Lifestyle & Human Interest