Dear Connor and Caleb,
I am writing you this letter because a short time ago my Pee-Paw (your great-grandpa) passed away. Pee-paw was a great man. He had a big impact on me which will undoubtedly spill over into the both of you. If you were to ask “what was the one quality about him that stood out above all the rest?”, most people would tell you it was his sense of humor. I can’t argue with that. However, I will tell you that the impact he had on me goes much deeper than that. Pee-paw was a man you could look up too. He was a caring man. He was a loving man. My Pee-paw demonstrated to me what it meant to work hard and support your family. His doors were never locked because he wanted to be available at all times. He loved it when someone would just drop in unexpectedly.
Pee-paw also loved baseball. More specifically he loved the Red Sox. That may be a familiar thing for you two and that is because of Pee-paw. From a young age, I loved baseball. Pee-paw loved baseball too. We had that in common. When I was little, I did not have a favorite team so Pee-paw made sure I learned to love the Red Sox like him. The Red Sox went 86 years without winning the World Series. Pee-Paw waited almost that long to watch it happen. I will never forget that night back in October of 2004 when the Sox finally won. Although it was almost midnight and I was 1,000 miles away in Virginia, I knew I had to call Pee-paw to celebrate. Sure enough he was awake and watching the end of game from his home here in Florida. I called, he answered and just yelled, “Tim, can you believe it?” It was so exciting. He sounded as if he was the one who knocked in the game winning run.
I like to think the greatest thing he taught me was to be a Red Sox fan but I was blessed enough to have learned so much more. Pee-paw set a great example of how to be a loving person. There wasn’t a single person that he encountered that he didn’t at least try to make smile. He loved talking to, and encouraging everyone he came in contact with. He loved kids and love teaching them about Jesus. I couldn’t tell you how many people were blessed because they knew Pee-paw. I was fortunate enough that he lived so close to where I work and live. It was easy for me to head on over to his house on my lunch break and spend some quality time with him, especially during his last few weeks. Most people change when they know their time is near but not Pee-paw. He embraced reality and knew there was little he could do to change that. During his final weeks, he kept up his sense of humor and encouraging attitude. Losing someone you love is never easy but seeing him try to maintain his “normal” gave us a little peace and I know one day I will see him again. Ultimately, I know I am blessed to be able to call him my grandpa. He was a great man, he will be missed but the lessons he taught me will be lessons that I cherish and pass on to both of you.
I love you both very much,