Dear Andrew, I met your son.

photoDear Andrew,
I had an amazing day yesterday. I met your son for the first time. Mommy, Nicole and I took a ride to Long Island and we met our grandson, and Nicole met what will be her only nephew.

Your son is gorgeous. I want you to know that, but I am sure you already know that. He is playful, adventurous, funny, and so happy. He smiled the entire time we were with him. He reminds us of you when you were a little boy. He has beautiful red hair, just like you used to have. He has wide round eyes – just like Jovi’s. He has your walk and your quick feet, and he is small and petite like Jovi. He is the perfect mix of the two of you.

We brought him a few things, from all of us. First, we brought him a stuffed giraffe, just like you guys gave him last year and when he was born. He immediately took and played with it, and of course shoved it into his mouth. And after a few minutes threw it down and went onto the next toy. But he kept on going back to it, kept on picking it up and playing with it. Little does he know the link between that little stuffed animal and his parents. We will keep giving him a giraffe every year when we see him, as long as we can, and one day he will wonder why, and he will read the letters I am writing him and realize it was the first and only toy his mom and dad gave him when he was just a few days old. We also gave him a hockey stick. Not just any stick, but the one’s we gave out at your Bar Mitzvah. He grabbed the middle of it, but Nicole quickly corrected him and taught him to hold the right end of the stick – hopefully that will stick. There were also a couple of small foam pucks for him to hit around. He didn’t know what to do with them yet, but I am sure he will learn soon.

Nicole took to him so well. She picked him up and held him – and she smiled – and I cried inside. She took pictures of herself holding Tiger, and insisted that I take more of them as well with her phone. This way she will forever have them with her. People call him Tiger because of his gorgeous red hair, just like you, Jovi and the nurses called him Tiger in the hospital when he was born – it stuck.

I held him. I held him like I had held you so many years ago. I was proud of him, and loved him so much, although I have only known him a few minutes. He is part of me, he is part of you. He is the part of you that is still here on this planet, that will forever be here.

I looked around, and I did not see you. But I know that you were there. I know that you are always there with him. I know that you will forever watch over your son, protecting him, showering him with love from heaven, and being his guardian angel throughout his life. You will protect him and help him make tough decisions, just like your father did for you, for as long as I was allowed to.  He will one day want to know more about you, and hopefully in the letters that Mommy, Jovi and I are writing him he will know you as well as if you were still here holding his hand. That is our job now, to leave you legacy to your son so that he knows where he came from, and to hopefully guide him in some small way to where he might want to go.

Will he be a reader or a writer? An athlete, or as Nicole says, a N.A.R.P.? Will he want to know all about you and one day question us about everything you were, or will he just read the letters we write and be happy? Who knows. But no matter what – he is your son, and he will always be your son. His parents tell us he loves puzzles, and loves solving things. We immediately thought of your Rubic’s Cubes. He has so much of you in him.

We were with his parents, and the way their faces lit up when they held him was amazing. The words they used to describe their son just filled our hearts with warmth and love. The love they have for him is immeasurable, just like your love for your son when you met and held him. They are amazing parents you and Jovi chose – you guys did a great job.

I am home now. I am also at a different place in life than I was a few days ago. For the first time I held my grandson, i looked into his eyes, and knew he was loved, and when I looked into his eyes, I saw you looking back at me. I see you, and although you are not here with us, you left this world an amazing gift. This world, as well as Tiger’s home, is a better place for you having been here for your short number of  years. You gave life and happiness to a family that could not have it without your love and your baby. You and Jovi did something so incredibly generous and without any hesitation or regret, Heaven has a special place for you.

I hope that you can one day visit Tiger, and for him to know his father came to see him. It might be a dream, or a butterfly, or a found coin on the floor, but I know that he will love you as you love him and as we love you. I am sure you will see him graduate kindergarten one day, then high school an college, and you will be as proud of him as his parents are.

Love never dies, only people do.

By the way, a NARP is a Non Athletic Regular Person.

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