The boy in this photo is my grandfather.
He was probably about 10 years old.
The man with him is not his father.
At the age of 5, my grandfather tragically lost his dad when he was crushed beneath a log that fell on him while he was working.
My grandfather was one of the first to the scene.
“Pap” had three siblings.
After the accident, only the baby stayed with Mom.
Pap passed through multiple homes before settling with a family friend, the man you see here. His name was Homer.
Homer gave Pap a roof over his head and he provided for his basic needs. But he was never a father.
My grandfather endured great hardship in his life.
He was 19 when The Great Depression hit.
Times were tough. But Pap was tougher.
Tough, but deeply kind.
A true man of faith.
He walked the walk.
Before his death, Pap set $25K aside for me to use as a future home down payment.
$25K was huge to this man.
In 2006 I used the money to buy my first home.
But sadly, over time I mishandled his gift.
I took loans against my equity to pay gambling debts and then to gamble more.
Addiction made me so selfish.
Thankfully, years later I broke that spell.
I’m so sorry that you got caught up in it, Pap.
You certainly didn’t deserve it.
I love you. And thank you.