Patrick Anthony Calabrese

Dear Patrick,

Welcome to this world! Of course you are not ready to read this letter and you and I have not yet met face to face, but you will soon know me and one day you will read the letter I wrote to you on the day of your birth, just like I have written to each of your Huffman cousins on the day they were born.

A lot of people all around the world have been waiting eagerly for this day. A lot of people are very, very glad that you have been born. You come from a very long line of people who have prayed and worked and longed for children to be born. Some day your parents can tell you the stories of your grandparents on both sides of your family and how we prayed and longed for children in our lives and how important those children have become in our family story. But longing for children didn’t begin with your grandparents. There are many others, throughout long generations of our people who have felt the deep longing for children.

What you need to know is that we are all celebrating your birth with all we have in us. We are excited and delighted and we can’t wait to meet you and hold you in our arms.

You are a child of the world. It is a pretty special thing to be born a citizen of the United States who took his first breaths in Japan. At the time you were born, you were living so far from our home that it was still the day before your birthday when we found out. That’s very confusing, even to your grandparents, but time is not exactly the same in every part of the world. I am pretty sure that you will travel farther and faster in the first couple of years of your life than I did in the first half of mine. As you travel, you will discover that this world is an amazing and wonderful place with so many beautiful things to see, so many wonderful people to meet and so many opportunities to grow that you will never have to be worried about new things to do and see.

I hope that all of your life people will tell you how much you are loved. You have been born into a family that is not rich in material things, but very rich in love. The legacy of love into which you have been born is a very wonderful blessing.

One day I hope that I can tell you about the day that I held your mother for the very first time. She was a little bit older than you will be when I hold you for the first time, but she was a tiny baby - even smaller than you are. And, as you know, she grew up to become an amazing and wonderful woman and you are very lucky to have her for your mother. When I tell you that story, I’ll also suggest that you ask your Grandpa and Grandma Calabrese about the first time they got to hold your father. It is an amazing and wonderful story as well.

There are a lot of stories that I can’t wait to tell you. In time you will meet your cousins. You already have three cousins on your mother’s side: Elliot, Emmala and Eliza. Did you notice that they all have names that start with “E”? You are the first of our grandchildren to have a name starting with “P”. It is just a symbol of how special you are. And, on your father’s side, you don’t yet have any cousins. You are the very first grandchild born to your Calabrese grandparents. You are the one who made your parents what they are. Before you were born, your father was not yet a father and your mother was not yet a mother and your Calabrese grandparents were not yet grandparents. You made all of them what they are. And you have made Grandma Susan and I grandparents of a boy born in Japan. We’re never been that before. So you can see, your coming to our family is a very special event and you have a very special place in the hearts of all of your family.

On your birthday, your Grandma and I are in South Dakota, which is a very long way from Misawa, Japan where you were born. So while we waited, I went into a guest bedroom in our house to think and on the wall was a picture of your grandma Susan when she was a baby. Thee is a picture of me when I was a baby too. You’ll never know us as babies. Neither did your mother. We will always be old people to you. And I want you to know that being old is not a bad thing at all. Everyone gets older and you will become old one day. But that is a very long time from now and many things will happen between now and then. In the old days when we had our pictures taken, there was no way to see an instant picture by using a phone or a computer. The pictures made of us had to be processed in a lab and it took quite a bit of time for them to be ready to be seen. The world has changed a lot since back then. It will change even more in your lifetime. Your old grandpa can’t quite imagine all of the wonderful things you will see and do.

So welcome to this world! Welcome to our family! We are so very happy that you are here. Now, no matter what happens we will all know that love is stronger than the longest distance in all of the universe. Love is stronger than anything. You, dear Patrick, are a gift of love and we are so grateful for that gift.

Grandpa Ted

Copyright (c) 2019 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!