A grandfather’s heartfelt note next to an old bucket of baseballs has gone viral for its poignant message.
On Sept. 28, Ethan Anderson of Birmingham, Ala., shared his grandfather’s message on Twitter, where it has gotten over 222,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments.
“Hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages,” the handwritten note reads. “I found them cleaning out my garage. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds. My son is now 46 y/o and my grandson is 23 y/o. I am 72 and what I won’t give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. They have both moved away.”
Anderson’s grandfather, whom Today recently identified as Randy Long, then offered some words of advice.
“If you are a father, cherish these times,” the letter continues. “You won’t believe how quickly they will be gone. God bless. P.S. Give them a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get!”
The note struck a chord with many Twitter followers, who recalled their own personal experiences.
“My dad and I played catch well into his 70s and my 40s,” one person tweeted in response. “Dad passed away in February. I would do anything to throw the ball with him one more time. This was awesome.”
“Thank you for sharing this!!” another added. “I’ve never met your Grandad but I already Love him. Maybe get him and take him to the cages and enjoy watching others pitch together. I’d give anything to have my Poppy here to share time with again! Be blessed!”
In an interview with Today, Anderson revealed that he lives just two hours away from his grandparents, who reside in Montgomery.
“I get to go back and visit every now and then, just didn’t realize that he missed hitting in the cages, I guess,” he said, adding at the time of the story’s publication that he would spend more time with Long.
On Oct. 6, Anderson seemingly followed through with his promise, tweeting a photo of himself and his grandfather at a batting cage.
“Made the trip back and I have to say … the old man still got it,” the 23-year-old wrote.
The response to Anderson’s story has been overwhelmingly positive, he told Today.
“I’ve had a lot of kids younger than me telling me they’ll cherish the times they have in the cages with their dads or grandads,” he said. “How they won’t take it for granted anymore.”
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