By John Walton
Being a grandparent is one of those true blessings that those of us fortunate enough to be on the “backside of 65” gets to have. Car pools, soccer practice, swimming lessons are not chores at all when you’re a grandparent. What happens when you find out that you are the grandfather of a little HADDS girl? For me, she is the most wonderful treasure this family could ever have. I don’t discount my other 3 little “angels”, that bring unspeakable joy to our lives, but the hugs, kisses, and “conversations” and just daily routines with little Collette is a whole new dimension. A new word spoken, step taken, word learned and so many other thresholds bring unspeakable joy to my wife “Em” (Coco’s name for my wife Michele) and I ( Pop Pop—just kind of whispered, not spoken). Being a part of her life expands the meaning of ours.
"She is the most wonderful treasure this family could ever have."
Yes, we share in the fears and anxiety of not really knowing where this is going and how it will end. For the most part we must look past that. She has brought a joy to us that is indescribable. Her unconditional love for us is always apparent—when we first walk in the door to see her. That we help out with the “extras” involved in raising her is something we look forward to as only a grandparent can. She returns the favor tenfold. We know Coco was sent to our family to make us all better people and to realize and appreciate what truly matters in life. She is our rock.
"Being a part of her life expands the meaning of ours."
In addition to his role as Pop Pop, John is also the Foundation's Treasurer. Learn more about John's background on the Board of Directors page.