Last year Jerry was spending time with his son, Matt when they got to talking about Matt’s grandfather, Jerry’s former Father-In-Law, and his upcoming 87th birthday. Jerry used some of his 1.7 million American Airlines miles to fly his son first-class back to the east coast for a surprise visit.
As Matt was leaving his house to buy a card and go celebrate with his grandfather, he got the word that his grandfather had passed away.
In this video Jerry talks about how important it is to tell the people in your life that you love them, because you don’t know if you’ll ever get another chance.
Since Jerry’s passing I have, on many occasions, wished that I could have told him how important he was to me. Coming across this video was like a punch in the gut.
These are truly words to live by….
Reality bites, and sometimes reality has a way of biting you in ways you might not have imagined.
For last couple weeks my son Matt has been hanging out here Las Vegas with me and we’ve been doing all the father-son stuff. We’ve been going to dinner, we’ve been going to shows, we’ve been girl watching, we’ve been sightseeing, we’ve been to the lake, we’ve been to Hoover Dam, we’ve been barbecuing and we’ve been gardening and we’ve been having a great time.
Now, at some point in the conversation, over the last couple days he started to tell me about his grandfather’s 87th birthday, which is today, and I said “so why don’t you just go back and surprise him?” and he goes, “well, you know, I really don’t have the money”
So I said “let me take a look at the miles I have,” I got like 1.7 million miles on American airlines.
So long – short, yesterday we sat around and we figured out that last night I could get him out first class. Because he’s never flown first class I figured, what the hell – spend the miles on your son, give him a nice trip back east.
So we fly him first-class last night, he gets back to Newark, New Jersey this morning at 9:30. He gets back to his house and he’s coming out of the shower, is get dressed, he’s going to the card store, he’s gonna surprise his grandfather for his 87th birthday.
He’s all excited, he text me when he landed in Newark he goes; “First-class rocks!” I texted him back; “don’t get used to it”.
Long-short, he’s heading out the door, his phone rings it’s his uncle Chet. Uncle Chet says “we need to talk”.
He says “what’s the matter?” and he could tell by the tone in his voice that something wasn’t quite right.
Well, unfortunately, Matt’s grandfather died last night at the age of 86. Chet Cooper was his name, is his name. Chet Cooper was a good man. The world is a better place because of Chet Cooper.
He’s my former father-in-law, Matt’s grandfather, and even though Matt’s mom and I got divorced, Matt’s grandfather and I always considered ourselves to be in that relationship. A good guy, a solid guy
and more importantly a guy that was there from my son when I wasn’t.
Because of pride or ego or stupidity or a combination of all of the above, there were gaps in the relationship between my son and I that Chet Cooper filled.
Chet Cooper took my son Matt on a six-month trip to Alaska to sight-see and to fish and to spend time. And when they were times when a son needed his father and father wasn’t there, his grandfather was there for him.
Chet Cooper was that guy, Chet Cooper was that grandfather, Chet Cooper was that dad. Chet Cooper is that kind of guy.
And I know Matt is extremely disappointed in the passing of his grandfather, and I know that I feel the same, maybe not to the same degree that he does, but, sometimes when you think you have it all figured out, sometimes when you look at the news – This morning I was all revved up about Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton and budget deficits and ISIS and terrorism – but the reality is, sometimes reality gives you a cold smack in the face.
And it’s not to say that the things in life that we find ourselves involved in; politically, socially, economically, aren’t important, they are. But what’s important is what we do with who we care about while we’re here, while we still have the time.
Now there’s a lot of people that have strained relationships with their mother, with their father, with their aunts, with their uncles, with their kids. And there’s a lot of reasons why those things do happen and to continue to happen.
But sometimes these types of events cause you to just sit up and take notice and say; “You know what? There’s no guarantee of tomorrow. There’s no guarantee of later today later today.”
But I do know that while I have today, I’m gonna do everything that I know I need to do, and I want to do, and I
should do to make sure that I let the people know, in my life that are important to me, how much I care about them and how much they mean to me.
Because we might not have the opportunity to do that when they’re gone.