‘You don’t know what this means to me.’ I wish I could fully explain how much it meant to ME.’: Adorable 108-year-old grandfather ‘blessed’ to be alive to meet namesake

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“This is Mr. Esmond Allcock. Born outside of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in 1910, this dapper gentleman turned 108 on January 26. He is officially the oldest man in Canada! He is a husband to one, a father to six, a grandfather to 17, a great-grandfather to 36 and a great-great-grandfather to 12.

He is my great-grandfather and the man I named my son after. While most people’s great-grandfathers are faded childhood memories, I’ve been lucky enough to have had him with me for the past 30 years.

oldest man in Canada sitting in wheelchair in hospital room wearing a white and black checkered shirt
Jenna Lehne

One of the stories he always used to tell me was from when I was the same age as my own son. While I was learning to walk, I’d make him hold my hands and parade me around the room. All I had to do was crawl up to him and say, ‘Walk Walk,’ and away we’d go. When I got a bit older, he would remember me and call me his little buddy.

When I found out I was pregnant with my first son, he got on the phone and called all his children to let them know that I was increasing the population. When I got pregnant with my second, he mentioned to my grandmother that he was responsible for 71 descendants and no one had named their son after him. My husband and I had wanted to name our new son after family, and that just sealed the deal.

great-great-grandson of oldest man in Canada smiles covered in bubbles in bubble bath
Jenna Lehne

My Esmond was born on January 11, 2017, nearly 107 years after his great-great grandfather. Once the snow melted, I loaded up the baby and took off to the neighboring province to introduce my great-grandfather to his namesake.

When we arrived, he wasn’t sure who I was. He knew who my grandparents (his daughter and son-in-law) were, but he wasn’t too sure about me. I explained who I was, but by then he was already so enamored with Esmond.

oldest man in Canada hugs baby great-great-grandson to chest while smiling in wheel chair
Jenna Lehne

About halfway through our visit, he remembered me. I was the Walk Walk girl.

As he held my son, he kissed his head and said over and over again, ‘You don’t know what this means to me. You don’t know what this means to me.’

I wish I could fully explain how much it meant to me.

I am blessed.

close up of oldest man in Canada looks down while holding great-great-grandson to chest and baby looks to side
Jenna Lehne

It’s been a few months since we’ve seen my great-grandfather, but he asks my grandma about his namesake all the time. She sends him photos and gives him updates. Once the snow melts, we’ll be on our way to visit him again. It will be great-great grandpa Esmond, little Ez, and the ‘Walk Walk’ girl.”

Woman sits on bed with baby in lap next to her grandma and great-grandfather is sitting in wheelchair next to bed
Jenna Lehne

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jenna Lehne, 30, of Alberta, Canada. Submit your story here.

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