Grandparents can be great role models for their grandchildren. And a grandson on Reddit is showing the Internet just how much he's followed in his grandfather's footsteps with a series of photos.
Reddit user "Reginald_Charming" and his grandfather appear to have lived parallel lives, 60 years apart. Both graduated from Saint John's University (the grandfather in 1953, the grandson will be an alum this year). Both were members of their university's men's chorus and both share a love of posing for photos in plaid shirts.
The sentiment behind these now-and-then pictures is just as sweet as the photos themselves.
"I actually made these since he can't make it to my graduation," Reginald_Charming explained on Reddit. "He is bedridden due to health issues and I thought he would really enjoy them."
Here's to a speedy recovery and a memorable commencement!
We reached out to the Reddit user, Benjamin Carey, to tell us about the deep bond he shares with his grandfather. You may need a tissue after reading his explanation...
Grandpa has been a big inspiration to me throughout my life. I spent many a summer with him and grandma at the family farm that grandpa and my dad grew up on; [it] has been in our family for over a hundred years. As I grew up his calm and reflective demeanor was especially influential in how I [came to] approach life and make decisions to this day.
As a high school music director, he passed down a love of music and the arts to all of his sons and subsequently his 11 grandchildren. In high school I sang, played tuba in band and performed in plays and musicals -- all of which he did growing up as well. I can scarcely remember a concert or performance he didn't attend.
When [it] came time to choose a college, I was at first reluctant to choose Saint John's University because of the family connection to the place. (Not only did grandpa graduate from here, but also two of my uncles.) I wanted to challenge myself and not be just another one of those students [who] was there just because this is where their family went. Over the summer before my senior year of high school I had a chance to sing in a choir on campus and Grandpa made the trek from Iowa up to Minnesota for the final concert. After the concert, [we] spent the day wandering around and talking about his time here. I saw the joy and the love this place inspired in him and began to feel that I too could feel at home here as he once did.
There are great people in this world who inspire people to join them in greatness through grandiose gestures and large acts of kindness. Grandpa is not great in that way. His small acts of daily kindness and love have brought peace and joy to those around him. From playing organ at masses in rural parishes to his service work in and around the community he lived in all of his life, he has touched many lives and inspired many people to join him in his simple, unassuming greatness.
This morning Grandpa's journey on this world came to an end. He had a chance to see the pictures I posted to Reddit the night before he died and while I wasn't able to be there, I'm told that he was very happy to see them and smiled for the first time in days. I'm proud to be his grandson and to carry on his legacy and memory inasmuch as it is tied to Saint John's next weekend as I graduate.
"My favorite picture of my grandparents. My grandfather had just got back from war."
"My grandparents just reached the United States for the first time. It's been their whole life's dream to be here. Grandfather is 96."
"Grandparents' first time at a Japanese restaurant."
"My grandparents spending their 60th Christmas together..."
"My grandparents were beautiful."
"My grandparents after grandmother ran away from her Amish family to be with grandfather."
"My grandparents right before they got married."
"Whenever people say that all relationships eventually go sour or that true love isn't real, I am reminded to look at this photo of my grandparents."
"Look at those eyes! My grandparents on their wedding day."
"These are my grandparents. Today they have been married for 72 years."