Randy Long, 72, from Montgomery, Alabama, was in his garage recently when he spotted something that hadn’t been used in a long time.
It’s not an unfamiliar scenario: You go into the garage, see something you haven’t used in years, and you decide to give it away to free up space and so someone else can take joy in it.
But what Long discovered was a bit more sentimental than the average find, though it might not seem so at first. He’d spotted a bucket of old baseballs, and seeing them ignited a flood of fond memories.
So he decided to write a note, attach it to the bucket and set the bucket out near some local batting cages.
“Hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages,” the handwritten note read. “I found them cleaning 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.
“If you are a father cherish these times. 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.”
His wife took a photo of the setup and sent it to their grandson Ethan Anderson in Birmingham, Alabama — the grandson Long was referring to in his note.
My grandad left an old bucket of balls at the batting cages we used to go to with this note on them…. I’m not crying, you’re crying pic.twitter.com/zlQFwNq1R2
— Ethan Anderson (@TheBigE_21) September 28, 2020
Touched, Anderson tweeted the photos with the caption, “My grandad left an old bucket of balls at the batting cages we used to go to with this note on them…. I’m not crying, you’re crying.”
“I get to go back and visit every now and then, just didn’t realize that he missed hitting in the cages, I guess,” Anderson told NBC’s “Today.”
“I was the same way when I was younger, sometimes I didn’t really want to go to the cages but now looking back on it, it was some really good memories,” he continued. “I just hope everyone can kind of take away they need to cherish those moments while they have them.”
“He was just trying to give away some free baseballs,” Anderson said. “He doesn’t really know anything about social media really at all.”
“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 granddads,” he said. “How they won’t take it for granted anymore.”
The message hit home for Anderson, too, who’s planning on going back to the batting cages this weekend — with his grandpa, of course, who he said is “very excited.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.