I Have Received
A Very Pleasant Surprise

Dateline: 18 July 2012

Last month I blogged here about the dedication of the Kimball Community Health Center up in Fort Fairfield, Maine. The health center is named after my grandfather, the late Dr. Herrick C. Kimball. I figured that blog post was the end of the story, but it isn't.

A few days ago, the mailman delivered a box to my house. The return address indicated that it was from the Town of Fort Fairfield. Inside the box was the old, framed photograph of my grandfather that is shown above.

Included with the picture was a letter from Dan Foster, the Town manager. The letter explained that the picture had been given to him for possible use in the new medical center, but it was decided that another picture would be used instead. So Mr. Foster (who indicated in the letter that he has read some of this blog) decided to send the picture to me.

I'm so pleased to have the old photo, because I don't already have anything like it. But I was equally pleased to read what Dan Foster wrote me about my grandfather Kimball...

"Your grandfather was an extraordinary community leader but more importantly he was a very caring man. He was our family physician for a time and delivered me and my brother and sister. He was very kind to my mother and revered by my grandmother who was a nurse for many years at the hospital."

To make the receiving of the picture and letter even more special, my oldest son, Herrick Kimball the 3rd, happened to be here when the box came, and I had him open it. I started reading the letter out loud to him, but got a little choked up when I got to the paragraph above. So my son finished reading it out loud to me.

At 25 years old, my son has no recollection at all of his great grandfather. But, thanks to Dan Foster's kindness, he has been given a glimpse into the remarkable legacy of his namesake. I think that recollections about a man's character mean a lot more to a grandson when they come from someone outside the family.

Thank you, Dan Foster!


jean said...

This is a precious gift to you. Dan Foster was kind to send you the photo and letter. It is a blessing from the Lord when one can look back at ancestors who had good character.

Gorges Smythe said...

It's nice your son was there to share that moment with you.

Sharon said...

That's very nice. Your granddad didn't get those compliments without a reason. His life, over, still spreads his kindness.