January 23, 2017
Manchester, NH - Nine days ago, I reached the ripe old age of 70. As a result, my two daughters wanted to take me out for dinner but because of people’s schedules, dinner had to wait under Saturday, January 21.
Prior to the dinner (about a week ago), my daughter, Carrie, told me that my family would be presenting me with an incredible gift at the dinner. I was curious about that. I couldn’t imagine what she meant. What, on earth, did she mean by an incredible gift?
The dinner was in Merrimack at a restaurant known as Buckley's Great Steaks. Carrie, her husband, Josh, and their children/my grand-children (Oliver, Reagan and Dexter), Beth and her husband, Brian (and their son/my grandson (Max) and Beth and Brian’s guest, Colin, along with my wife, Marge, were present.
At an appropriate time, Carrie spoke and told me about “the gift.”
She told me that the family had made a generous gift in my name to the Easterseals Capital Campaign. In return for the gift, the conference room at the new Easterseals building in Manchester would be named the "Colonel R. Peter Decato Conference Room."
Carrie's remarks about me were heart-warming but it isn’t necessary to repeat them as they are too personal to share and it is beyond the point I want to make in this blog.
Having a room dedicated to me is reminiscent of a gift my father, brother, sister and I made to the Carter-Witherell Center some 30 years ago.
In exchange for the gift, the outdoor grounds at the Carter-Witherell Center were named in memory of my mother, Irene A. Decato. When my family made its donation to the Witherell Center, it was with money we really didn't have, so it was a "stretch gift." Gifts of that sort are often the best kind because it “hurts” more or less to do it. When it hurts and you still do it, that’s the best kind of gift. It’s like buying your fiance a diamond ring with money you don’t have to spend. You do it out of love.
When Marge and I donated to the Kilton Library, it likewise was with money we didn't have, so it was another "stretch gift." Again, it is the best kind of gift as it tells you that you really do care about your community.
Yet, in the end, the money that was used in both instances was never really missed. We all went on with our lives just as we had been living it before the gifts were made. The difference as we moved forward were the gifts themselves. These gifts were living legacies and they were the types of legacies that have brought me joy for decades.
It is my fervent hope that Carrie, Josh, Beth and Brian will get that same type of satisfaction whenever they drive by the Easterseals building. They should, because a piece of them helped build it and perpetuate the cause of helping Veterans. Is there a more worthy cause?
There is something special when your children and their spouses show their charitable side. Both my daughters and their husbands parted with money for a great cause -- the cause of Veterans -- and in doing so honored their father and/or father-in-law.
I am so grateful to be recognized in this fashion as it beats a pen and pencil set if you know what I mean. When Carrie made her presentation, she said they had chosen this gift because she felt I already had everything and she needed to think outside the box. I think she's right. With children and grandchildren like I have, I do feel I have everything I need. I’m all set.
I'm very proud of my daughters and sons-in-law; not because they honored me necessarily, but because they were willing to reach into their pockets and donate to a wonderful cause.
I hope, as they drive by the new Easterseals building, they will know that there are conferences taking place in that building because of their charity.
Most of all, I hope for the next 30 years and more, they will take pride in what they have done, just as I have taken pride before them.
Charity has a way of paying dividends to a warm and tender heart!
To donation to the Capital Campaign: Big Ideas for Building Independence, click here.
For more information about Decato Law Office visit, www.decatolaw.com.
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