"I still kind of tear up when I think about it," Duane Schrock told WSET News.
The 87-year-old is making headlines after receiving unexpected mail that took 26 years to reach him. His son, Duane Schrock Jr., originally sent the letter back in 1989 but experienced setbacks, as the note was constantly forwarded and returned to sender.
NBC News reports the two had a strained relationship, as the father did not approve of his son being gay. Duane Jr. made the decision to reach out to his dad in effort to reopen lines of communication. He penned the following letter one Father's Day.
"Dear Dad, we haven't been in touch for quite a while. I'm doing fine and am very happy in Richmond. I'd like to hear from you. Have a Happy Father's Day. Love, Duane."
Sadly, he would never live to see the response he wanted. In 1995, Duane Schrock Jr. died of AIDS. He was 45 years old.
This story should serve as a lesson to us all that life is too short to not make amends. Regardless of any differences, it's so important to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. Even if this father did not agree with his son being gay, or couldn't understand it, he was still his son. It's extremely unfortunate Duane Jr. passed away without his letter reaching his dad. Hopefully the two were able to talk before his untimely death.
Thankfully we live in a world where communication is faster and a bit more efficient. There doesn't appear to be a definite reason this letter never reached the dad — other than his moving around a bunch of times.
As a mother of two, I can't imagine not speaking to my children. Yes, there will be times when we disagree and get on each other's nerves, but at the end of the day, I love them too much to lose touch. I have seen the toxic effects the holding of a grudge can have on a family. People hold on so tightly to past situations and feel nothing but heartbreak when it's too late to patch things up.
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