Several weeks back, my family flew from the U.S. to come visit my new home in Waterford for Thanksgiving. I must say, being away from home for so long made me cherish every second we spent together. Growing up, I was always surrounded by my brothers and parents, and it was difficult to appreciate the moments we shared. But as we’ve grown older and moved out of the house (and, in my case, out of the country), we rarely spend time with all five of us together.
On Thanksgiving day, all five of us headed to Dunmore East to walk the cliffs. It was an absolute blast. The weather held strong as we experienced the beauty of the Irish coastline.
The Vikings hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for my family on Thursday night at the Mansion House. The majority of the club – including parents, coaches, and players – attended the dinner. My family was blown away by their gracious hospitality. It was a unique experience to see my new friends meet my brothers and parents. At one point during the dinner, I realized that Jack was missing from the table. As I walked across the bar into the back room, I soon found him sprawled out on a couch in the corner, fast asleep. The time zone change had clearly taken its toll. Me and PGrass got a kick out of that.
Now, please bear with me as I rant about how thankful I am for my family.
JGrass – I’ll start with you. I’ve looked up to you my entire life. You motivated me throughout my childhood. It’s amazing to reminisce on the countless memories we shared playing one-on-one in our driveway. More times than not, the intensity of our games drew the neighbors outside to watch us play. While I was a better basketball player than you (haha), you used to always beat me in one-on-one. But as I got older and started to beat you more often, our driveway turned into a battlefield. We would argue about foul calls and wrestle each other for any loose ball. When one of us finally lost, the loser would angrily retort, “Don’t go inside. We’re playing another game.”
I credit anything I’ve achieved athletically to you, Patch, and Dad. I would not be standing in Ireland today without the countless hours we spent working out with each other, or the confidence you instilled in me when I had none in myself.
Dad – I can count on one hand the amount of games you missed throughout high school and college. This is crazy to think about, given that Hamilton is nearly a five-hour drive from our home in Winchester. Your dedication and support for me is truly remarkable. It’s something that I aspire to do for my kids later in life. The one thing I will always respect about you is your career transition nearly 15 years ago. After years of working egregious hours as a lawyer, you decided to switch jobs to become a public school teacher. The decision you made wasn’t about money, status, or anything else – it was about your kids. You wanted to be around to coach, mentor, and watch us grow. I can’t thank you enough for all the sacrifices you made – and continue to make – to be there for us. This is something that separates you from a hell of a lot of dads out there.
PGrass – the youngest Grassey brother – thank you for being walking content. There’s no other way to describe you. Amazingly, my bond with you was formed off the basketball court. One thing that’s unique about PGrass is his uncanny ability to light up a room with sarcastic banter. It’s impossible to get through an entire family dinner without at least one smug remark from him. Your sense of humor always makes Jack and I laugh our asses off, while mom and dad shake their heads. Keep killing it at Fordham, kid content. And keep making us smile.
Don’t worry T, I’m not leaving you out of this blog. Mom – thank you for being the spiritual cornerstone for our family. Your love and sacrifice for us is incredibly rare, and it is deeply appreciated. You are nothing short of an inspiration to your three sons. Above all, the most amazing quality you possess is your selflessness. TCK, you never put yourself ahead of anyone else. Your willingness to provide for others is the glue that holds our family together.
I can’t wait to see you all for Christmas in just 10 days!