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Welcome to Dear Papa Hayes!
This is a love project…
In December 2019, I literally had a dream about writing children’s stories. The vision was clear and kept me awake until about 4 am. My thoughts were laser focused on my young son and children his age. I wanted to create something that highlighted our young kids and the villages that help us raise them.
Speaking of villages - my cousins and I were blessed to have a large, loving village, which included our parents, grandparents, our church family, and other community members around us.
Our grandparents poured so much time and love into our lives. Gram and Papa taught us about unconditional love in so many ways. We had Sunday dinners at Gram and Papa’s house every week, right after church. Getting there was the easy part, because we all lived in the same small town – Waterbury, Connecticut. Sundays consisted of Sunday school, followed by church, followed by the afternoon service and so on and so on. I remember the big Sunday dinners and how our family gathered from the kitchen to the dining room, sitting and eating, chatting, laughing, and eating some more. Our grandparents, believing deeply in family, always made sure that we all felt welcomed and loved.
Over the years, my cousins and I grew up, had children of our own and now reside in different states. Even with this geographical distance between us, we remember the village that raised us and the priceless lessons that continuously shape who we are.
In 2020, I realized that writing our family stories and memories down on paper is a good way of preserving our village for our children.
Dear Papa Hayes! is that village. It reflects many of the wonderful childhood memories and experiences that my cousins and I had growing up with our grandparents. The stories are told through the eyes of Papa and his great-grandsons.
I hope that you and your family will join our village!