A Gift from Preston

A year ago I met a young man named Preston Turell at the local post office. Preston called himself a “hobo” – he was traveling and a long way from home. Preston was about the age of my sons and I found myself seeing him through the eyes of a mom.  He was very sweet to me – he let me take his photo, promised me he would stay safe, and gave me a mother-son hug before he and I parted ways.  I wrote a blog post about him. (I’ll copy and paste the post and picture at the bottom of this post.)

About a month and a half ago I received a cryptic message under my post about Preston from someone telling me that Preston was in Vancouver General Hospital and that it was his last day of life. I didn’t know what to make of it. I tried googling, but found nothing. I deleted the comment because I wasn’t sure if it was random or real.

Then several days ago I received a message from a young woman named Natalie Catherine – Preston’s partner and love. Natalie wrote: “Preston was my partner/common law husband and a truly wonderful human. He passed September 5th and our kids (dogs) and I miss him so much. I remember we found this article you posted in December of last year and he was so touched. I have shared this with his parents and It meant a lot to him. Thank you.”

I replied to Natalie’s message – told her how very sorry I was to hear of Preston’s death.  Later I received a message from Preston’s mom. She sent me a photo of Preston sitting on her lap – Preston looks like he’s about five in the photo. Tears started pouring down my face as I saw Preston’s innocent smile in the picture, and the tenderness of mother to child.

I am connected to Preston’s love now, and to his mother – a gift to me from Preston. Preston has given me a whole new community of people who love each other and care for each other. When I met Preston I didn’t realize he would be gone before a year had passed, and I couldn’t have guessed how much that brief encounter would bring to my life.

Here’s my post from October 8, 2018 :

Stopped at the post office to get my mail and met a new friend. Meet Preston. Preston is originally from Dallas, Texas. He has been traveling around the country for seven years. He calls himself a hobo. He is the same age as my oldest son, and has a red beard like my youngest son, and I felt myself going to that mother place. Preston assures me he calls his mom every day and makes sure to be home for the winter holidays. Preston is very cool. I gave him a lift to his next stop down the road. He promised me he’d stay safe, and reached over to give me a mother-son hug before he left the car.

Preston’s mom gave me permission to use the picture she sent me. It really touched my heart. The second picture is the one I took of Preston that October day in 2018.



8 thoughts on “A Gift from Preston

  1. Thank you for sharing that beautiful happening. There is so much being expressed by everyone. I loved reading it. Peggy

  2. This was so sad because he looks so happy & healthy in your photo from last year. He is probably the age of my grandson who is traveling to different countries playing a sport that he enjoys & I always worry about him. I would have given Preston a grandmotherly hug too. My deepest sympathy to his partner & mother. Thank you Karen for all your blogs. I look forward to all your emails.

  3. I grew up with him from 5th grade all the way through senior year of high school. He ALWAYS had a nick name for himself. First band he started was back in 2005, diamonds of rust, playing guitar. I can’t remember what kind of guitar he had but he had a Creat half stack amp he was proud of. He grew up hunting and fishing. Love air soft guns. His father and him invested I don’t know how much money in those expensive air soft rifles. We would go out to the lake and play with them.

  4. NOTE TO MODERATOR: This post is a correction to the previous one I just wrote (no edit function?)

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Natalie is my daughter and I was at the hospital with her and Preston’s mom, as well as his dad and a group of Nat & Preston’s friends during the time he was kept on life support. Preston was indeed a lovely person and I’m glad you got to meet him. We all miss him very much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s