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.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful happening. There is so much being expressed by everyone. I loved reading it. Peggy
Thank YOU, Peggy! ❤
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.
Thank you for sharing in my adventures with me, Carol! It’s nice to know we’re connected to all of mankind, isn’t it?
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.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Mike! I feel like I’m still getting to know Preston, and I so appreciate whatever his friends have to share.
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 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.
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.
Thank you so much, Margot, for taking the time to contact me. I feel really privileged that I got to meet Preston before he left us. There was a kindness about him that really touched me.