Hey little buddy! We just found out that what has been growing in your mother’s belly, which is you, is a boy. We are both thrilled. You are our little man. We had two names picked out leading up to this day; a girl’s name and a boy’s name. I want to tell you about why we choose your name. You are being named after an incredible man. In fact, little buddy, if you grow up and are half the man he is, you too will be a great man.
His roots started in Baltimore, Maryland where he grew up with his parents and younger brother. He was a great athlete in high school; he played in a couple of state championship games, and was so good that he was able to walk on at the University of Maryland and play on the basketball team. His prestigious playing career ended when he graduated from college, but his love for the sport didn’t. He quickly got into coaching basketball and soon found his true greatness – mentoring people. He was – and still is – a great coach. I even got to play for him while I was in high school; one of the highlights of my life. Prayerfully, one day I will be able to coach you and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did. Your Poppi has helped so many people from so many walks of life and has had a profound impact on all of them, most notably the members of his own family.
He has an incredible work ethic. Let me tell you some stories about your Poppi. He didn’t have a lot (financially) growing up. Both of his parents worked very hard to provide for him, but he still had to work while in high school and college. Your uncle Kevin, Aunt Jenna and I didn’t have to work much during those years because of your Poppi and Nana. But I am getting ahead of the story. Some of the stories of his early adult life are things of legends; apparently, he lived off of potatoes for almost an entire year because that was the cheapest thing to eat. He hitched hiked back and forth from school to home and often to work. He did whatever he had to in order make ends meet. When he graduated from college with an education degree, he went into teaching and coaching. He taught math and coached basketball for many years. He loves working with people and teaching and coaching was a great fit. In the first few years after college, he met Nana and they were married. You’ll have to ask them how they met. Their stories are a bit different, but I tend to believe Poppi ☺.
Shortly after that, your Poppi and Nana were introduced to a business opportunity that changed the course of the Dennstaedt family forever. Your Poppi was a great coach and a great teacher (still is, by the way) and this business was the vehicle he used to create an incredible lifestyle for Nana, Aunt Jenna, Uncle Kevin and I. But for your Poppi, it was more than just a means to a great lifestyle; it was a means to also help many other people change the course of their lives in a positive direction….forever. And that is exactly what he has accomplished. He has helped so many people that it is impossible to quantify the number of the lives he has impacted.
All of the things I have shared with you are true and very important to the Dennstaedt family and our lineage, but the most important of them all is the godly example your Poppi has been to our family. He is the bedrock. He loves the Lord and we pray every day that you also will come to understand what Jesus did for you and that you will commit your life to following and serving Him. Your Poppi is a man of incredible faith. He is unwavering in his convictions and is steadfast in his commitments. He seeks God first in all he does and desires to please Him with every decision and every action of his life. He has shown himself, as called by God to do in Titus 2:7, to be a model of good works, to be a man of integrity and a man of dignity.
So your name, John Carroll Dennstaedt II, has significant meaning. You are the grandson of an incredible man and we are praying that the Lord will use you just like he has used your Poppi to impact people all over the world.