Esmond Allcock has six children, 17 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
But to his dismay, none of them were named for him.
That finally changed last year when his great-granddaughter Jenna Lehne decided to name her second son Esmond, prompting a tender moment when Allcock met his namesake for the first time.
“As he held my son, he kissed his head and said over and over again, ‘You don’t know what this means to me. You don’t know what this means to me,'” Lehne wrote in a post published last week on Love What Matters, a site that celebrates real-life stories of love and compassion.
At 108, Allcock is one of Canada’s oldest residents. The widower lives in an assisted-living facility in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan.
“When I got pregnant with my second, he mentioned to my grandmother that he was responsible for 71 descendants and no one had named their son after him,” Lehne wrote in her post. “My husband and I had wanted to name our new son after family, and that just sealed the deal.”
Lehne and her family live about five hours away in Okotoks, Alberta.
When little Esmond was born on January 11, 2017 — nearly 107 years after his great-great-grandfather — Canada’s bitter winter weather made a visit difficult. But once the snow started to melt last spring, Lehne decided to travel to Kerrobert to surprise Allcock and introduce him to his namesake.
“He takes such joy in his family and his decedents. He’s met all of his great-great-grand-kids and he loves each and every one of them,” she told CNN.
It’s not clear why it took so long — 78 years — for Allcock to get a namesake.
According Lehne, some of her family members carry Esmond as a middle name. His was mentioned in a pool of family names that relatives could choose from in naming their children, she said.
When they arrived in Kerrobert, Allcock didn’t recognize them at first. But he quickly became attached to young Esmond. And when he finally recognized them and learned the baby’s name, his reaction was truly priceless, Lehne said.
“I wish I could fully explain how much it meant to me,” she wrote.
Lehne told CNN she was inspired to write the blog post to showcase her family’s joy and to update the rest of her relatives on the happy news.
“Our family tree is more like a family forest,” she said. “We’re spread out all over the country, but social media makes it easy for us to share family updates and keep in touch.”
Now the family will have to wait and see if little Esmond’s name gets passed along again someday.