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GRATITUDE

 

How thankful am I that I have what seems to be a plethora of friendships. A set of relationships that when October 25th rolls around every year, there’s a moment of reflection.

 

There’s a point in all of our lives in which we experience heartache, and it’s this time of year for me that it hurts the most. But it’s also this time of year that my heart explodes with gratitude. Gratitude that there are others who are there with me. Others that are there with us. Others that are absolutely there for you, and each other.

 

John was always there for a lot of people… maybe not all, but for A LOT. Might have been for a phone call, or for me, a letter that eventually was tattoo’d on my ribs. That letter was from December 1986, when I was just eight years old, and it summed John’s heart up in one line.

 

“Take care of yourselves and make sure Chris knows I love him.”

 

There’s never a moment that I questioned his love, and I hope that you never question my love for you. If you’re reading this, I send you my love. I hope I’ve met you, I hope I’ve hugged you and if I haven’t, if I ever meet you, I will.

 

Every October 25th – the night of The Toast – is the most humbling day of my life. I never thought that a simple toast and text – the original Toast tying New York City, Ashburn (Va.) and Charlotte together would spread to Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, Asia, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, let alone nearly all 50 states, for a breathtaking moment of reflection each year.

 

And now it’s time to embrace that moment once again. 

 

On behalf of our family, I humbly ask you to join us on Wednesday, Oct. 25th at 8 p.m. – whatever time zone you’re in – to remember the love you have for your family and friends. Take a moment to know you are loved, and, to tell others that you love them.

 

John was the brother everyone wanted, the best uncle in the world, a son to be proud of and a loyal and true friend. John’s smile and kind heart warmed everyone he met. He was brilliant and fun… and he’s missed more and more every day.

 

This year… show your gratitude. Be gracious when you see that stranger. Be gracious when you see someone that needs a lending hand. Be gracious… for yourself.

 

On Wednesday, Oct. 25th, please join us as we toast to John, and just as importantly, toast to you.

 

On whatever social media platform you choose, please use the hashtags #TheToast2023 and #JohnsToast.

 

Cheers to you all,

 

Chris

Founder & Brother

#TheToast2023

#JohnsToast

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