Sam and his friends started the tradition of having breakfast at his granny's home. After his tragic passing, his friends kept the tradition alive.
Coming together for a meal always holds symbolic and sentimental value. Whether it’s family, friends or even strangers, there’s something special about sharing a light-hearted conversation and a meal. That’s what Peggy Winckowski has been doing since October 2021. The Washington Post shared the heart-touching story of the grandma and 15 teenagers who join her for breakfast every week in remembrance of her grandson Sam Crowe and to show their love and support for her. Sam Crowe began the tradition of having breakfast with his grandma back in 2021 when he realized that she prepares great home-cooked meals compared to any cafeteria or food joint.
Crowe and his friends had late school timings on Wednesday and would meet up for breakfast until they figured that Winckowski’s breakfast served more warmth and deliciousness. Soon after discussing it with his grandma, it became a tradition for Sam and his friends to show up every week for the scrumptious meal. 66-year-old Winckowski loves that they call her “Grandma Peggy” and enter her home with loving hugs. Winckowski shared, “Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. I will feed them as long as they come.” She also added that “they will be loved and fed.” The teenagers and Winckowski grew to have a wonderful bond week after week.
However, in 2022, tragedy struck when young Crowe passed away in a car crash. Winckowski was devastated at the loss of her young grandson. However, Crowe’s friends didn’t leave Winckowski’s side. They showed up at her house on the day of their beloved friend’s passing. “We were all grieving with grandma. She’s family to all of us. Sam was too,” said Jeremy Roeder, one of the young teens. The youngsters decided to be there for Winckowski, selflessly showing up the entire week after Crowe’s passing to make sure she was all right. The question approached at the end of the school year as to whether this heart-warming tradition would continue.
Winckowski, without a doubt, kept her home and heart open to the young students and assured them that even others were welcome to join. “He would want us to continue so we’re continuing it. We’re all here for each other,” said Roeder. After over a year of losing their dear friend, the tradition continues. Winckowski sure understands their hearts. She said, “To be 15 and lose your best friend, it’s got to be so hard for them to understand. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t speak of Sam.” What began as a simple meeting with friends turned out to be a remembrance and tribute of love among over 30 students including seniors, sophomores and others.
“It’s a tiny house but its walls are filled with love,” said Winckowski. She connects her meetings with the students to those of her late grandson, expressing that it makes her feel closer to him. “For everyone that knows him and needs an opportunity to grieve, it’s a great place,” said Ruggeri, another student who had been part of the meet since it began. Winckowski revealed that as the group grows, their love for each other and Crowe grows. She also mentioned that many locals and parents pitch in to donate and help with the meet so it can go on. “We can’t get over Sam’s passing but we can surely get through it together. I hope they will pay it forward as they grow older,” Winckowski said.