Former Canadian professional ice hockey center, Phil Esposito and his wife Bridget took in their late daughter’s son back in 2013 and the grandparents or should we say parents are pretty happy with their decision.
The member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and his 57 year old wife decided to welcome their then 19 year old grandson, Dylan in their life and Tampa home after his mother, Carrie, aged 43 died of an abdominal aneurysm. And now the little family of three is perfect from every way one can imagine.
And to know about more, we have to go back to 2012 when Carrie suddenly died of the aforementioned condition. Phil’s daughter died in January 30 that year and her young teenager son, Dylan was left alone in the world. And it was then the heart broken grandparents decided to raise him as their own child. So, they took him in as their son.
Phil and Bridget had been married for around 13 years then. Now 74 year old ice hockey center and his hair stylist wife talked to tampabay.com the same year about how their lives changed after Carrie’s death and Dylan’s arrival.
"We woke up, looked at each other and said, 'Oh, my God, this is really happening,'" said the proud granny and mom recalling the day when Dylan came to her life.
Phil, who had three daughters from his previous marriage with his first wife Linda (divorced), could not have any children with Bridget, 70. And according to Phil himself, he did not raise any of his daughters. Why? "I didn't raise any of my kids; my wife (Linda) did. I just played hockey," said Phil.
But now as he has been playing the role of dad and granddad at the same time, his lifestyle has changed a lot. And Bridget openly admitted that she goes into a state of shock whenever she sees the amount of laundry in her house. This must be because she has not had her own children.
Though the couple’s life became much more joyful despite their daughter’s death, Dylan was the one who suffered a lot. He according to the husband and wife duo had the hardest time of his life.
"He misses his mother a lot," Phil said. "He's always talking about her. That's good, I guess."
"What I really loved was that she was always there for us," Dylan said talking about his mother. "We could always count on somebody to be home so we would feel safe. It's sad, but you have to move on. You have to keep your head up and just keep on living."
And it was not only his mother, whom he had lost. He also lost his father in 2003.
But despite everything, Dylan has been coping with his loss and adjusting well with his new parents as a family.
Bridget, whom Dylan calls BeBe, said that her son’s need for family was the reason why the three decided to live together. "He needs to be with family. We're family," she said.
"We all have to be stronger," Dylan said. "I'm just trying to get on my feet again."
"When I played, I always tried to turn every negative into a positive, and that was a big negative," Phil said. "The positive is I got to know my grandkids a hell of a lot better. I got to know what my daughter was all about, too."
"He's such an incredibly good boy," Bridget added on Dylan. "I think Phil and I and all the family are going to have a positive influence on his life."
And this happy family of three is happier than ever even after three years of being together.
Phil, who rocked No. 7 jersey during his ice hockey career likes to keep his net worth undisclosed.