My grandfather – a dedication

Today is my grandfather’s birthday. I don’t remember the exact year he died but it was around 1988 at the age of 91. He was my maternal grandfather and the only male figure in my life that I really felt was my hero, always being there for me. I don’t know much about his relationship with my mother nor my aunts when they were kids but I knew how he was with me and my sisters. He loved us all. I have so many wonderful memories of him starting with him picking me up from school when I was a small child. My primary school was literally down the street from my grandparents’ house so he would either drive or walk to get me and when it was walking, I would hold his hand. I spent many afternoons at their house and even spent some nights. Most memories centered around food. He would make breakfast/lunch for me and we sometimes went to the docks where he would fish but we would just sit in his car while we had lunch. There were the Sunday dinners that started at 11am and ended at 4 with a million food courses but always ending with a cigar for him, a card game with us and some farting in for a good laugh. There were the BBQs in the summer where he would take a huge sauce or soup pot and fill it to the brim with hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and other meats. We called it, simply, the pot of meat! There were the neighbors who would complain that he would burn leaves/garbage in a big pit in the backyard. There was the time that he just went into the yard of someone who lived next door to the gynecologist’s office of my grandmother to pick dandelions for cooking that night’s dinner. When he showed my grandmother, instead of yelling at him, she said, “oh good. that will be nice with the sausage”.

When I got older, as they did, they moved into our house. They sold their house for a song to my oldest sister (who didn’t deserve it, quite frankly but that’s another story. It was tough having them live with us but just as funny. One famous story was when he became lazy and didn’t want to change his pants after wearing them several days in a row. My grandmother would yell at him to change them and he would yell back “no!” So one morning, my grandmother came out of their bedroom with her walker, his pants hanging, wet, on her walker and a big, proud smile on her face…..she peed on his pants in order for him to change them! 

At some point, he had to go into a nursing home. Both of my grandparents were so sad for that. We took grandma to visit him often but then she passed away. Telling him was one of the hardest things. He loved her so much — 63 years of marriage before she passed. He died only a few years later. I wish time was different and that he was alive now as I am older. So many things I would love to share with him, including cooking. My Sicilian grandpa Vito. 

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