Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ortona Italy

One year ago today my wife and I were walking the streets of Ortona Italy, the town on the other side of the world where my grandfather Eduardo Pantaloni grew up. Then we hadn't even yet conceived of the little boy (Eduardo's great-grandson) who I hold in my lap as I write now.

I think of Eduardo (who changed his name to Edward when he immigrated) growing up in Ortona and my little son growing here in my lap. Eduardo died on Christmas day when I was only a little boy. One of my strongest memories is of him telling me about the beautiful farms in the seaside village were he grew up, only a few days before he died.

He has been dead for decades now, and no one in his home town remembers his name. He is even a distant memory to me. It makes me realize that even though I am 30 now I will also someday be gone and forgotten even in the places that were once my home.

This makes me glad that I am a father. My son may not know it now but his great-grandparents who will only exist in his mind as black and white photos have left themselves in my wife and me, and thus their lives project into his own. Similarly I will leave myself in him.

No comments: