Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Movies, and an Ode to Jim

Hey everyone,
Sorry I haven't updated this week.  As you may have read last week, I had to leave town unexpectedly to be with my family.  My grandfather passed away on the morning of Saturday the 29th of June.  I'd like to say a few things about him, but first...

There are two new movies down below this post.  You should watch them.

Okay.

Vincenzo "James Vincent" Grana was the son of Sicilian immigrants.  He worked to build his own home, and a home for his parents.  He fought aboard the USS Yorktown in Word War II.  He became the father of three sons, and worked tirelessly to support his family.  But I knew him as Grandpa Jim.
My grandpa was very, very important to me.  I always felt like he was more of a second father to me than a grandfather, and indeed when I was young we spent a lot of time together.  He used to take me around to the places he went quite a bit.  He taught me the value of hard work and the virtue of generosity, regardless of how much you actually have to give.  He showed me how to care for the people that are important to you, about selflessness and the importance of family.
He was angry and stubborn, but in a good way.  He never, ever stopped.  He was always on the move and always working hard, even long after retirement.  That was what was the single-most frustrating thing for him, in the end; his body could no longer keep up with his determination to get things done.
I'm angry and upset that I'll never get to see him again, yet even now, even after attending his funeral services, I still have a hard time accepting that he's gone.  He was always there to pick me up and when I was stuck on the other side of the fence, or to take me to work, or to peel an apple for me, or just to go out and get some french toast at the corner restaurant.
He's fortunate to have lived such a long life, but not nearly as fortunate as we were to have him in our lives for so long.