Miles From Fenway


They give you roots, they give you wings
March 2, 2009, 2:08 am
Filed under: family | Tags: ,

One of my mother’s favorite quotes has always been “I wish for you two things, to give you roots, to give you wings.” I’ve been down in FL for 5 days now, trying to help move my grandparents back to RI after 20 years retired in FL. It’s been stressful, it’s been tough. Errands, and cleaning, and packing have been in abundance. I’ve taken a week off of work to make thiPapa's WWII wingss happen; but the other day I was given the best gift my grandfather, my Papa, could ever give me: he gave me wings.

I’ve written extensively in this space, about Papa. I consider myself lucky to still have 3 of my 4 grandparents around. But a few years ago, we brought Papa to the WWII memorial (a post you can read about here) and it was a moment that changed my life. It was a reminder of the history Papa has live through, and the sights he has seen.

As we all sat around trying to clear out their belongings for a move to the place they’ve long called home, Papa called me into his bedroom and presented me with the one thing I wanted as his legacy: the wings he earned as a tail gunner in WWII.

I almost broke down when he presented them to me. Papa has always meant the world to me, and here he was giving me one of his most prized posessions. Later on, you’ll get more stories from this move: about Papa telling me semi-true family histories at a Red Sox spring training game, Grandma talking about her “German crystal” she spent years trying to obtain as a clerk at Apex, and Papa’s work history through the depression (the real one, he says, not the one we’re going through now). But for the moment, I guess I just wanted you to know how much this memento of family history meant to me, and how one day I hope to be able to show it to my children; to tell them what an amazing man their great grandfather was. And how he’s the reason we’re all here today.