I'm glad Melissa broached the topic of our Grandmother Connie. Drew, Ella, and Tyler had never gotten the chance to meet her, but they will undoubtedly hear about her. Born in a house in Hoboken in Oct 1914, the first of 10 children, she was the matriarch of the family, and if you think about a family tree….what a large one it was (filled with plenty of Michael's and Marietta's as that was their parents names) She did not have much of a formal education, but a life of experience had made her wise beyond her years. I was lucky enough to live in the same house with her my whole life. I have vivid memories of my time with Gram as well as thoughts/ideas/concepts from her that I will strive to pass on to the children.
One of those is pride…she was always so proud of herself, the things she accomplished, her family, and her community. Another is the ability to be happy. She always told me that you alone can always be happy no matter what the circumstance. She lived through a Depression and a World War where all of her brothers and husband were fighting and she always said that she could find something to be happy about. I've never seen anyone with the ability to glean so much pleasure from the sound of music, the taste of food, a breathe of fresh air, or the feel of sunlight on her face. She always told me to focus on what I have, not what I don't have. Lastly, one of the things she told me most often……. "Michael, when you say your prayers at night, always thank the Lord that you were born in America" Gram loved this country, with all its faults, she always felt lucky to live here.
Drew/Ella/Ty, be prepared for me to talk about Gram and her stories. She was awesome. A legend. I'm not sure if it was in honor of Gram or my own pride in the USA…but when Drew and Ella were born, I wanted to have Aunt Melissa paint a saying on the wall….but my wife quickly vetoed it. So I think I shall put it here for you to read when you are older.
Twins by luck,
Dargan by birth,
American by the grace of God……