One year ago today J. and I walked 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. It makes me want to visit that place again.
I think of Eduardo (who changed his name to Edward Patton when he immigrated) growing up in Ortona and my little TMD growing here in my lap. Eduardo died on Christmas day when I was only a little boy. One of my strongest memories of him is only a few days before he died telling me about the beautiful farms in the seaside village were he grew up.
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. TMD may not know it now but his great-grandparents who will only exist to him as black and white photos have left themselves in J. and me. Similarly I will leave myself in him.