I remember your soft smile and your gentle nature. The way you threw your hands up in defeat, never one to argue.

I remember the background noise of the television as you sat watching, legs tucked under as you watched, remote control in hand.

I remember hours sitting at the kitchen table playing Trouble, Monopoly, Aggravation, and Rummy. “Another one?” You’d ask as one game finished, always ready for another.

I remember the way you ate your tomato salad, fork in one hand and a slice of Italian bread in the other.

I remember sleepovers, wedged in the middle of your full sized bed, listening to you breathe…and snore.

I remember your handkerchief, always tucked in your back pocket, your eyeglass holder and pens in your shirt pocket, along with a lotto ticket or two.

I remember the way my name sounded rolling off your tongue- three syllables magically just one with your Italian accent.

I remember the bits of stories you’d share from your past. Childhood, Italy, army life, family.

I remember your silhouette as you stood in the garden, one arm resting on your shovel, catching your breath from the heat and hard work.

Sometimes I still expect to see your plaid shirt as I round the corner into your backyard, sitting on the patio, enjoying the quiet.

Mostly, I remember the feeling of unconditional love.

October 29,1919 is the day my grandfather, Santo, was born. Today would have been his 100th birthday. Happy birthday, Pop! ❤️

6 thoughts on “1919

  1. What a lovely tribute to what sounds like a wonderful man. Love the form you chose, repeating “I remember…” I may have to borrow this, as my mom’s birthday is coming in November. She would have been only 77.


  2. Powerful mentor text, Jess, for anyone who is working on honoring or celebrating a loved one. Your details create so much emotion, and the change in your pattern emphasize his love. Birthdays and other markers are important for pausing and remembering the people who we love in life, and we write for so many, many reasons. Your poem is a beautiful tribute.


  3. Love this! So simple yet full of emotion. It’s so cool how are memories are always connected to a feeling – rarely does a memory stand alone without emotion! Happy Birthday, Pop!


  4. Simply beautiful. I slowed down with each memory – so easy to picture and feel each. This is a perfect mentor for students and adults wanting to write about memories of a person, place or object. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are celebrating tonight!


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