Sunday, August 21, 2011

And I thought I had it hard...

Whenever I have the thought for even a moment that my life is unfair or that I have a tough one, doing the simple chores but hacking away at the back of a computer screen and walking to and from school I had always looked back on what my family used to say to me. My life is likely 10 times better than the generation before me...

Now that I look back I see they were much right. My grandfather was the 3rd child of 7 brothers, one whom died at a very, very young age. He grew up with his family on a small farm and helped his father maintain the animals day in and day out. He almost grew up on what any small child would think of as a stereotypical farm, raising Cows, Pigs, Chickens, and a special goat, he always reminded me of that goat.

Growing up after the war they were very poor and could not afford much food, making home-made pastas, cheeses, sauces, and yes, meats. There was no electricity, no real plumbing, not even mail delivered to the homes...According to my Uncles they ran down to the town squad everyday to meet with the mailman and collect their packages. Without FedEx or the USPS using their planes and cars now a days I don't think we'd be getting our mail very far.

They always made it seem as if they enjoyed their growth on the farm, as if they had it easy. When I'm put to work moving furniture, helping with house repair or even just a little tidy up I always think in the back of my head that when my grandfather was about half my age he slaughtered his first pig. Disgusting as it may seem it was an opportunity for me to learn that I should respect the life I live now.

I complain about walking to school, but I never took into account the disadvantages my grandfather and his brothers had when it came to education. Men in this part of Italy were farmboys, and typically were only educated up until Grade 5. Brilliant and sharp as my grandfather is he only achieved a 5th grade education level, walking everyday over 2 miles, just to get there. I am positive that if he had the opportunity that maybe he would have emphasized upon further education, but it was around this time that his older brothers had the chance and the dreams of moving to North America.

I am sure that somewhere in the midst my grandfather also had this dream, but for his childhood he had it pretty rough. I am just lucky that he made the decisions he did in the business world.

How's that for a 2nd post? I'll catch onto this.


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