Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Day


"What's today?"
.
"Sunday."
.
No, the date?"
.
"May 30th"
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Nan looked looked out the window across the street, and got wet in the eyes.
.
"What's a matter?"

She didn't answer, I tried again.

"Nan, what's bothering you?"

"Pasquale."

"Pasquale?"


"My cousin."

Your cousin, who?"

"My older cousin."

I had my hint.

"Pasquale, your older cousin?"

"He died."

"OK, where did he die?"

"France."
.
"When?"

"1918."

It was May 1999. I was at Nan's bedside at the Jewish Home on 106th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. She'd just passed her fourth anniversary in Room Frank 510 - we didn't celebrate.

"We're you guys close?"

Nan looked up, her eyes milky with macular degeneration.

"He was my best friend."

She was 12 in 1918, lived on 75th Street & York Avenue. Nan told me Pasquale lived around the corner and walked her to school when he wasn't working in the cigar factory on 69th Street.

"I was a tomboy, he'd always played catch with me, and he got me out of trouble with my mother ~ she loved him. He was tall, and always stepped in when she was ready to give me a whack. He'd pick Mom up and spin her round. She'd forgot all about me."

81 years later, my grandmother, 93, was remembering her cousin, Pasquale, with love.
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Memorial Day fell on May 3oth. It started after the Civil War. It was a somber day, no fireworks ~ honor guards honoring the flag, and a long moment of silence at the ball game remembering those who died for their country.
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2 comments:

Abbi Crutchfield said...

I like big bows and I cannot lie...She was a beauty. You have that in your family. I hope someone remembers me when they're 83. Thanks for the story.

Tommy Pryor said...

abbi, no doubt you'll be on friends and family minds, you'll feel their laughs and smiles.