A Model For Me

By , Branford, CT
It was 11:45 at night on September 22, 2011 when I got that dreaded phone call nobody could bear hearing. Earlier that day, my grandma had called explaining to us how my grandpa had fallen outside of their home in North Providence. My dad had rushed to the hospital to check up on him but we all assumed he just had a couple scratches and would be okay.
I remember hesitating to pick up the call, anticipating the words I would soon hear from my father. The phone seemed like it was echoing throughout my entire house and I could feel my heart begin to race. As I heard it ring a third time, I slowly picked up and raised the phone to my ear. I could hear my dad on the other end of the line, his voice was low and I could tell he was choked up.
Making my voice sound as optimistic as possible, I exclaimed, “Hey dad, how are you?” attempting to lift the mood a little. The next few words that came out of my dad’s mouth would be something I will never forget. Instantly I knew, that my grandpa had passed. Time felt that it had come to a complete stop. Nothing else mattered to me except to be strong for my dad. Fighting back my tears, I assured him that everything would be okay and it was his time to go.
At that time I reflected back at the life my grandfather had led. He was born in the region of Campania, Italy being one of 11 siblings. At the age of 17, he fought in World War II for Italy, being discharged in South America. He was captured by the Russians and was shot in the leg while fleeing them. He never graduated high school or went to college. After the war he traveled to America in search for a better life. He eventually settled with my grandmother in North Providence, RI and had two children. He worked in a wire factory for most of his life, making less than minimum wage as an immigrant. He suffered through two strokes while my dad was a kid and survived both.
For the first time, my eyes were really opened to the incredible life my grandfather, Giuseppe, had created for himself. Seeing what he accomplished from where he came from, makes me want to work that much harder to achieve my dreams in college. I’ll always admire his perpetual desire for something more in life and his devote dedication to his family. He always valued everything he had because he knew just how difficult it was to earn it. What he overcame and endured, is truly inspiring and I will forever live by what he has taught me. “Nothing in this world is handed to you. You have to go out and get it. Nobody said it would be easy but hard work always pays off.”





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