Grandpa’s Insight


Today’s guest author is Annie’s Nonno, my dad. I sent him an email asking if he’d see if he could find the time in his busy attorney calendar to sit down and write about Annie. A few hours later, this was in my inbox. Thanks Dad for instilling in all six of your children that family is what really matters and always comes first. And for all the endless memories like the one you’ve written about here. Like Mom always says, it’s amazing that our family is always constantly surrounded by “SO MUCH LOVE.” 

We once watched a meteor shower together on a perfectly dark night in Central Wisconsin. We were perched on the hood of our Chevy Suburban; some of our backs flat against the windshield, the rest against the torsos of those leaning on the glass.  Seven of us huddled in the smallest conceivable space staring at the improbable spectacle that was marking time against the limitless sky. 

It isn’t often that you get everything you want in life, but for an hour, there it was; the juxtaposition of the nucleus of family, condensed and focused, beneath the unbridled fury of the universe.

I remember thinking that it could never get any better than that moment when all that could be said was “ooh, ah”.

When something makes everyone aboard go “ooh, ah “, that’s pretty good … and pretty rare.

So for the next 20 years I would think about that night as the perfect gift. One to which you are entitled just once in your life.

But then here comes Annie; streaking into our lives with unabated and imponderable light.

There’s a perfect picture of her sitting atop the shoulders of her father; arms bursting out with the force of uncontainable joy; surrounded by the very souls that so many moons ago reclined on the bonnet of our long gone Chevy.  

“ Ooh ah” is the only fitting caption for that picture; and for the hundreds of others that record the moments when Annie draws us all together to witness something truly, reliably, irrevocably good.  She makes us see how easily and often we can have everything we could ever want.


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