Saturday, August 25, 2012

R.I.P., Hero

The day after Neil Armstrong took this step in 1969, our family visited my nearly 100-year-old great grandmother. She had lived most of her life in Ferno, Italy ("ferno" means Hell in English), but spent her final years in New Jersey. We were all excited about the moon landing, and my grandmother tried to explain to her -- in the soft, melodic, mostly-Italian, part-English language they had developed between themselves -- what a spaceship was. But the words didn't seem to exist. So, much to the frustration of my grandfather, "Bisnonna" never understood how this could be possible before she died a few months later.