In the late 90’s I spent some time in the basement of my father’s house looking through an old metal file box that had belonged to my grandma (Ida Jaeger O’Connell). There were many items in the file box that are worthy of discussion. But, the one that touched me the most is grandpa’s (A. Larry O’Connell) wallet. It was made of a hard plastic and when I held it, I could feel the past with in. The past of a poor man, who loved his family. The only items remaining in the wallet were pictures of his daughter and a few of the grandchildren.
What really touched me was that grandma saved his wallet. One can only assume it was for sentimental value. It was obviously not worth anything.
As I held his wallet, I thought about many things. But one thing that I really thought about was how far our family has come. Grandpa never owned land, he always lived in apartments or with other family members. When he died, my dad purchased his first home, it was a two flat. An apartment for us and one for grandma upstairs. Convenient babysitter upstairs and he was close enough to help her with what she needed. From that house, we moved to a single family home that had room for all of us. The family moved a few more times, always to a bigger home. When I think of the house dad lives in know, I wonder if his parents would be proud of how he changed the life of our family?