Tuesday, October 17, 2006



I saw "The Departed" last week, and I loved it. Definitely recommend it. Especially to Tans and Pat.

It made me miss home. Not like I grew up in Southie or around gangsters in Boston (Far from it. But geographically close enough...), but it was nice to see the people, etc. The film really captured the town, and the atmosphere that is thick with patriotism, religion, and loyalty.

There's this one scene where a guy is talking to his cousin. The cousin is wearing a cross around his neck, and behind him is the American flag flying off the house. And it just struck me - it was the visual depiction of what my Grandpa has ingrained in all of us: "God, Family, and Country."

From my experiences, those are the most important things in Boston. I'm not going to claim that I didn't grow up in the idyllic suburbs, but my mom and her six siblings grew up in the projects, with their dad working two jobs, one as a firefighter, the other as a mailman. My grandmother's only brother died in combat in WWII, and her sister was a nun for over 60 years. My dad's dad was a policeman, and his brother is a State Cop, up for retirement in a year. All of the houses in my family proudly fly the flag, and my younger cousin just served in Iraq, with the hopes that he'll get preferential veteran status when applying to become a Boston firefighter. Church is an important presence in my family - 21 of us are part of the same parish (well, 20, when I'm not there), and many of our get-togethers are centered around the bazillion first communions, confirmations, and baptisms that go on. "God Bless" is a standard way of saying goodbye.

My mom says that when she was younger, my Grandpa would sit at the head of the table, and tell her and her five brothers and one sister, "Look around you. These are your only friends." Granted, being a huge family, they had lots of friends. And now that circle is larger, with 23 grandkids, 14 parents, and my Grandma and Grandpa serving as the heads.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my dad, and I said about someone, "Oh, she's got my back." My dad's voice got an edge to it, and he said, "Meghan, the only people that 'got your back' are me, your mother, and your two brothers. Don't ever forget that."

God, Family, and Country. The implicit message is: Stay close. These three protect you, and do great things for you. Don't ever betray them.

In my large, Italian family, the saying is, "Blood is thicker than water." We are discouraged from going into business with anyone that is not blood-related, including your own spouse. But I guess that has some weight behind it...you can't divorce your own family!
Can't wait to see The Departed...I've got it penciled in for Friday evening.
CP: The first place I worked was family-owned and operated. It was intense.

Nowak: You might want to pre-purchase them - here the shows were sold out last weekend, and it had been in the theaters for over a week. I hope you enjoy it!
Good tip Meg. I'll look into that. Thanks chief.
I felt like I was reading about some families - my dad's parents in particular - I know.

Nice job describing it.
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