By Dominic Siciliano
All of us will at some point in our lives begin to consider our legacy. I find myself contemplating how people will remember me more and more now that I have a family and children of my own, and because for the first time in my life I have lost someone significant to me: February 25, 2014, marked the one-year anniversary of the death of my grandfather, Sam Siciliano.
A year to the day after his passing, the family gathered together at Brewery Vivant to enjoy a few rounds of ‘Sammy the Bull’, the beer my cousin Jacob brewed in his honor—Sammy the Bull was our grandfather's nickname as a boy.
The perfect beer to commemorate Grandpa, Sammy the Bull was a little boozy and, just like its namesake, if you spent too much time with it, you could easily find yourself three sheets to the wind.
|Jacob and Grandma|
That evening at Vivant, I was lucky enough to find myself siting across from my grandmother and Jacob. They are not expressive people like Grandpa, more on the artistic side. Grandma, who rarely drinks, took a sip of Jacob's beer. Folks were laughing at the novelty of it. But I caught a glance she gave Jacob. She knows how much it meant to him—to brew this beer for Grandpa, a tribute to his best friend.
I looked down one way, toward my dad, his brother Mark and their wives, both named Barb. Mark and Barb's kids were there as well as some close family friends. Down the other way my four kids were eating fries and coloring on napkins, and my wife Janelle was directing traffic. I looked across to Aunt Laurie, who was holding Jacob’s daughter Izzy, with Jacob’s sister Sarah sitting next to her. On a sleepy Tuesday night in February, this big goofy family had taken over the brewery and exploded it with food and beer and laughter.
What do you think about when you think of your legacy? How do want to be remembered and honored? I’d say on that Tuesday night we honored Sammy the Bull the right way.
Salute, Grandpa. We all miss you so much.