Tom Carroll was my maternal grandfather. The grandfather I unfortunately never knew personally. Yet, the stories my mother told me about him have fueled my imagination from a very young age. Yes, he was an immigrant. He came over from Ireland with his parents who sought a better life, fleeing from the devestating Irish potato famine.
Grandpa Carroll was fun loving, sometimes to the point of exhausting his youngest daughter. “Let’s go for a walk? Then go get ice cream. Maybe then we could go to the movies…” He loved life and wanted to enjoy it. My favorite story was when he took my mother (she was, I think, about 10 at the time) to New York,and they visited The Statue Of Liberty. He told her they were going to climb to the crown together. He told her to head up the stairs and he would be right behind her. She said it took her about half way up to realize he had tricked her into going up there alone (okay, probably not the greatest parenting move). But, the thing is, he didn’t want her to miss the experience. Maybe he was tired that day. Or, just getting older, and not up to the long hike up to the crown. Yet, he made sure my mom had the experience of a lifetime, one she would never forget. No, I didn’t know the man, yet I so loved his happy spirit.
I’ve enjoyed telling you about my muse…my dear Grandpa Carroll.