Children don’t think much about their ancestry. The important thing to them is the “now,” not the “then.” I was no different. I was young, and my grandparents were old. I attended school, read books, watched television, played with friends, ran through my youth, blissfully unconscious that I had these liberties because of four people who did not have them took a chance.
But, today. Today, as I reach middle age, this information is important because it is as much a part of me as the blood that sweeps through my body. I trace the veins and lines in my hand with my fingers. I study the shape of my face and my feet and my hands. I stand at the mirror, searching my eyes, trying to see my grandparents staring back at me. My mother used to tell me that I resembled my grandmother - her mother, not my father's mother. I couldn't see the resemblance then and don't see it now as I hold photos of my grandmother next to my face as I look in the mirror. As long as I don't resemble the paternal grandmother, I'm happy.
I mentioned to my husband that I'm going to have to take photos like the one above to Pettorano sul Gizio with us next month. I'm not going to find anyone who recognizes them as they were both in their 20s when the came to the States 105 years ago. I think, though, that I hope to be able to find relatives who resemble them.
Getting the photos to take with us is just one little step in getting ready for a trip like this. Since we decided to bite the bullet and take the trip now, I've been quite caught up in trying to map out a route, find places to stay, find accessories that will make the trip easier, decide what to pack (and what not to pack!) and make my travel journal. Yes. I do keep a travel journal when we go somewhere, and I have to make it myself.
Over the next few days, I'll give you a little insight into how the plans are going.