I Went Back!Dominic Panebianco
To where I have never been!
AARP magazine published several articles about US Citizens wanting to get closer to and learn more about their Heritage. This has become more typical with Baby Boomers and yes those of the early Gen X ers.
Now that retirement is here or nearing to the largest segment of our population. I guess it’s that time in life where a person is compelled or simply curios to learn more about themselves (a fulfillment of sorts, maybe something they had on their bucket list) and the Heritage that belongs to them.
Years ago I learned much about my Grandmother and her family when I visited Regalbuto, Sicily. Nonna Vincenza born in 1899 was the oldest of her siblings. Grandma had four siblings. One of her brothers moved to Argentina in the early part of the 20th century. Her other brothers and two sisters remained in Sicily. I met her youngest sister Concetta. Although years apart the two sisters had a strong resemblance to one another. At dinner one evening with my Aunt, my eyes teared up. An amazing feeling of contentment feel over me. It was likely a transference of the Love I had for Grandma who raised me during my early years We stayed at Aunt Concetta’s house for the week and explored the small town. We visited the gravesites where my Great Grandparents and Great-Great Grandparents were buried. Talk about an emotional experience!
We met many family members, mostly my Mother’s first cousins. I was excited to spend time in my cousin Vito’s home, the house where my Grandmother was born. Vito was raising rabbits on his little farm. We walked to the Chiesa Madre at the town center where my Grandmother and her mother and father were baptized.
An addendum to that experience.
I learned that my Grandfather (Vincenza’s husband) Giuseppe’s mother who was very ill was taken in and cared for by Vincenza’s family in Regalbuto. That was in the 1940’s, when my Grandfather and Grandmother lived here in the US.
Then I learned that my Great Grandmother, Vincenza’s mother Vita (my mother’s name) passed away in Sicily in 1950. I was two years old at the time. That information had me frozen in thought. Can’t explain!.
It’s been many years since I’ve been to Regalbuto. I think it will be different experience when I return.
Your Host @ Heritage Coinwear
Don (Dominic) Panebianco,