Imagine My Surprise!!

I was waiting for notification via email from Marias Fiorista that cousin Maria received my flowers.  Imagine my surprise when I saw an email from Salvatore Milano! 

Salvatore, whom I have yet to meet, is the youngest son of cousin Maria and Lorenzo who lives in Pisa, has a construction business and has 2 sons, Lorenzo and Juri.   

Salvatore Milano

He wanted to thank me for the Family History book I left for him at his Mom’s house. He read through it and had some corrections. I mentioned to him that the information was obtained from his Dad, Lorenzo, through a series of letters, which I attached to the email. He was happy that I corresponded with his Dad who contributed to my knowledge of the family.

Salvatore also told me that we missed each other at the airport!! What??? I left early in the morning and he arrived early afternoon. No one had mentioned to me that Salvatore was on his way to visit!!!!

He also wanted to inform me that his brother Renzo was having health issues and was in the hospital. I asked if Maria needed help and if so, I would travel back to Sicily.

Over a series of emails, I learned that Renzo had a successful heart surgery. He has similar heart issues as my Dad, Lorenzo (a.k.a. Larry), my older sister Laurette, my younger sister Sarah, my brother and myself. It still surprises me that unknown family members halfway across the world are still linked via DNA.  

I also mentioned the highlights of my trip and the family history that I learned during my visit to Castellammare del Golfo and Calatafimi. Our conversation is still ongoing, especially regarding our Great-Grandfather, Lorenzo Milano.


Folks have been asking me about my research on my family tree. They want to know how long does it take? Shouldn’t be too long, no? I laugh….

It all started when I received a small package in the mail from my mother. When I opened the envelope, there was a note from my mother explaining the contents. It was a continuation of an old conversation regarding that timeless question “where did we come from” in Sicily? So, now I was intrigued. I had a million things going through my mind.  As I opened the envelope I saw a bundle of tissue paper. I gingerly opened it and found very old documents. I was so excited!!! It was like hitting the jackpot at Harrah’s!! (Maybe not to those who love the excitement of the casinos!!)

I carefully began to look through the documents. A few of them were so old and had been scotch taped (yes, I said that) together, that I was afraid to touch them. But what a treasure trove of information my mother had gifted to me. Included were birth, immigration and death certificates for my grandparents.

So, that was the beginning of my journey to try to answer the age old question of “where did I come from?”.  It has been over 20 years that I have been seeking relatives and asking questions of those both near and far.

Librizzi, Messina
The mountain town of Librizzi in the province of Messina

More next time…..