Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to participate in something very beautiful. I was part of a series of events that led to reuniting a family lost after part of the family immigrated to America in the early 1900s. It is moments like this that make me so proud to have this blog.
I am well aware of how fortunate I am to know my roots here in Italy as I know many have lost theirs after generations in America. This particular story spanned over the course of about a year and I couldn’t be happier with how it unfolded.
Last summer I received an email from a man in the United States. He was seeking information about the massheld every year in September in Toronto for the Madonna Della Grazie (the patron saint of Carpanzano). He was interested in meeting other Carpanzanesi in the hopes that he could meet others with origins in Carpanzano and just maybe find distant relatives or perhaps information on relatives that may still be living in Carpanzano. He went to this mass and met many people from Carpanzano that immigrated to Toronto. Of them, he met my Zio and Zia. A friendship grew and they remained in contact.
Now, let’s fast forward to this summer. My Zio and Zia are in Carpanzano for the summer so my zio did some digging to see if he could find any information for his new friend. During one of his many walks through the paese, he stopped to talk to a man who he used to go to school with when he was a child still living in Carpanzano. This man had the same last name as my Zio’s friend in the United States. It’s not uncommon to have different families with no relations that have the same last name, but my Zio decided to ask him about his family anyway. It’s a good thing he did, because it turns out that this man’s grandfather and the grandfather of my Zio’s friend were brothers. It was certainly more than anyone could have hoped for. It turns out that this man was looking for information on the part of his family that immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s. Up until now, he had no luck.
Earlier this week, my Zio and I went to this man’s house and we called my Zio’s friend in the United States. It was such a moving experience. We all sat around the phone, the man pacing as my Zio dialed his friend’s number. The man’s daughter had tears in her eyes when her father spoke to his newly found cousin for the first time. A connection was finally made. I held back my tears and couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to be there. I can only imagine how emotional it must have been for this family and I am so pleased that they have connected and can now grow and learn more about what happened on both sides of the ocean.
I wish them all the best and hope they can arrange a trip to meet in person in the near future!