I had planned on resuming the narrative about the Torregrossa family (my paternal ancestors) this weekend but so many developments have come up that I think a pause is in order. Otherwise the entries and energies surrounding the past will be scattered and lose impact.
There have been developments once more that amaze me so very much that I’m left somewhat dazed. It’s just the same way I felt when Jackie and I finally reconnected in early 2013. It’s a feeling that is so hard to describe: happy, elated, joyful and yet somewhat concerned about all those “what ifs” that can come to mind when meeting a relative after a long absence. My usual “what ifs” concern whether or not I’ll still be good company.
These developments come at the Easter Season, with all its power renewal. Briefly, here is what has happened:
**The grandson of my Great Uncle Irving Flashenberg and Great Aunt Dorothy Muriel Kennedy Flashenberg found me through this blog. His name is Johnny Milone. His mom is Joan, the daughter of Irving and Dorothy. Joan was my maternal Grandma Bessie’s niece.
Joan is still alive and remembers my Grandma Bessie as “Aunt Blanche” (Blanche was Bessie’s other name).
Johnny has updated me on what happened to Great Uncle Irving and Great Aunt Dorothy. I thought I would never find out since after the 1940 Federal Census they disappeared from the public records and no longer came up on Ancestry’s search results.
I’m in the process of helping create a memorial at FindAGrave for Dorothy and look forward to working with Johnny and his family to further detail this part of the extended family tree that includes the Callahan and Kennedy families.
**My First Cousin 1x Removed named Alfred, from my Mom’s side, is back in touch thanks to our Cousin Rosina from Pennsylvania. Alfred is my late Mom’s First Cousin. Alfred’s Mom Florie is my Grandma Josie’s sister. I’ve been invited to Alfred’s home for Easter Dinner. It will be the first time I meet his wife Angela and her relatives. I’ll also meet their fur babies, two cats who keep Alfred company in his home office.
Alfred is a very spiritual and kind person. I remember visiting him and his parents (My Great Aunt Florie and Great Uncle Freddie). The conversations were always in depth and could span the arts, ethics, spirituality, morality and for a bit of good humor pop culture and famous celebrities of past and present.
**Cousin Rosina is planning to stay with me around November or December 2014. We’re already considering sights to see, among them the Christmas Lights of Dyker Heights. The entire vacation will be Brooklyn based so I’m going to enjoy this a lot. We may go to the Brooklyn Museum, too.
Rosina loves the opera. The Basilica of Regina Pacis is about 10 blocks from my home. Not only is is home to a most beautiful Italianate style house of worship but also the Regina Opera Company. I’m thinking Rosina might want to attend if a performance is scheduled the weekend she comes up.
**In early May, my Mom’s First Cousin Robert and his wife Claudia will come up to New York. I’m meeting them for dinner. I haven’t seen Robert in at least 30 years. I am so looking forward to it since I have so many fond memories of visiting his parents (My Great Aunt Angie and Great Uncle Peter) when they lived in Wilmerding and then East McKeesport, PA.
The interesting development here is that all of a sudden my Mom’s family is coming to the forefront. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have time for the research into my Dad’s side, but there is now a wealth of information about my maternal relatives also on tap.
Rosina and I had talked about how important it is to interview the relatives for all kinds of details, anecdotes, family lore and legend and even memories or slice-of-life epsidoes. I think she is very right. This is especially important for me to do as a way to supplement my maternal line family research. It is very difficult to get vital records from Pennsylvania and the family interviews will fill in where vital records are not yet available.
In PA it takes about 60 years after the death of a person for the Death Certificate to be available and 105 years after the birth of a person for the Birth Certificate to be made public.
In a way the sudden developments are similar to the tug and pull I experienced as a child between my parents. It was like a piper was playing lovely music on the side where my paternal relatives were while another piper played on the side where my maternal relatives were. As a child I ran back and forth delighting in it all but would inevitably withdraw to spend some days alone with my books, dolls, sewing and day dreaming.
I feel some of that now so what I plan to do is blog about the family reunions and put up some photos until things resume a more even pace and I can resume research and reflection on what happened in the past.