it's good to know where you come from. if i squint and look back at my ancestors, blurring their individual stories...
...i come from a long line of melancholic romantic die-hard men who would sit under fig trees drinking vino and philosophizing about politics and cheese. mostly their names were antonio. they had cinnamon-colored hair.
...i also come from a long line of resourceful and industrious women determined to improve their lot in life. they kept fastidious gardens from which they fed their families. several of the women were known as healers. my mom has shown me how Tia Peti would use a piece of string to heal digestive tract issues (hmm...) but mostly their methods were to pray very persuasively. they had great success. their neighbors gave them "gifts" for their services. (it was bad luck to accept payment.)
this is my Nona. she shares her exact shade of blue eyes with me. she married into the antonini family but she never had children. she raised her niece (my abuelita) and looked after all those antonini brothers. you can read more about her here.
this is nona (again) and dora, another niece. dora was tia louisa's daughter. tia lousia, even more than all my ancestors was famously DEVOTED to her enormous garden. to this day when my mom announces she's going to "louisiar" she means she's going to work in the garden.
"me voy louisiando..."
p.s. do you find that you make more sense when you learn about your ancestors?