Family Tree

A tree is a plant with a tall structure comprised of a stem and branches to support leaves and a root system that anchors the stem as well as procures and stores essential growth elements, such as water and nutrients.

Last week’s blog post mentioning a cottage in Marshfield motivated one of my nine Troiano cousins, Tim, to start a Facebook Group – Troiano Family Descendants of Amadio and Helen Troiano. It is so fun keeping track of the posts from my beloved cousins whom my brothers and I spent a lot of time with in our childhood. Sadly, like all families our individual lives have spread in different directions (and states), yet our roots remain as one.

This week, I learned that we all remember fondly the times spent at the cottage and the original clawfoot tub. I never knew my grandmother was a poet until cousin Tim posted one of her poems, and my cousin Susan, also a poet, posted her tribute to Babcia, our Polish great grandmother. My cousin Kathy’s son James (great name!) is a genealogical researcher and has great information about our Italian and Polish heritage. 

Kathy, Susan, and Beth, do you remember when our Polish cousin Roma spent the summer? This week’s Facebook communications, together with a war at the crossroads of Russia and Europe, on the border of Poland, has made all of my memories of our beautiful great grandmother and our cousin come flooding back. I spent years writing letters to Roma and learning about her life. Sad that we did not stay in touch and I wonder what she is feeling today.

A family tree is a genealogical chart showing the ancestry, descent, and relationship of all members of a family. In the later Medieval period, nobility adopted the tree as a symbol of lineage, and by the eighteenth century, family pedigrees were commonly referred to as “family trees,” although the foliage had disappeared and the “roots” appeared at the top rather than the base of the diagrams.

Regardless of the tree imagery as upside down or upright, trees are magical systems of sturdy trunks and spreading roots and leaves – just like a family. While we can spread our leaves, our roots nurture the steady trunk which in turn strengthens us year upon year. I am so grateful for my great grandparents and grandparents who made lives for themselves in these United States of America. And, no matter where my life journey takes me, my roots anchor me, and have made me who I am today. 

Time to plan a Cousins Reunion in Marshfield.

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