A Deeper Reason to Obtain Italian Citizenship
I was recently discussing the subject of genealogy research with a friend when he made the comment “just think, you are somebody’s ancestor”. Not “you will be somebody’s ancestor” which brings to mind a place in time far away in the future, but “you ARE somebody’s ancestor”, right now. After having done a fair amount of research on my own ancestors who have since long passed away, I got chills at this notion. At one point, my ancestors were my age, living their life just as I am now. At one time, they held a pen and signed the old World War I and World War II registration papers I found. One of my descendants may one day pull up an old document I signed or an old computer post I made and wonder what my life was like. What I was like. I am getting chills as I type this.
An unexpected benefit of going through the process of pulling together all of the documents and information needed for Italian citizenship is the deepening connection I feel to my ancestors. I have realized at a level I never previously had what a huge part they played in who I am today. Although having been raised by a pure Italian family, my mom was not very close to her grandparents. As a result, throughout my childhood, my mom didn’t speak much about her grandparents and didn’t even know all of their names. As I started revealing details about them, I started feeling a much greater connection to them and my Italian ancestry. As I shared these details with my mom, I think she has too. Beyond the practical benefits of getting my Italian citizenship that I wrote about previously here, I feel like it is also an homage and honor to them and to my heritage. My United States citizenship honors their sacrifice of leaving their friends, family and life in search of opportunities and freedoms for themselves and their descendants. My Italian citizenship will honor what they left behind and the many, many ancestors that came before them.
As you start gathering the information on your ancestors and relatives for your Italian citizenship, take the time to read through it and reflect on how their lives and their decisions played a part in who you are today and on how you are, in turn, carrying on their legacy. Who knows, perhaps your journey into your ancestry will not end with your Italian citizenship.