It'sall about where we came from....our journey here and what shaped us as we grew up. People who taught us about the history of our families, and the far away places they came from to build a new life for themselves, their children and future generations that followed .
This image of my Aunt Deanna totally captures her personality. She didn't let anyone hold her back, and always did her own thing. She was a tiny little thing and stood a towering height of 4' 11". She was cute as a button, stubborn, and a free spirited soul. She is also a fellow Virgo, so naturally I connect with her as we share the same earth sign. She loved her candy...and always had some for me when we would visit every summer. I can still hear her voice when she used to call me "Miss Y".
I grew up knowing that my father was so proud to be Lithuanian, and he used to call me "Little Lithuanian" and "Little Yaz" (short for Yescalis). As I got older, I realized how important this fact was, and I have become intrigued with the history of my family. About 15 years ago, I stumbled across a fantastic article about my great-grandmother Josephine Kancavage Yescalis, who immigrated from Lithuania with her parents Antanina and Martin at the age of seven. They settled in a small town in PA called Shenandoah, which had also attracted other immigrants from Poland, Ireland, Italy, Wales, Slovakia and Greece. Many came to work in this bustling coal mining town where Martin would end up working. Josephine's husband, William Yescalis, also worked in the mines. Their son, Albin (my grandfather) followed in his Father's and Grandfather's footsteps as well. Mining accidents were very common, and unfortunately claimed the lives of both Martin and William.
Albin survived the mines, but unfortunately I never got to meet him. Here he is on the right, I believe his job was a foreman at the Shenandoah Colliery.