A Family Reunion

Today was a very special day for me. It started with a trip to the St. Eulalia church and cemetery. This is the church where archival records indicated that most all of the family were buried in this church yard. I knew it would be a long shot but I hoped and prayed that I would be able to find my father’s three young sisters who passed away before my grandmother came to the states. Sadly it was as complicated as I thought perhaps it would be. Our guide Francisca was able to explain how graveyards were arranged . Francisca, Diann, and I looked for dates and names in three different directions. We were able to find my grandmother’s older brother Mauricio but sadly not the girls or other siblings. Next we went to the office of the cemetery.  The women in the office searched for their names but told us that they are probably there but in an unmarked grave. The only way to find out more information is to have permission of the heirs, proof that you are the heirs and a Portuguese citizen. I took comfort in knowing I was in the right cemetery and that the family was in this church yard.
Sent from my iPhone




From the church we went a short distance to the home of my cousin José Manahu. José and I have the same great grandparents, Rosa Francisca da Silva and Antonio da Silva Manahu. Diann, Francisca, and I enjoyed their gracious hospitality complete with delicious vintage Port. Our time was spent talking of family, reminiscing of my parents’ visit in 1978, and looking through the beautiful book Diann made for us of our family history. Through our tears of joy and sadness of things lost, additional colors have been woven to continue the family tapestry. The time with José and Lourdes touched my heart’s longing to reconnect with my ancestry . I now believe I understand the meaning of the untranslatable Portuguese word
“saudade”.


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