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My interest in genealogy began in full after reading the book, “I Know This Much Is True” By Wally Lamb. The book itself is not about genealogy. The book is about a man, Dominic, who while dealing with the care and then suicide of his schizophrenic twin brother, learns family secrets from a private autobiography his Italian grandfather wrote as a penance for his acts. The autobiography reveals dark family secrets about the grandfather's life and traumas and the emotional abuse of Dominic's mother by the Grandfather. The overall story describes how this abuse and the grandfathers traumas echo's down the generation effecting effecting Dominic's mother and her children as well.

The story is tied together through many sub-plots that deal with such topics as the hardships early 20th century immigrants faced, family dynamics, growing up and the roles one plays in a family and how those roles and behaviors are transferred to other circumstances. The story is told through Dominic and individuals in his families' experience with, reaction too and accommodation of mental illness, physical illness, death and loss within the family. Dominic begins therapy for the sake of his brother but then continues it to deal with depression and effects of trauma in his own life.

While the ending maybe a little too happy, and the issues extreme, It demonstrates the fact that not only are genetic illnesses passed down, so to are emotional traumas and the effects can be more difficult to comprehend and untangle then physical illnesses. The book is a good illustration of the fact that we are not only a product of genes, family dynamics and experiences we are also the products of the dynamics and experiences of those who came before us.

The book had me thinking about my own family dynamics, the experiences I had growing up and how my reaction, accomodation and adaptation to family dynamics played into and influenced other aspects of my life. I also started to think about my immigrant grandparents and the hardships they faced and the effects it had on my parents upbringing and ultimately on my own. It made me curious about some of the family stories that had been passed down to me. I didn't know much about my father's Lithuanian roots. I never knew either Lithuanian Grandparent. They both emigrated to the US in the early 20th century. They both passed away before I was born and by the time I started my research my own father had passed away as well.

The most rewarding aspect of my research has not been what I learned about my long dead ancestors it has been discovering, rediscovering and meeting for the first time my living relatives here in the US, Lithuania and in Slovenia. I've visted Lithuania twice, once in the summer of 2001 and then again in the Fall of 2004. I've visted Slovenia once, also in the fall of 2004. I've added new sections in both the Lithuanian and Slovenian pages with links to photographs, some that I took and more links to place and people I visted in both countries. I'm still working on posting more photos and explanations.  I've added the first part of a narrative that someday I hope to finish, about the twists and turn my research took which led to discover living relatives in Lithuania and Slovenia and my expeirences meeting and visiting them.

Copyright © 2005 By Michael Sacauskis. All rights reserved.

Permission granted to copy information for personal genealogical use only.