La mia storia

I was born September 3, 1970, and grew up in a rural suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The area was rich with diverse people and proud ethnic backgrounds: Italians, Germans, Poles, Slavs, and Greeks.

This was a steel-mill region where many residents made their living off the great Pittsburgh steel factories of the midcentury. Even my mother worked in a steel mill for a period of her life.

My beautiful mother and handsome father when they were married in 1964.

My father was second-generation Italian, my mother was from a large family with southern roots and descended from wealthy plantation owners in Virginia. Her family lost everything after the Civil War and migrated north to Ohio and Pennsylvania.

My father is alive and well in Rochester, Pennsylvania. He lives about a mile from his childhood home. He stays active and spends most of his time volunteering for his Catholic church, serving his local VFW lodge, and generally helping everyone he meets.

Growing up, my father and I had a strained relationship, but after my mother’s death in 2006, we seem to have found each other again and I appreciate my father’s wisdom so much more now and relish our time together.

I love this picture of me and my two siblings.

Tracy is my big sister, and lives in Milton, Florida. Just outside Pensacola. My big brother is pictured in the middle here. He and his wife live outside Atlanta, Georgia. I’m the cute chubby kid on the left.

I am blessed with six nieces and nephews, and five great nieces/nephews. I adore and love being their “guncle.”

I moved to California one month after I graduated high school in pursuit of something different. I resided in Orange County, California for almost 30 years. I met my husband in 1996. We married in 2008 and were together for 23 years. My husband and I settled in Palm Desert, California in 2014.

I had a wonderful career for 23 years at a major health plan and progressed through the ranks until I was CEO of their life insurance subsidiary. I semi-retired at age 45 in 2015 so that my husband and I could travel and pursue something more creative for both of us. Unfortunately, life had different plans for us.

Darin was and still is the love of my life. He died March 16, 2018, due to cancer. He was a beautiful person who I grow to appreciate and love even more each day that goes by without him.

The last two years have been the most difficult of my life, and at the same time, the most revealing in terms of self-discovery. In my effort to make meaning of the last two years, I realized one important thing: sometimes you have to lose something so utterly important in order to find yourself.

I do not doubt for a moment that the Divine has a plan for me. I just have to find out what it is.

Over the last year I have dismantled most of my entire life, and with it, much of what I once thought was important. I made the decision to pursue the next phase of my life in Italy. This entire site is dedicated to the great adventures that await me. Thank you for following my journey as I pursue the next best version of me. There is something wonderful in not knowing how this is going to end.

Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Luke

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