Grandmother's Bracelet

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Golden Hawaiian Bracelet
Golden Hawaiian Bracelet

  Joy, sorrow, and pride are all emotions I feel when I hold my late grandmother's bracelet. The brassy smell that exudes from it instantly takes me back to when I used to play guitar for her, as my old strings gave off the same smell. The bracelet is golden with a pattern of waves protruding from it. On it is my grandmother’s name “Ofelia” engraved on the front, while my grandfather’s name “Merdonio” is engraved on the inside. It was a gift from my late grandfather and was one of the few nice things he could afford to give her. My grandparents came from extreme poverty in the Philippines. They had no running water, no electricity, and frequently no food. My great uncle wanted a better life, so after the immigration act of 1965, which, as President Johnson stated, “opened the doors to those who can contribute most to this country – to its growth, to its strength, to its spirit” had passed he knew that this was his only opportunity to achieve that. The act made it illegal to discriminate against race, nationality, and ancestry as a basis for a visa. Ecstatic, as he was the first of my family to immigrate to Hawaii. He had to work as a farmer for a miniscule compensation to survive there. To him, it was worth it; anything was better than where they came from. It became his mission to bring the rest of his family to Hawaii.  I will forever cherish this golden bracelet and all the hard work that was required to receive it. 

Place(s): Hawaii

– Angelo Ortino

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant