Letters from Home

Relationship: unknown

My mother came to America in 1989 to escape the harsh realities of communism back home. Coming to this country was a rather hard adjustment because she did not speak the language and did not have any family or friends at the time. Her only form of communication with her family was through letters. My mother and grandmother exchanged hundreds of letters throughout the years because at that point in time my mother did not have access to a telephone. In the letters the women spoke about various things, from the latest gossip in their hometown to the struggles they both faced living in the areas that they were in. My mom did not live an easy life in the beginning here. She dealt with a lot of discrimination because of her accent and the simple way she dressed walking down the street. Her bosses took advantage of the fact that she did not speak English and did not have anywhere to go by making her work long hours and making her aware that she is just a nobody. If someone heard that she barely spoke any English, she would be laughed at or not paid any attention. My grandmother would write about the hardships that Poles were facing back home. The lack of goods in stores and trying to put food on the table were hard stories to read. The most heart twisting story was when my grandmother told my mother not to come back to Poland because there would be no life for her; she would be making far less money and it was no place to start a family.

Year: 1990

– Barbara

Relationship:  unknown unknown