Marie Arana's father's wallet

Her father's wallet that was left to her
Her father's wallet that was left to her

 When my father died, I was given his wallet. His wallet had in it the whole history of his life, essentially. It had his mother, his father, all of his children, his wife, and his army induction in the Peruvian army, his going to school in Santa Maria in Barranco, in Lima, Peru. It had his just notation in case anybody found him—where he was born, when he was born, phone numbers, address. It was an expression of someone who has floated in life. This was an immigrant. He initially met my mother in the States, then took her to Peru, and then he became an immigrant to go back to her country. When the wallet was handed to me, it had not only myself in it, but it had really our family DNA. It was the most extraordinary thing. Worn thing, not a glamorous alligator wallet. This was an ordinary, very worn wallet with a whole treasure trove of life lived, and that essential feeling that I’m carrying it with me, I’m going wherever I’m going.

Learn more: www.my-america.org 

Place(s): Peru

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child