My father moved to the United States in the early 2000s for work. After being here for a couple of years, he petitioned for my mother, brother and myself to join him here in the States. In July 2007, the three of us arrived and met with my father at the airport. My immediate family was now here in the States but my extended family was still back home. I had left my grandmother, my cousins, my friends and was starting a whole new life. I was nine years old at that time. My late-grandmother thought that she had to give me something that will forever physically connect me back home. At the time, knowing very well that I lose things quickly, my grandmother gave my mother a necklace she was given by her mother. This necklace was not expensive, it was not gold or a one of a kind but it was a treasure. Though the picture provided is not the exact necklace from my grandmother, it is an almost copy. The original necklace is old and worn out. Because of this fact, my mother decided to change the design before giving it to me. Originally, the necklace was only black beads but when my mother redesigned it, she added some color and the geographical shape of Africa. However, she still kept the same black beads. Though it is not the exact necklace my grandmother wore, it is still something that symbolizes her whenever I put it on. My grandmother is not longer with us, but as she hoped, wearing this necklace positions me closer to her and “home”.
– Aissata Ba