Pearl Necklace

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Pearl Necklace
Pearl Necklace

At thirteen years old, my brother handed me one of the most cherished objects within our family to symbolize the depth of care he held towards us. From one brother to another, that special family heirloom represented the bond between us, and the love in my family. When my father was young, his grandmother gave him a pearl necklace as a way to symbolize she will always be there for him. In my family’s culture, bestowing an item before someone passes serves as a symbolic act- leaving an object behind to show that they will be there for the family soulfully. My father migrated from the Philippines to California driven by the hopes of discovering new opportunities in America. Four years ago, on an ordinary Friday evening, my parents told me to join them in the car. We left to pick up my brother from downtown Las Vegas, as he was heavily under the influence and unable to drive. I vividly remember the sight of my brother in a drunken state, appearing excessively emotional, telling me how he isn’t enough for my parents, especially after the sacrifices our father had to make to raise us in America. This is the reality for many second generation immigrants, as it almost feels like our lives are devoted to repaying our parents for their sacrifices, or else it was all for nothing. My brother then carefully handed me the pearl necklace, as like my father, he thought the time was appropriate. Though I enjoy changing my accessories everyday, this necklace infinitely remains a part of my identity, reminding me of my fathers endless sacrifice for a better future. 

Place(s): California, Las vegas
Year: 1992

– Tristan Caval

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