My mom’s side of the family is from Panama. Going to my grandparents house is still a culture shock to this day for me. My grandma always has rice and beans or plantains cooking on the stove and the house is filled with conversations in Spanish which might as well be gibberish to my ears. My grandpa came to America on a visa and worked day and night to send money back to my grandma and my mom who was still a baby. After two years my grandpa was finally able to send for my grandma and mom who was four at the time. After they had established themselves in Brooklyn— in the house my family still lives in today— my grandma’s sister and mom came and also lived in Brooklyn. My great grandma, who I call granny, brought a white porcelain clock that still worked and had been in the family for three generations.
My mom flourished in Brooklyn and my grandparents eventually moved to Florida and brought the clock with them. When I was younger I would visit them for the whole summer and would enjoy running out in their giant garden and being fed five meals a day. On a typical day of goofing off with my sister I accidentally knocked over the coffee table where the clock stood. It was not until my grandma saw the shattered remains that she told me the history of the clock.
To this day I feel terrible about destroying the only piece of my family’s past but this assignment has inspired me to delve deeper into my family’s history and question my grandparents on both sides.