Pearl rosary
Pearl rosary

A string of pearl beads weave through my fingers, silently echoing devotion. The rosary cascades down in a whispered cadence of faith, holding significance to Catholicism. When I received my first rosary, it was a simple accessory to me. Praying out of obligation, I didn’t appreciate the beauty behind it. It wasn’t until I learned the importance of it to my family's immigration that I could embrace its devotion.My maternal great-grandmother struggled to make ends meet in the rural Philippines. She waited for her husband who promised to bring their six kids to the US, where they could escape their impoverished life. He left his family stranded, leaving his wife to raise their kids herself. Her eldest daughter argued with her father to bring her to the US, then she did the same for her siblings, who had to be separated.Treated like outsiders as the only Asians in their neighborhood. Amidst the many challenges most immigrants face, my family found solace through faith, fostering perseverance. The rosary became an unwavering anchor for hope.As I count each sacred bead, I strive to learn every memory, story, and pain the beads hold. What once felt like an obligation, became the very object that connected me to my culture. Embracing faith and understanding the it’s meaning, I find a delicate rose with petals of solace blooming in the garden of my soul. The rosary reminds me of what my family went through for me and is a symbol of faith, deepening my relationship with my family. 

Place(s): Philippines

– Aanja Abilar

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant