The Family Album

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My grandparents always told me that it was Grandpa Yakov’s watch that pushed them to finally leave Ukraine. They had the idea to come to America with my parents for some time before and their dream eventually came true. Sadly, all remnants of the watch are nowhere to be found today. The only piece of evidence indicating that they ever existed is in a photo album that my grandparents were able to bring from their home country upon immigrating to the United States. That photo album was discovered by me one day when I was staying over their house. I had always been curious of a closet that supposedly held family heirlooms. What I discovered was a photo album which is much more precious than any antique that could have been hidden in the closet. 
The album contained mostly black and white images of distant faces and memories long past. I found an old yellowed photograph of my great grandfather wearing the legendary watch that helped my family as they moved to America. Additionally, the photo album told a family history of a Ukraine that was devastated by food shortages, Chernobyl, and a lack of any paying jobs. When they moved, their possessions, although minuscule in quantity, were nevertheless left behind in Ukraine. The one item that still remains, however, is the photo album that tells the stories of times past and long ago lives. This obscure memory of a watch that told my parents and their parents when to leave is what is still saved in the pages of my family photo album. 

Place(s): Ukraine

– Alex

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