My grandfather was born and raised in Germany.  I only got to see him a few times because we lived so far away from him.  He was a strong, intelligent, and funny man.  He was also very skilled when it came to woodwork.  The music box is something that I received when I was a little girl.  It holds a lot of significance and history for me and my family.  Originally, my grandfather made it for my mother.  She decided to pass it down to me.  I remember feeling special and honored that I was given this gift.  I'd play the music box while my mother would tell me stories about her father and how brave he was while he fought in the war.  I wish I could've heard more stories from him, but one thing that I find admirable is the fact that he wanted a better life for my mother and her siblings.  So, he sought for America to provide his children with the life that he never had.  
I'm incredibly grateful that he made that decision.  It takes a lot of courage to make such a sudden change like that.  As a young child, I was teased a lot because of my last name, which was Heil.  Over the years, I've grown more of an appreciation for it.  I've become proud of my roots and where they began.  They've come a long way.  Every time I look at my grandfathers music box that he made on my shelf, I'm reminded of his hard work and dedication for his family.      

Place(s): Germany, Nebraska

– Lynne Heil

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