My Nana

by Jan 30, 20170 comments

Growing older has given me many new perspectives. One regret I have is not having asked more questions of my parents and my grandparents, especially my Mom’s mother, my Nana.

However, I treasure the experiences and stories that I do have. This one in particular seems timely and worth sharing:
My Nana emigrated to America twice. Her father had gone before assuring his wife and two daughters that he would send for them soon. When that did not happen, my great-grandmother saved up the money needed to secure space for her oldest daughter to travel to America and find her father and help bring the family back together again. My Nana was 17 years old.

She arrived at Ellis island and was refused entry to the United States. Reason: an ear infection. Back onto the next boat to Lithuania! Still undaunted! Her mother saved more money and once again my Nana made the difficult and dangerous journey.

This time she knew what to do and how to circumvent the system. She was determined to find her father and bring her mother and younger sister to America as well. I am unsure how she made her way through the inspection lines, but I am so glad she did.

She found her father (had to travel from New York to Brockton to do so), and “straighten him out” (her own version of AA, I am sure.) Not only did she bring her mother and sister to America, she also married a fine Lithuania man and raised five children to be solid and productive citizens of the country my Mom and uncles and aunt called: home.

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