This week, I spoke with my lovely Auntie Mona, my dad’s sister. She told me so many stories about her life growing up in Lebanon during the civil war – everything from baking Easter cookies with her grandma to watching the man living in the apartment above them shoot rats scurrying in the pile of trash.
Although I thought that all of my relatives on my dad’s side of the family were born in either Lebanon or Palestine, I learned that my grandpa was actually born in the Dominican Republic. My grandpa’s father, along with everyone on the ship, thought that he was in America. Oh, how time and technology have changed. I also learned that my grandma had a miscarriage when she was in her third trimester in Lebanon. She would have been the sixth child my grandparents had. It gives me chills to think about having another aunt and breaks my heart that my grandparents still tear up when they talk about it.
Talking to my aunt made me realize how… for lack of a better word, weird time is. It’s hard to picture my parents, or grandparents, or their great-great grandparents as teenagers growing up. Hearing their stories makes me gain a new appreciation for time and everything I have. My mom told me that my grandma would get in trouble if she listened to the radio. Whenever my grandma would want to hang out with a friend, her dad would spit on the ground and tell her to be back before his spit dried. It makes me think about what I’ll be telling the next generation. You should have seen what life was like when I grew up. All we had were iPhones and 3D televisions.
I’m thrilled to say that my grandma, her sister, my aunt, and two cousins on my mom’s side of the family have all booked their tickets to come visit us! I couldn’t be more excited, and the timing worked out perfectly for this project. I usually only see them once a year, so every moment with them is always a good time. All of them will arrive the last week of March. LAX, here I come!
I anticipate this upcoming week to be a little slow. I am taking the SATs this Saturday, so it will be hard to focus time and energy on this project. Once I finish the test, I will be ready to dive in headfirst and start raiding the aisles of Joann’s for art supplies to make my scrapbook. I've also decided I want to make a family tree that goes as far back as it possibly can to preserve my ancestors' memories. Week four, here I come!