I hardly got to know my grandfather. He died in 1954. I do have a very distinct memory of him though. He loved to take my twin brother and me out for a walk in our twin stroller. He loved to sing a little song to us in Russian. I still remember the words, but I'm not sure how to even type them or what they mean.
I did get to know my grandmother. She was a remarkable woman. So smart, so political, so engaged. She loved to sew, cook, and bake. She was utterly serious about the world and always kept up with current events. She subscribed to the I F Stone Weekly. She taught us to be serious and to question authority.
It is truly amazing to think she lived to be 86 years old, but she did. It was a good life here in her adopted country. It hasn't even been 100 years since my immigrant grandparents and Uncle Joe arrived. In those intervening years, though, my grandmother's mother and two brothers died in the Holocaust. Sometimes, it really is the most important thing to do, to let people move about the planet as if we are all one species. 'Cause you know that's just what we are.
I am the granddaughter of immigrants.
Happy birthday, Grandma.