Home at Last

My family recently had our old 8mm home movies digitized, so I have been spending the weekend traveling down memory lane. Among the hours of films were many I had seen, some I had forgotten, and many I never knew existed, such as the hard-to-see movies of my wedding. The interior shots were primarily a blur of back except when someone kindly lit up the scene with a flash of a camera. Most of the exterior films were the opposite—so bright that most of the movie was as white as the driven snow.

It was therefore with great apprehension that I played the video of the homecoming of my father’s mother—Baba as she was known to all of her grandchildren. I am happy to report that the film of Baba’s arrival at the airport that January day in 1957 was extraordinarily clear considering the age of the film.

After a quick view of an airplane, the focus was on her smiling face, which was heavily worn by her very painful and heartbreaking life. She was greeted by my father and, well, I just won’t provide any names lest I spoil the story for anyone who has not yet read it!

Knowing what I learned while researching and writing this story, I can’t imagine the relief and joy she must have felt after having been gone from America for so long (26 years) interspersed by the sadness regarding the loved ones she left behind. Thus the tears, smiles, and laughter all wound into 39 brief seconds.


About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
This entry was posted in USSR to New Jersey and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Home at Last

  1. bntngirl1951 says:

    Very happy for you and your family to have these memories! I’m still looking at the videos I had digitized….like you, there were some I didn’t know we had and some I never knew existed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s