Looking forward to that Chat

Children are born curious. They learn at an amazing rate and are driven by their need for answers. Among their most favorite words are what, who,  and why, why, why?

My grandson recently spotted my Kindle lying on my end table and immediately wanted to know what it was. I opened it up and showed him the words on each “page” of the Kindle. He was impressed. Next, I maneuvered to the home page, where I was able to show him the photos of all the books residing on my device. I located my book, knowing that he would probably recall seeing it at my house or his.

It was not until I picked up a hard copy of my book that he made the connection between what sat digitally on my Kindle with the book he was able to hold in his hand.

“You wrote that, Grandma?” he asked in amazement. I then explained that his mom had created the cover, while I wrote the story inside—the story about the man whose name is also part of his.

My grandson is now beginning to read, so after reading the title on the cover—Trapped in Russia—he asked who was trapped and why they were trapped. Our discussion evolved into a discussion of war, and I was surprised to learn he was familiar with war, particularly World War I.

I tried to explain how my dad was living in New Jersey but the rest of his family was trapped in Russia because a world war had prevented them from getting on a train and a boat to return home. Commercial airline travel was suspended because of the war, I told him.

He thumbed through my book, looking at the faces in the pictures.

I pointed to the photo of my mother, the woman he calls Grandma Jean. I told him that one day, perhaps nine or ten years from now, he will be able to sit down and read the story of why my grandparents took their New Jersey-born children to Russia many years ago, and what happened after they set sail out of New York Harbor on that December Day eighty-eight years ago.

I look forward to having that discussion with him.

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.
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2 Responses to Looking forward to that Chat

  1. wilhag says:

    Karen— this is beautifully written and most insightful! He’s a lucky child to have a Grandmother like you! Yes! Harriet

    Sent from Harriet’s iPad


    • kjw616 says:

      Thank you Harriet. I was so happy that he already showed interest in my book. I wrote it for him, his sister, other future grandchildren, and my children so they could learn the complex life that my dad led.

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