The Journey To America Through The Eyes Of My Italian Grandparents
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The Journey To America Through The Eyes Of My Italian Grandparents

Nonna and Papa, I am so proud to be your granddaughter.

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The Journey To America Through The Eyes Of My Italian Grandparents

My grandparents began their journey from Italy, separately, at the age of eighteen, only one year younger than I am now. They had survived World War II and left their families behind in search of a better life in America.

Having less than a third-grade education and not knowing any English, my papa eventually found work building houses. He continued to do so for many years and was then finally able to train to be a pipe fitter. He was a reliable and loyal worker and eventually retired after countless years of service with one company. Today he is 85 and still is just as hard a worker as I know he was back then. Even today, he continues to work with his hands - fixing things and gardening.

As his grandchild, I strive and aspire to be as driven and dedicated as he is.

My nonna took the streetcar every day to downtown Detroit with no specific destination in mind except to find work. After many rejections, a kind shop owner offered her a job in a pasta factory. She worked numerous hours every day and then attended night school to learn English. She worked until she had children and then stayed home to raise a wonderful family that I am so grateful for. She is now 83 years old and, like my grandfather, is still a hard worker in every aspect of life and an incomparable cook.

As her grandchild, I hope to fill my own family's hearts with as much love and compassion as she does.

There were many times that doors were closed in both their faces simply because they were immigrants, but they never gave up. Every step they took to get them to where they are today ultimately built a foundation for my own life, without them enduring the hardships and challenges they did I would not be here today. Having listened to my grandparents' stories my entire life and hearing about their struggles, I am so proud to be their grandchild.

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