In the summer of 1955, my grandfather, grandmother, my mother and uncle, left behind their family in Germany in search of a better life in America. My mother was barely three years old. The family was sponsored by a Southern California Lutheran Church, that helped them get an apartment, some furniture, and employment.
They immersed themselves in American culture, not speaking much German, as my grandparents believed that they were now in America, and they should learn English. That they did. Until the day she died, my grandmother would get frustrated when immigrants here in Orange County, where the culture is very diverse, didn't speak English. She would say, "I had to learn English, so should they!"
This old, beat up piece of luggage is one of the few items we have left that made the nearly 6000 mile journey from Europe to America in 1955.
The suitcase itself is full of rich history, but even more interesting was what we found inside this treasured piece of luggage.
Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, even whole newspapers, all from great moments in our country's history.
I've really been wanting to use the suitcase in my living room makeover, but it just didn't seem to fit anywhere (literally). Then I looked up and realized above my tv armoire would be the perfect spot.
It was H.E.A.V.Y. with all of those papers inside, but I couldn't take them out.
I love that I have a little piece of our family's history right there to remind us of what they went through to be able to live here in America.
How do you keep your family's history alive in your decor?
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