Most people call me “babushka” which means grandma where I came from. I grew up in the Republic of Georgia, but when I was young all of us Meskhetian Turks were chased out of the country. We traveled in train cars, and every day they would open the doors and throw out the dead bodies.
My family resettled in Krasnadar, Russia but we were never given rights as citizens. The Russians didn’t like us, my father was not allowed to work and we were often mistreated.
I grew up and got married and had 4 kids in that cold country. Several years after my husband passed away we had an opportunity to apply for refugee status. In May of 2005 we arrived in America– my 2 sons and their families and myself. I had to say goodbye to my other children and I don’t know when I will see them again.
I don’t understand or speak any English. I do not understand this culture in the least. I don’t even understand my own grandchildren who have learned the American ways. I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. They’re not very interested in me because I’m too old and there is nothing pretty about me anymore. I don’t leave the walls of our apartment and the only company I have is my daughter-in-law who takes care of my needs.
I have 98 years of memories stored up in my heart and now nobody wants to hear them. I have acquired years of wisdom and still I understand nothing.