A major catastrophe has hit the U.S. and my immediate family and I are among the survivors. We are being relocated to a new country to take refuge, and I am not able to make any decisions about the evacuation plan or the final destination. All I know is that the final destination is completely different from my home country and I may need to stay permanently. I can only bring one change of cloths and three small personal items.
I will pack my one change of cloths, a digital copy of my family photographs, one of my fathers drawings, and my file of important documentation from the safe (birth certificates, marriage license, professional certifications, college diplomas). The family photographs will allow my family and I to recall our homeland and have a visual to refer to when we are home sick. The painting from my father is a way to take him with us, he passed several years before. The file of important documents will be a hard copy base to start our new lives with.
As we arrive at our refuge country, we are told we may only keep one of the three precious items we brought with us. I am devastated; it was difficult to choose most important three items to take on this incredibly scary journey. How could I possible choose to leave our family’s history, my father, or our new start behind?
This was an interesting exercise to go through. I began by thinking, if my family is coming with me then that is really all I need to take. Then I thought about my father who had passed and I could not take him with us, I felt I needed a personal item of his to take, so I choose a drawing of his. I knew we would all have our memories of our home country but memories can fade over time and I would never want my family or myself to forget where we came from, so I choose the photographs. Knowing we would have to start over I wanted to bring birth certificates to establish new residence and our college diplomas, my teaching certificates, and my husbands IT certificates to better insure we are able to find jobs and financially support our family and our new lives.
Reflecting on what I choose to bring in some ways made me sad I did not have anything so special that I could not live without beside my family. On the other hand, I was pleased that I was able to quickly make sentimental and practical choices that would preserve our family history and give us the best start to our new lives. I am not sure what this reveals about me as a person but it defiantly made me evaluate what is important in my life.