I always knew that deep down you were European
I understand about your grandmother. Same with mine. She is portuguese but lived in Brazil for almost 15 year, from age 20 until 34 I think, and she always says she would like to go back, but her health does not allow her. Which is not true, grandmom is 80, but she is probably healthier than most 50 year old women I know. But grandfather is not, and he needs permanent care, so she could never go now.
I love hearing her stories about her time in Brazil. Back then all the trips she made between Brazil and Portugal were by boat.
And she married grandfather by LETTER. Yes, letter. Because he had already gone to Brazil, and he mother didn't allow her to go meet grandad in Brazil if they weren't married!
My grandfather, the last memories I have of him being slightly lucid, before Alzheimer's really kicked in, he wouldn't remember what he had for dinner the day before, but he would tell me all these Brazil stories to the tiniest detail.
My great-grandmother, the Slovakian one, lived with my grandparents until she died at some point in the 70s, but my dad didn't really inherit any stories because he never learned to speak Slovak and my great grandmother never really learned any English. When I was little my grandma used to try to teach me but I don't remember and a few years ago I asked for a refresher course and now she doesn't remember either
She used to point to her eyes and ears and nose, etc, and teach me all the words.
Most of my grandma's stories were about how badly behaved she was as a teenager and how she used to get away with skipping school
Did I ever tell you how once I was in Germany and meant someone with my last name (which isn't really my last name?)
Oh gosh I'm getting into stories.
First, my last name is not my last name story. My grandparents a while ago paid for someone to research our family tree and what they discovered is that my ancestors when coming to America lost their paperwork and were given other papers to get through immigration and this became our last name.
Okay, so the summer before I turned 15, I went with my church to Germany and we did a lot of churchy things, including working at this camp for a week picking fruit http://www.siloah-hof.de/
There were people from a lot of countries there picking fruit etc and then at night there would be campfires and singing, etc. And I now will never pick cherries again. Basically we would wake up in the morning, go out to the cherry orchards, pick cherries til lunch, and then either go back again after lunch or so some other sort of activity. So one day we're all at lunch and one of my friends from my group said my entire name to get my attention because there were two Jessica's
All of a sudden one of the Polish guys comes over and is like "THAT IS YOUR NAME?!?!?!?! THAT IS MY NAME!!!! And gave me a huge hug." His English was not at a level where I could have explained that it is not really our family's name, etc so I just accepted the hug and didn't say anything. He was happy thinking he found a long lost relative and it's not like we stayed in touch
I will say about that place, they make delicious pear juice. Really really good.