This story is a historical fiction based on some of the things learned about one family's emigration to the United States in the early 1900's. The general historical details are not entirely accurate, but the overall basis is sound. It is also a story of a person's life, again fictionalized, not to embellish or diminish, but to reflect some of the human experiences we all had, are having, and will have.
We all stand on the backs of our ancestors, those whose sacrifices, triumphs, tragedies, and efforts made it possible to live a life here in America that many people can still only dream of. We all have a story of the ancestors we are grateful to and of how we got here. This is mine.
Tears ran down Eva's face, and for the first time since they arrived at the docks, she momentarily let go of the girls' hands and passed them to Katherine.
"Say your farewells now, girls, we will meet up in America after I obtain your passports."
Eva's voice sounded nothing like it usually did. Its confidence astounded her; the calm in it even soothed Emilie who clutched Pauline and Irene thru the fence in a tear-soaked embrace.
"Mother," Fred said, hugging her over the gate, "I will stay back, too. We'll return to Russia and get the papers we need. I will not leave you."
Eva took his face in her hands and spoke in a low tone,
"Frederick, you have a wife and children, a new land to go to. I will follow, but I will not have us return to Dobrinka. Who knows what would happen to us. Go now."
The gangplanks went up, the ropes tossed off, the horns blew. With that final blast, she began to move ahead and out into the early morning harbor fog.
Eva and the girls watched and waved until Eva couldn't make out Fred's tall frame. Pauline shook with disbelief, but Irene had stopped crying and held her sister's hand.
Fred saw the dock had been emptied. Only a few people remained. There in the distance stood Eva with a little girl on each side all holding hands. The big ship inched away from the dock as the smokestacks belched a thick black cloud. The waving figures, enveloped by the fog, disappeared in a haunting image.