(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)

This is the sto­ry of my fam­i­ly’s jour­ney through Rus­sia, the Sovi­et regime and escape into the New World. In 2019, I became a mem­ber of the hon­or­able writ­ing orga­ni­za­tion, Soci­ety of Amer­i­can Trav­el Writ­ers or SATW. These are a group of accom­plished and tal­ent­ed trav­el writ­ers and I am hum­bled to get to hang out with them. At my first con­ven­tion of the same year, in Octo­ber, a col­league and friend, Chez Chesak, asked me to par­tic­i­pate in a new sto­ry­telling event he was pro­duc­ing called ReVerbs. Even though I was super anx­ious about the whole expe­ri­ence, I could­n’t say no. I knew I had to tell my dad’s sto­ry as it was a week before the third year he would be gone from my life.

I’m won­der­ing if you’ve ever had to pow­er through some feel­ings on a stage. Do you have a fam­i­ly sto­ry you want your kids to remem­ber? These are the moments that define our lives.