I met my best friend in college, although we didn't become best friends until a few years later. Since our families have similar backgrounds (Soviet immigrants), we decided that our parents would be friends. We recently set them up on a play-date, which was a great success. As the friendship grows, our families partake in the old past time of sharing their immigration stories, of when they first came to the USA. Most Russian immigrants have a similar story: leave the USSR without looking back, travel over the course of months through various European cities, until arriving to their departure city, which, in both of our mother's stories, was Rome.
A few days back, my mother mentioned to her's that she was celebrating her 36 year anniversary of arriving to this country; what a coincidence, they share the same anniversary! They both arrived to JFK on November 29th, 1979, on a flight from Rome.
The same flight.
Two teenage refugees, with similar goals in sight, traveling the same path to freedom. But it was not that journey that brought those strangers together - after decades of hard work and uncer*****y, years of struggle to provide for their families, the two travelers finally have a chance to connect, and to reflect back on the day they came to America.