Ana's grand daughter, Natasia, poses for a picture years after her grandmother returned to Moldova from Kazakhstan. She now lives in Italy with her mother, Ana's daughter Lidia, and father. Ana came back to Moldova with her mother 5 years after they were deported, after the death of Stalin in 1956. Many deportees were allowed to return home after Stalin’s death and the rate of frequency of return differs from person to person, ranging from the immediate return to those who waited decades (wither by choice of by circumstance), to return home.
The Graur women slowly built back up their life in their home village of Vadeni. It was surprising, to an extent, that they were allowed to return back home, as many deportees were barred from returning to their ancestral villages and had to instead survive elsewhere, regularly depending on the kindness of family members.
Ana currently lives with her son Alex and his family and says that she wants to live to see her family safe and settled. During Alex's 48th birthday on August 23rd, she told me, "In my dreams my husband (Vladimir, who died years earlier) comes to me and says, 'Join me, Ana.' but I say no, I am happy here and I want to be with my family."