Thursday, 11 April 2013

From Dante to Livia August 10, 1958


In questo giorno così triste e malinconico per colpa della nostra lontananza, caro amore vorrei che fosse un miracolo per poterti stringere fra le mie braccia in questo momento e baciarti lungamentee. 

Oggi è domenica, uno dei giorni più noiosi della settimana; stavo sdraiato sul letto con un libro in mano, mi addormentai ed ora mi sono messo a scriverti e spero che il mio scritto non ti annoi.

Tesoro mio non è passata neanche una settimana che sono quà, a me sembra un'eternità, mi sembra breve il tempo quando ti sono vicino, ma lungo quando lontano.

Livia cara, ora veramente so di amarti tanto, non avrei mai pensato che mi sarà tanto difficile esserti lontano, il mio pensiero è continuo, di notte ti sogno, non mi ricordo tutto quello che ho sognato di te questa notte, ad ogni modo, ho sognato qualcosa che non mi è piaciuto perchè mi svegliai con le lacrime agli occhi , incominciai a pensarti, non ho più dormito perchè era troppo bello il ripetermi quelle dolci parole, che uscirono dalle tue labbra, tanti pensieri.

Una cosa devo dirti tesoro, che come già lo sai, sono povero di tutto fuorchè d'amore, ne ho tanto, ed è grande il mio amore, grande come il mondo, tutto è per te cara. nel mio cuore sei solo tu, non ho mai amato e non voglio amare un'altra, sei tu sola che io voglio, tu sei il mio avvenire ed il sogno del passato. Con ansia aspetto il giorno in cui ci uniremo nella nostra vita e saremo felici per sempre.

Caro amore, mi dispiace tanto vederti soffrire, soffro anch'io tesoro per via di tua mamma perchè non è contenta del nostro amore; lo so che ha sempre fatto qualcosa per te,
ha i diritti di una mamma. Ma non è suo dovere di dirti chi devi sposare: sarai felice se sposi l'uomo che ami tu, nono si compra l'amore. Mi dispiace tanto di quanto lei pensa, io ti amo pazzamente, ti voglio bene da morire, niente al mondo mi farà tanto per dimenticarti anche se tu più volte mi hai detto che mi dimenticherò, he non tutti si sposano con la prima ragazza che conoscono; io ti dico, se si amano, si sposano, non ho ancora sentito dire che non si sono sposati perchè gli altri hanno detto di no.

Credo che in circa tre settimane verrò giù a trovarti, non posso venire troppo spesso perchè è abbastanza lontano e si spende troppo tempo e denaro; non è che non voglio, ma bisogna risparmiare il più possibile per la nostra casetta.

Non vorrei mai finire di scriverti cara, ma per ora mi allontano con la penna e mi avvicino con il pensiero sempre più a te, non posso avvicinarmi con le labbra per darti tanti bacini, non potendo fare tanto, te ne mando un sacco ed una sporta.

Dal più profondo del cuore ti saluto e bacio fortemente, tuo per sempre Dante. ciao amore


On this day so sad and melancholy because of our remoteness, dear love I wish for a miracle to be able to squeeze you in my arms right now and kiss forever. 
Today is Sunday, one of the most boring days of the week, I was lying on the bed with a book in hand, I fell asleep and now I started to write and I hope that my writing will not bore you. 

My love, it is not even a week that has past that I am here, but to me it seems like an eternity, it seems to me a short time when you are close, but very long when you are far.

Livia dear, now I know I really love you so much, I never thought that it would be so hard to be so far apart, my thoughts of you are continuous, at night I dream of you, I do not remember everything I've dreamed of you last night, however, I dreamed something that I did not like because I woke up with tears in my eyes, I began to think of you, I have not slept because it was too beautiful to repeat those sweet words that came out of your lips, so many thoughts. 

One thing I must tell you honey, which you already know, I am poor in everything but love, of that I have so much and it is great my love, big as the world, everything is for you baby. In my heart there is only you, I have never loved and do not want to love another, you're the one that I want, you're my future and the dream of the past. I anxiously wait for the day when we will join our lives and we will be happy forever. 

Dear love, I'm so sorry to see you suffer, I suffer also my dear since your mama is not happy because of our love, I know it has always done something for you, to believe in the rights of a mother. But it is not her duty to tell you who you should marry, you will be happy if you marry the man you love, you cannot buy love. I'm so sorry for what you think, I love you madly, I love you to death, nothing in the world will do me just to forget even if you told me repeatedly to forget you. Not everyone marries the first girl they know; and I tell you, if there I someone else you love, get married. I have not heard that you got married because others have told me no.

I believe that in about three weeks I will come down and see you, I cannot come too often because it is far enough away and you spend too much time and money; it is not that I do not want to, but I want to save as much as possible for our house. 

I would never finish writing to you dear, but for now I leave with my pen and get closer with more and more thoughts of you. I cannot get closer with my lips to give you many kisses, unable to do so, I'll send you a big bag and a “sporta” (sic). 

From the bottom of my heart I say goodbye and kiss strongly yours forever Dante. Bye my love

Monday, 12 December 2011

From Livia to Dante August 8, 1958

This letter speaks volumes, especially to those of us who know of the "players" personally. Others may be able to relate some family dynamics with their own experiences.
A little background information is in order. Livia's parents and particularly her mother did not like Dante. He was a man who worked with his hands and was a talented craftsman. But Livia's mother expected her to marry a doctor or a professional, university educated person. In fact for her entire life, Livia's mother did not like any one in Dante's family, but had no problem using their talents as craftsmen! 
Livia was a conflicted woman. On one hand she loved Dante and wanted to please him. On the other hand she wanted to keep her mother happy. To that end, she tried to improve Dante by teaching him English and later encouraging him to apply for more stable jobs so that her mom may someday approve of him. Love prevails and the people who are lied to and deceived are Livia's parents. 
Letters to Livia were sent to a address of a friend that her parents didn't know. Clearly another family believed in the power of love and supported this relationship despite family objections.

409 Sixth Avenue,
Port Arthur, Ontario,
August 8, 1958.

Dear Dante:
            I realize that it is going to surprise you very much to see my letter written in English, nevertheless, I hope it’s going to be a pleasant surprise. I am purposely doing this so that you may get some practice in written English. Needless to say, I would like your next letter to be written in English. I think that is a very good idea since neither the recipient nor my mother can read English too well.
            Enough of that for now. I received your letter yesterday, I like it very much except for the fact that I thought it was a little “too sweet”. I was very pleased to learn that both you and your brother have found a job; let’s hope it lasts for a while.
            In your letter you didn’t mention anything about coming to town, be sure to let me know before you do come in because I think I will not be here much longer. I haven’t found a job yet, but lately I have been contemplating on the idea of applying for a position in the vicinity of Toronto or Hamilton. That is, of course, providing my mother grants me permission. What do you think of it?
            Mother is still very angry at us. During the past week I woke up twice at approximately 11:30 to hear her in the kitchen swearing at us. Finally, when I was tired of listening I went back to sleep. Last night she came in at about 10:30 and she started telling dad that I was going to have a baby. She was really convinced about it too. She said that she always suspected it, but for the last month she had been sure because I looked so sick. She said that the least I could have done would have been to go and tell her before everybody knew so that she could have sent me away. She also told my dad that everybody knew because you went around and told them. She explained that you had probably gone to Camp 40 and there entertained everyone with such lies as those. Dad believed her. I think that in another three minutes they would have decided on the day on which he was to be baptized too, but dad got mad and went outside. To-day she seemed to be in a better mood. She came in to tell me that if I told her I was sorry for having been so bad, and if I promised never to do it again, she would forgive me and allow me to remain at home.
            Changing the subject…Work here goes on the same as usual. I am working a little harder at school now because I am afraid I’ll find it rather difficult to get a job unless I improve my marks. I still work at “New Method” but I don’t put in as many hours as I used to because now there are 5 of us working. (sorry, mi sono dimenticata di scrivere il cinque cosi ho scritto solo il numero)
Transalation: Sorry, I forgot to write the five as a word and did it just as a number.
            Oh! Before I forget, I wanted to tell you that Dante gave me a ride home a couple of days ago. I was over at Giovanna’s giving a lady a permanent when I remembered that I had forgotten your letter in my purse on my bed. I was afraid mother would find it so I decided to go back and get it. It was already five-thirty so and I still had to finish giving that permanent, go home to get the letter, and then go to work, so I asked Dante if he would take me home. He took me to the corner of High and Sixth Ave, I told him not to bother waiting for me because I would walk back (just so he wouldn’t think I was two-timing you), so within 10 minutes I was back at Giovanna’s. Please let me know if you didn’t like it.
            O.K., I guess I better sign off now since you are probably tired of reading this senseless scribbling so until I see you again, I remain

Sincerely Yours

P.S. (LATIN- post scriptum) Be careful when writing letters; remember a sentence must be only one complete thought. It begins with a capital and ends with a period. (punto)
e.g. Mary is my sister she is going to school.
        Mary is my sister. She is going to school.

Tu ti confondi la virgola con it punto, stai attento. (PALEESE, non arrabiati)
You confuse the comma with a period, stay attentive. (Please don’t be angry)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

From Dante to Livia Aug. 12, 1957

No Envelope

White dog Falls
Minaki, Ontario

12 August 1957

Cara Livia,
Mia indimenticabile, spero se anche misere queste mie parole mal scritte, siano ben accettate da te, e scusa chiedendo nel chiamarti del tu, se avrai tanta gentilezza nel rispondermi mi chiamerai del tu pure
Pensando sempre al tempo passato vicino a te e ricordando sempre l'ultimo giorno che ti accompagnai a casa, il mio cuore non mi permetteva di lasciarti, ma l'ho dovuto fare perchè era il mio giorno di partenza, se restavo lì altri due giorni il mio lavoro qui lo perdevo, forse era meglio mi trovavo un lavoro più vicino così potevo vederti più spesso.
Cara Livia, io vorrei fare di tutto su questo mondo possibile solo per possedere la tua volontà, perchè ho sempre sognato di incontrare una bella buona e graziosa bambola viva come te, sperando che questo sogno ora sia vero.
Attendo una tua pronta risposta.
Rilasciando la penna e stringendo il mio pensiero sempre più vicino a te mia indimenticabile, con una pena al cuore ti saluto


While Dog Falls
Minaki, Ontario

12 August 1957

Dear Livia

My unforgettable, I hope even if these miserable words of mine are badly written, that they are well accepted by you, and excuse me for asking of you, if you would have much kindness in answering my call I will calm your fears

Thinking always of the time spent near you and always remembering the last day that you accompanied me at home, my heart didn't want me to leave you, but I had to do because it was my day of departure, if I stayed another two days I would have lost my job, perhaps it would be better that I had work closer so I could see you more often.

Dear Livia, I feel like everything in this world is possible if I have your will, because I have always dreamed of meeting a beautiful, good and lovely, living doll as you, I am hoping that this dream is now true.

I await your prompt response.

Releasing the pen and clutching my thoughts always closest to you my unforgettable, with a pain in my heart I say good bye


Thursday, 8 December 2011

From Dante to Livia June 25, 1956

From: Atikoken 
To: 360 Ontario Street, Port Arthur, Ontario

English translation follows which was done via a on line program so there may be some discrepancies. 

Atikokan 25-6-56

Carissimo amore,
ieri nel pomeriggio sono arrivato qua, ho trovato lavoro, così mi sono fermato qua; dato che sabato non si lavora perchè il lavoro appena incominciato,  non si lavora tanto, solo otto ore al giorno e cinque giorni alla settimana ma, in circa due settimane di tempo incominceremo a lavorare più ore e si potrà guadagnare bene.  Cara Livia io sò di essere veramente innamorato di te  e soffro tanto perchè sei un angelo che non potrò mai dimenticare e spero che tu non pretendi tanto da me, sarebbe una cosa impossibile per me, lasciandoti dal mio cuore.

I pensieri che a me fanno impazzire forse sono sbagliati ma, devo pensare così profondamente su quello perchè solo per pochi giorni tu non avessi paura di sposarmi. Lo sò, donna cara, di essere ignorante di molte cose, sò di amarti, sono povero ma il cuore ricco di amore solo per te.

Io, cara Livia, posso fare tanto nella mia vita con il tuo aiuto, le mie speranze sono su di te, se mi farai perdere queste speranze per me è perso tutto.

Se è per quella ragione che mi hai detto, perchè non vuoi o hai paura di sposarmi, io cara Livia, sono disposto a rinunciare a tutto, ma ti voglio vicina; voglio il tuo amore che ho bisogno, il tuo cuore, la tua bontà e tante altre bellezze intorno a te.

Amore ti sembrerà che io sia un lusinghiero, ma non sono, di quanto ti dissi, penserai che io faccio promesse che non riuscirò a mantenere, forse penserai che sono stupido a fare promesse del genere, questa promessa la posso mantenere se sei tu che mi vuoi in quel modo.

Non dimenticarti di me amore, che io non ti dimenticherò mai; io verrò giù venerdì sera, aspetterò la tua telefonata alle otto e mezza per sentire la tua voce tanto bella e cara e simpatica.

Mi scuserai dei miei scarabocchi e la composizione, quando saprò, scriverò meglio; qui è anche un po' scomodo per scrivere in ginocchio.

Con una pena al cuore termino il mio scritto, sperando di poterti vedere sabato o domenica. Ricevi tanti saluti,  milioni di baci chi non potrà mai dimenticarti è



Atikokan 25-6-56

Dear love,

Yesterday afternoon I arrived here, I found a job, so I stopped here; since it is Saturday, we do not work because the work just begun, not working so much, only eight hours a day, five days a week, but in about two weeks time we begin to work more hours and you can earn well.  Dear Livia I know to be truly in love with you and I suffer because you are an angel that I will never forget and I hope you don't ask much from me, it would be impossible for me, letting you leave from my heart.

Thoughts that make me go crazy maybe are wrong but I think so deeply on why only for a few days you are not afraid to marry me. I know, dear woman, being ignorant of many things, know to love you, I'm poor but the heart is full of love just for you.

I, dear Livia, can do a lot in my life with your help, my hopes are on you, if I do lose these hopes for me is lost everything.

If it is for that reason that I have said, why don't you want or you're afraid to marry me, dear Livia, am I willing to give up everything, but I want you close; I love that I need, your heart, your goodness and many other sights around you

Love you will feel as if I am a flattering, but I am not, as I said unto thee, you'll think that I am making promises that I cannot succeed in maintaining, perhaps you'll think that I am stupid to make promises like that, this promise I can maintain if you love me in that way.

Don't forget of my love, that I will never forget you; I will come down Friday evening, I'll wait for your telephone call at eight and a half to hear your voice so beautiful and dear and pleasant.

Please excuse my scribbles and composition, when I learn, I’ll write better; Here it is a little awkward to write on my knees.

With a pain in my heart I end this letter, hoping to see Saturday or Sunday. Receive many greetings, millions of kisses from one who will never forget you


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Lost Letters of Love - The Beginning

There was a time, many years ago now that it was fashionable to take pen to paper and write ones thoughts down with the hand. It was exciting to reach into the mailbox and find a letter with your name on it as long as it wasn't a bill :)

People would have stacks of writing paper on which to do their personal correspondence. You choice the style of paper especially for the person you were writing to, whether it was a lover, friend, relative or pen pal. Or whatever you could lay your hands on. And no home was without a ready supply of envelopes and stamps. Even people who didn't engage in the fine art of letter writing, still took the time to send out Birthday and other greeting cards and of course...Christmas cards. 

But the time has past us by with the advances in technology. I've just had a birthday, I got one card in the mail and more than 50 greetings on-line. I have never recieved that many cards! There was a time however that a week didn't go by without getting at least one personal letter in the mail. My cousin and I wrote each other regularly - a running commentary on our respective lives. Although we had been born in the same city, we really only met when we were about 10 years old and started sharing our thoughts via Canada Post throughout our teenage years. I also corresponded regularly with a friend of my mothers after Mom had passed away. Rhoda and I knew each other via the pen and the odd photograph we shared. It was nearly 8 years before my brother and I took the plunge and went to physically meet her in New York City. It was like meeting an old friend...wonderful! 

When you decided to commit your thoughts to paper...they were there forever. Letters were written in pen and usually cursive. People were more concerned with not bastardizing the English language. It's not so much that you took the time to write out the whole word, you just didn't think of shortening it. In reality, I would suggest that people correspond with the written word more today than they ever did in the past, but it has gotten sloppy and less personal. It is colder when the unique personality of our handwriting isn't seen and we have nothing to hold close to our chest when we are moved. Nothing to shed tears onto when we feel those emotions so strong. Nothing we can touch knowing that someone we love touched it as well. Nothing we can hold close to our face and almost smell them. We would  have very smelly computers if we sprayed our beaus favourite perfume on the screen of our monitors before we hit the Send button. Especially if it was a shared computer :)

Now, about the subject of this blog:

The people writing these letters are Dante Sdraulig and Livia Babudro before they married. They are my parents. The letters spanned a period of 4 years beginning in 1956. They celebrated their 4th anniversary one month before he was killed in a car/train collision. She went on raising the four children born of the love for 10 years before she was killed in a car/transport crash. 

I am the last surviving children of that union. I was 23 years old when I found myself cleaning out the contents of the home she had made for her family. For 10 years, people (who called themselves relatives) selfishly removed things from the home that did not belong to them. But that is another story. Some things I know were missing - like pictures, personal belongings of my father. Some things I found that I didn't know existed. My mother's wedding dress - they eloped :) And a box of letters.

I am going to post those letters here. Over the years I have tried to get them translated for they are written in Italian and in hand-written script. I have been told by relatives that they are none of my business that they are personal and private. If either one of them were alive I would agree, but for me, it is the only way to learn about my parents and the love they had for each other. To learn more about the story, please feel free to visit my web site