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

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