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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Drama · #2237184
Adrian is enjoying listening to his mysterious family secrets. (Adrian's POV - 1966)
Chapter Fourteen
Adrian Tuscano
Sherwood, Texas

“Do you remember the seven life lessons we’ve been pounding in your head since you were a rambunctious toddler?”

I ignored my Uncle Theodore’s question, and kicked my legs onto the railing, settling back in the rocking porch swing. A warm summer’s wind blew in from the north and I felt at peace as Papi and his brothers took a break from their story. Turning my head, I saw Uncle Theodore raise his cigarette to his lips.

“You’ve left me with so many unanswered questions,” I said, ignoring the question he asked me. “Who are my real parents? What is the secret involving Papi and Uncle Dylan? What happened to Molly O’Connor? Did Mr. Woodrow reconnect with his brother? Did Grandpa Alex ever get his memory back? Did Mr. Tuscano receive your letter? Did –“

I was cut off as Papi reached out and pushed my legs off the railing.

“You’re royalty now,” he cast me a dirty look. “Start acting like one. Sit properly and answer your uncle’s question.”

Reluctantly, I settled myself into a straight position and haughtily threw my head up and glanced down my nose causing everyone to laugh, except Papi.

“You’ve taught me the same lessons that Joseph learned in the Bible,” I stared back at my uncles as I rattled them off, counting on my fingers. “Jealousy can ruin a family, your character is important, be a diligent little worker, God will protect you if you believe in him, run fast from sin, you will be promoted and blessed. Most important lesson is to forgive with all your heart and soul or the apology is useless.”

Papi caught my eye and smiled as I mentioned forgiveness. After hearing about the mysterious Jasper Woodrow and how Cleo Woodrow’s jealousy caused his older brother to vanish, I was starting to understand why Uncle Theodore asked me the question. I wondered if I should start calling him, Aunt Anna. He’d probably grab one of the journals they’d brought outside with them, and smack my bottom with it like Papi did one day when I was eight-years-old.

I spent the morning in the barn with Uncle Theodore and heard him mutter a fascinating word after he accidentally dropped a heavy farming tool on his foot. He didn’t think I heard him, but I did. What was this glorious word? It was foreign and exciting.

A few hours later, my uncles retired to the parlor. Papi took me into the kitchen to prepare dinner. Conrad and Benjamin were joining us with George, Isabella and their children. Papi needed my help cooking the large feast. As I was chopping the white onion, I accidentally dropped it on the floor where it proceeded to roll under the stove. Papi smiled, placed his knife down on the cutting board, and went to fetch a broom. I took the opportunity to try out my new word. Papi would be impressed at Uncle Theodore.

The look of anger in his eyes as I gleefully sang the word hit me like a ton of bricks. He wasn’t thrilled that my vocabulary improved. A terrible sensation filled the air. Papi took a cooking book from the shelf and before I knew it, smacked my bottom.

“Where did you hear that word?”

I was terrified at his pale face, and enlarged eyes. I rubbed my upper thigh and muttered, “I overheard Uncle Theodore saying it in the barn.”

He threw the book down on the kitchen table with a thud, and stormed from the room. I knew I would be in trouble if I followed him, so I waited a few minutes until it was safe to spy. I crept from the kitchen and into the hallway. The parlor door had been yanked halfway open and I stood behind it and listened to Papi yell at Uncle Theodore. Unfortunately, I had missed the beginning of the conversation.

“… grandson!”

“Millen, he’s just a child. Remember what mother used to say about children soaking-up everything around them like sponges. You were the exact same way. It’s not like we didn’t hear that word a million times a day from papa and every other working-class man in our Brooklyn neighborhood. Hell that was probably my first word!”

“I’m trying to teach him to grow up with manners. I need to prepare him for when he turns sixteen. I can’t let -other religions steal him away.”

“That’s not your place and you know it!”

“I know. That’s why I overreacted and spanked him.”

“You did what?”

I shrank back into the darkness of the hall as all three of my uncles stood and confronted Papi. I slipped back into the kitchen, a look of superior satisfaction on my face as my uncles let Papi have it for spanking me.

A short time later, I retrieved the dusty onion, washed it off and restarted my task of chopping the slivers into little pieces. The door squeaking informed me Papi had arrived. I felt him kissing the top of my head.

“Do you forgive me?” His arms circled my waist and I smiled. He sounded like he’d been crying. Either he really was sorry, or my uncles yelled at him. Probably both.

“Yes,” I giggled. I loved it when Papi hugged me. A warm feeling of love and belonging swept through my body. When Uncle Theodore and Conrad hugged me, I felt the same way. For some reason when Benjamin, Uncle Dylan and Dr. Francis hugged me, I didn’t feel the same sensations.

After dinner, I took my bath and was walking back to my bedroom when I heard voices coming from Uncle Theodore’s master bedroom. Like the little spy I was, I crept behind the door and peeked through the crack. I spotted my uncle sitting at the foot of the bed, while Conrad stood before him running his fingers nervously through his gray-streaked blonde hair.

“As much as it pains me, let Millen raise Adrian,” Conrad’s voice pleaded. “Lord knows he’s wanted a child of his own since he was sixteen.”

“I can’t help it if he repeats the F-word. Society says it on a daily basis,” my uncle spat back. “I understand why Millen is raising the child the way he is. He’s scared, Conrad. You know it’s all tradition with him since Joseph Tuscano passed in the 1930’s. He wants Adrian to know where he comes from.”

“Tradition,” Conrad yelled and I shrank back in fear. “Has Millen forgotten the other side of Adrian’s family? Does your brother know how hard it is for me every single day from when we brought Adrian home from San Francisco? I can only come over once a week because Millen says it will be, ‘strange on Adrian if you come over every day.’” Do you know how important my Mormon Church is? I can’t even take my…“

Conrad was cut off as the telephone on Uncle Theodore’s bedside table rang. I slipped back to my room before they could see me. I removed my robe, dressed into my pajamas and laid in my bed with the table light on waiting for Uncle Theodore to kiss me goodnight. The strange conversation raced through my eight-year-old brain. Why was I brought home from San Francisco? Did Papi and my real mother live there before they moved to Sherwood? Uncle Theodore slipped into the room a short time later.

“Did you have fun tonight?” He tucked my quilt over me. “Did Conrad help you with your homework?”

“Yes, Uncle Theodore.” I turned to the side and stared up at his face in the dim light. Across the hallway, I could hear water running from Papi’s bathroom and I knew he was shaving. It dawned on me that I had seen everyone shave at one point, except Uncle Theodore and Dr. Francis.

“Good,” he paused and sat at the foot of the bed. “Honey, I wish to apologize. It was irresponsible of me to say that word.”

I clutched the covers to my chin as my uncle continued.

“When I was little, we lived in a poor neighborhood, and that word was said daily by everyone, except a wonderful, educated man named Joseph Tuscano. I grew-up hearing that word, and it was my own mother and father who gently taught me that it was wrong to say.”

I continued to stare as my uncle nervously swung his small feet. “It was incredibly wrong for your papi to spank you, and we all yelled at him, including Conrad and Benjamin. He feels terrible and wants your forgiveness. Do you know what that is?”

“I think so,” I whispered. “Is it when someone is mean to you and you feel sorry for them and you forgive them until a wonderful sensation feels your body?”

Uncle Theodore gave a chuckle and stared out my bedroom window. “Yes, darling. If you apologize to someone who has wronged you, you must forgive with all your heart and soul or it is worthless. God doesn’t like a fake apology. The Bible says to forgive, and you must mean it.”

“I forgive papi for spanking me,” I said. Uncle Theodore reached forward and tousled my hair. “I know you do. Someday, I will tell you a wonderful story about my Grandfather Cleo who prayed for his brother’s forgiveness for a terrible thing that happened to them. It almost ruined our family.”

Curiosity got a hold of me. “Someday,” I asked. “Why not now?”

I raised myself in bed, as Uncle Theodore stood up to hug me. That wonderful feeling of being loved spread through my body.

“You’re much too innocent to hear the story. Now, no more questions, it’s time for bed. You have a spelling test tomorrow.”

I let Uncle Theodore kiss me on my forehead, as he clicked off the bedside table light, enveloping the room in darkness. I must have forgotten all about that because I never thought about that day until now.

“What are you daydreaming about,” Uncle Theodore asked, pulling me back to the present of being outside with papi and my uncles. The mid-afternoon sun shone through the screened-in porch bringing in the clean smell of rainwater and freshly cut grass.

“I’m thinking that I want to hear more of this story,” I laughed, as papi sat beside me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. That wonderful sensation stayed with me all these years. “You left me off at a cliffhanger. Does my great grandfather ever get to be reunited with his brother?”

I felt papi running his fingers through my hair and I closed my eyes.

“Well,” Dr. Francis took over the story. “We’re going to place that story on the back burner and finish our childhood story of being adopted. It’s best to start at the beginning and most obvious. It was quite obvious that Frank and Catrina were going to adopt us.”

We all laughed. I laid my head on papi’s shoulder. “What happened to Grandpa Alex’s home? Is it still standing?”

“That it is,” Uncle Theodore answered. “When Uncle Clinton passed away a few years ago, he left the house to me. I believed the house belonged to the City of Sherwood, so I sold it to the historical society for two dollars. With my own money, I paid for a major remodel and brought everything up to code. Once a month you can take a tour through the rooms as the guide gives a small lecture about Alex Woodrow and the night his son, Jasper Woodrow went missing from this very house.”

A slight smile crept over my lips. “The attic too?”

Uncle Dylan playfully kicked my shoes. “That’s clever,” he laughed. “But, we’re not going to say just yet. We’ll keep you in suspense for a bit longer.”

Rolling my eyes, I settled back into papi’s embrace and began to ponder a story read from Grandma Catrina’s journal. Her brother-in-law adopted a boy, Ashton - my elderly cousin living in Tulsa. I shivered causing papi to drop his arm.

“So, Ashton Mueller isn’t my real blood cousin?” I asked. I had only met my cousin a handful of times in my short life. He and his family owned a chain of what they called “luxury grocery stores” in Oklahoma. The stores were actually pretty cool. You could purchase fuel for your car, eat lunch and buy anything you want in this huge grocery store. It was like an old fashioned general store but with a fueling station and a diner attached.

“By law he is your cousin,” Uncle Theodore answered. “He was adopted two days after our first Christmas in Sherwood. Ashton was so thrilled to finally have a loving family that he asked to have their last name. His real father abandoned him, and they took off for Florida, never to be seen again-“

“Ashton was such a wonderful child, and smart as a whip. I believe he graduated from Southeastern College in Durant with a business degree. He transformed his adopted father’s grocery store and married a young woman he met in college. Together they produced four children, and all four of those children are grown, and have kids of their own.”

Uncle Theodore paused, his face scrunched as if he were digesting what he said.

“He told me he loves being a grandfather.”

“That’s wonderful,” I said. “I want children someday.”

“You do,” papi’s asked, his tone ecstatic. “You’re going to continue the Tuscano family tradition! Your grandfather would be so proud to hear that, as am I.”

I shrugged. I never thought of not marrying. I remembered the conversation we had during lunch and felt odd. I wonder what caused my papi and his uncles to be life-long bachelors. I wanted to ask. Uncle Theodore’s choice to live as a man was obviously part of their decision. “I was a depressed college freshman and wished to kill myself.” I shivered at the flashback. Uncle Theodore must have been living as Anna when he tried to commit suicide.

“I promise I’ll have at least three boys,” I responded with a nod, causing the group to laugh. “An heir and two spares,” I referenced the royal tradition of having more than one boy to keep the blood-line. The current Queen of England produced three sons, as would I. So silly.

“Oh, hush,” Uncle Theodore snorted, and pushed a leather bag over to papi with his foot. “Speaking of the Tuscano family, let’s bring our story back to Joseph Tuscano the candy…“

“My grandfather!” I squealed and immediately felt foolish as my uncles turned to stare. “I mean,” I glanced at my hands. “I want to know how I’m related to him. How all of us are related to him.”

An uncomfortable silence filled the porch. Papi’s fingers paused in my hair. “Did I say something wrong?”I asked.

“No, darling,” Papi turned and kissed me on the side of my face. His spicy aftershave hit my nose, and conjured up another flashback.

“Neither will you and Dylan.” Uncle Theodore’s voice pulled me back to one of his stories. He and young Dr. Francis standing in the washroom peering out into the guestroom watching the twins sleep.

How come Papi shaved and the others didn’t? Wait, Uncle Dylan shaved. I’ve watched him countless times. He filled the sink with warm water, dipped a washcloth, patted his face, used lather from the can and cut with a silver razor. Papi liked the expensive, imported soap, aftershave and straight razor. Uncle Theodore obviously didn’t shave because he was born a girl, so that left Dr. Francis to inherit the O’Connor flaw.

In Uncle Theodore’s story, he mentioned how the O’Connor men didn’t have to shave. His father didn’t shave and someday Francis and Dylan would inherit the flaw. But, he didn’t. Uncle Dylan shaved every morning and papi shaved twice a day, as do I - which reminded me, it would be time again after dinner in a few hours. It didn’t make any sense that they didn’t inherit the flaw? Or did it? Perhaps the flaw finally dissolved with papi and Uncle Dylan since they are twins. It was like they knew that papi would be shaving.

“Wait,” I said, all confused my mind a jumbled mess. “Uncle Theodore you mentioned in a story that Dr. Francis and Uncle Dylan would be inheriting the O’Connor flaw, but you made the assumption that papi hadn’t inherited it. Was it because he looked like his uncle? Is Mr. Tuscano Molly or Theodore Sr.’s brother? Wait - wouldn’t that make him my…“

“He is your grandfather and I’m your great uncle,” Papi answered in exhaustion. “Please, this is so hard for all of us. We’ve thought about this day since you were brought home from San Francisco.”

“I am the man who was chosen to raise you.” Papi’s voice came back from earlier that day in the parlor.

“Adrian, we’re almost finished with the adoption side of our story,” Uncle Dylan said. “Afterwards, your papi is going to tell you a long story involving many horrible events that have happened to this family since before he was born, and to answer your question, yes Jasper and Thomas come back. I promise you everything is connected. Even though we were adopted, God made sure our family and the Mueller, Woodrow and Tuscano family came together full circle.”

Beside me, papi let out a sigh. “Including Benjamin and Conrad.” His voice broke on “Conrad,” and my head snapped sideways to stare at him. He sat with one arm tightly wrapped around my shoulder. His other hand cradled his forehead. I could see the wrinkles appearing on his face. His silver hair un-brushed and swirled in the summer air.

“Millen,” Theodore said from across the porch - his voice firm. “It will be fine. I promise.”

Papi tightened his grip on my shoulder. I felt his fingers digging in my collarbone. “I can’t let Conrad take him…“

“Millen, please.” Uncle Dylan stood from his chair and walked over. The abrupt movement caused the chair back to hit against the banister.

“Everything will be fine. Stop stressing over something that hasn’t happened, and probably won’t.”

“How do you know?” Papi snapped. “Conrad has …“

“Millen!” Uncle Theodore’s voice chilled the air. He slapped his palms on the hand rest of his rocking chair. “You need to settle down and finish our adoption story.”

A look of fury passed over papi’s usually calm face. “Oh, shut-up, Theodore,” he yelled. “You’re always trying to tell me what to do.”

My face felt like his words had slapped me. Never had his tone sounded so harsh. Shivers ran through my body and I visibly shuddered.

Uncle Theodore crossed his arms over his chest. Dr. Francis’s gaze traveled back and forth as if this argument had happened before. Uncle Dylan finally sat down beside papi on the porch swing. He tried to settle him, but papi wasn’t having it.

“It’s not like you cared Theodore,” Papi continued. “Up until fourteen-years-ago you didn’t give a damn about any of this,” Papi raised his arm from around my shoulder and gestured toward the house. “I still remember the conversation we had in the kitchen before we traveled to San Francisco. The way you shrugged your shoulders and tossed your hair infuriated me and especially Conrad. That poor man had a mental breakdown.”

“Millen…” Uncle Theodore’s words were like ice. But, Papi kept on.

“Remember when Conrad tried to file that lawsuit? Our father grew so upset that he had the heart attack that killed him. Our mother had to be placed in the hospital for a month. Only because of those two tragedies did Conrad agree to drop it. He’s settled down, but I can’t let him…“

Papi stopped mid-sentence and looked at me. I stared back like a scared rabbit. A thousand more mysteries were just added to the already large stack. The rustling sound of Dr. Francis pulling a medicine bottle out of his pocket startled me. He removed the paper cap and shook out a small pill.

“Anyone else craving some headache medicine,” he joked, as he reached for his glass of tea to wash it down. “I promise it won’t make you fall asleep.” We sat in silence as he swallowed his pill and handed the bottle to Uncle Theodore, who took three.

“Theo,” Papi’s voice cautioned, his breathing slowing down.

Uncle Theodore placed his glass of tea back on the banister. “I’m not going to take the full bottle like last time.”

“Would you like your medicine, Millen,” Dr. Francis’ asked. “I can run inside and grab it."

I turned and to my astonishment saw Uncle Dylan holding papi’s free hand, as he rubbed his brother’s shoulder. Papi kept his eyes shut, his breathing continued to slow.

“Breath in, and out,” Dr. Francis said. “Remember what Dr. Alexander taught you all those years ago.”

Papi’s head shook. I continued to sit in silence. How come my uncles weren’t concerned? Uncle Dylan kept trying to comfort papi. I looked over at Uncle Theodore who had settled back in his armchair. It was as if this happened before. “Your papi has always been emotional and has panic attacks easily.” A small gasp escaped my throat. My papi just suffered a panic attack!

“Are you, ok?” I positioned myself to place my head on his shoulder. I felt his body move. A slight sniffle escaped his nose.

“Yes, darling, I’m fine,” he whispered. “Please forgive me, all of you.”

“At least you didn’t run off to Ireland,” Uncle Theodore shook his head. “Good Lord, Millen! Two panic attacks in one day! Come on, ease up in your old age.”

Papi opened his swollen eyes. “At least you didn’t punch Conrad like you did ten-years-ago.”

A bright smile swept over Uncle Theodore’s face. “I think he was expecting it.” He reached for his glass of tea, took a swig, and placed it back. “The man didn’t even flinch as I yelled at him in the barn and when he refused to drop the lawsuit, I raised my hand and punched him.”

“You punched Conrad in the face,” I asked, my eyes wide with disbelief. “Was he mad? Is he still mad?”

Uncle Theodore shrugged. “He went to the dentist and they replaced the tooth that fell out. Later on when he dropped the lawsuit, we apologized and I paid him back for the dental bill.”

“What lawsuit?” I asked. “Why would Conrad sue the four of you?”

Now, I was growing madder. How dare this man try to take my family to court! For what? Was he mad they were living in his house?

“Oh, baby,” Papi’s arm pulled me tighter. “The stupid things I say when I’m suffering a panic attack.”

“So, he didn’t file a lawsuit,” I asked confused.

“He did,” Uncle Theodore crossed his feet at the ankles. “It was foolish, and when he calmed down and saw the pain caused our father to suffer a fatal heart attack and put our mother in a hospital, he dropped it. He felt so bad that he went to Salt Lake City for the summer - something to do with his church. He never spoke of it again, and we’ve made our peace.”

“I see.” I still wanted to know what the lawsuit was about but decided they would tell me when the time came.

“Feeling better, Millen?” Uncle Theodore asked. I caught papi shooting his brother with an evil look.

“Yes, dear,” he replied, causing us all to crack up.

Uncle Dylan reached for the leather bag on the floor. In the light I saw how faded and cracked the material was. The bag must have been ancient.

“This bag has literally been around the world and back,” Papi smiled. “It’s full of my uncle’s letters and journals.” He reached in and removed a letter. “This is the letter that we wrote to him when we first arrived in Sherwood and mother asked us to write to Mr. Tuscano.”

I watched curiously as papi pulled the flap back on the brittle, yellowish envelope and cautiously took out two folded pieces of paper.

“The first letter is the combined letter that the four of us dictated to mother. The second letter is something she sneaked in without us knowing.”

“Why would she do that?” I asked.

Papi fought back another sniffle and reached down to pull out one of the journals.

“This is the journal your grandfather started after he received the letter. Mr. Tuscano was never a writer, but after finding out we were safe, he knew his story needed to be written down for me to read someday.”

He held the letter out to me.

“Would you like to read your grandfather’s letter, Adrian?”

My face brightened at the mention of the letter. I eagerly accepted it, turning the yellowish paper over in my hands. “You wish for me to read it?”

“Why not,” Papi said. “You need to see this side of our story from your grandfather’s point-of-view.”

I cautiously unfolded the letter. The leather bag sat between papi and me on the swing. Inside held the secrets to why Molly and Theodore Sr. refused to let their children know that Mr. Tuscano was one of their brothers. Must be Molly. Her maiden name must have been Tuscano. It had to be! That explains why my grandfather raced through the streets of Brooklyn searching for papi and his brothers after Molly passed away. That is why he allowed them to stay in the attic apartment. A warm sensation filled my body.

I look up at Papi, who responded with a half-smile. I turned my attention back to the letter. Clearing my throat, I began to read aloud.

Catrina Woodrow Mueller
C/O Frank Mueller’s Nursery
16 Travis St.
Sherwood, Texas

Dear Mr. Tuscano,

My name is Mrs. Catrina Woodrow Mueller. I am the married daughter of the man who adopted the four children: Theodore, Francis, Millen and Dylan. I am writing to you today at the request of the boys. They do not know the contents of this first letter. They tell me you have been a dear, family friend for years. To ease your troubles I want to make it known that they’re safe in our home and not with my father.

A month ago, my father did an irresponsible thing – he placed an advertisement in a New York newspaper requesting four orphaned boys to be adopted as endured servants for his two college-bound sons; his two sons being my younger, twin brothers, Jasper and Clinton Woodrow. His plea was answered by the director of the Brooklyn Home for Orphaned Boys. He took the “un-adoptable” O’Connor children and placed them on a train bound for Sherwood, Texas.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I walked down to the Sherwood train station to board a train to Denison for our weekly luncheon. As we stepped upon the platform, I overheard the gruff, arrogant tone of my father yelling. I turned and to my absolute horror and disgust witnessed him screaming at a group of orphaned children. I approached the man, and demanded to know the cause of this. He explained his situation. During this time the two of us did not mention to the children that we were father and daughter. A few seconds later my own husband arrived on the scene.

The two of us convinced my father to allow us to take in the boys for the holiday season. As of today, I have not heard one word from the man about his ridiculous act. My husband sent an urgent telegram to my brothers up north to come home immediately. They responded and are currently on a train. My father has no clue that his sons are deeply upset at his actions and plan on having a full old-fashioned, Wild West showdown (minus the guns) with the man.

At this moment, the four little ones are excitedly changing into their winter attire as we prepare to walk down to the courthouse and drop this letter in the mailbox. To ease another burden of yours, my husband and I are looking into all options to adopt these boys for our own. We have grown to love them, and we can’t let them be returned to the orphanage. Attached you will find another letter dictated to me by the boys. We hope these letters reach you soon, and without any troubles along the way. --- C.W.M.

Mr. Tuscano!

This is Millen! We are safe at the Mueller home in a small town called Sherwood, Texas! It is not as big as Brooklyn and there are not any different color people, or vendors in the streets. We have Bible study every day, and Catrina teaches us school work! She is teaching us about Joseph and how his brothers were jealous of him and how he grew up to be a powerful man in Egypt all because his brothers sent him away. Catrina said she has mysterious people in her family too. Theodore said she should know about our family’s history. Theodore is so silly.

She was a teacher in a small, country village called Canyon. Frank and Catrina took us on the train to Van, Texas one Saturday and from there, we rented a stagecoach that took us to Canyon. So tiny! Theodore’s mouth dropped open at the wide-open prairie and cows! Lots of cows and horses! We went to a farmhouse, and there lived a boy that Catrina used to teach. He was our age, and he let us play with the farm animals.

On the way back to Van, we stopped by the Canyon Cemetery, which is behind a large farm house that belongs to the Canyon family. Catrina spotted the tiny headstone of a girl named Esther Tallent. She was a girl my age that Catrina taught at school. She got sick with the same disease mama had and passed away. Catrina and Frank laid a Christmas wreath on her grave. It made me sad because I miss mama and papa.

When we were back in Sherwood they took us to the drug store for hot chocolate. The boy behind the counter, Conrad Hicks is so funny! He likes to tell us stories about his silly customers. He told Theodore he wants to marry and have a daughter to name after his real mother, Lily Rose, who died when he was a baby. His father remarried and Conrad has a stepmother. They’re all so nice and happy.

We miss you and we hope to see you again! We like staying with the Mueller family. They bought a bunch of new clothes for us and books! We’ve never owned our own book! Every day after lunch, Catrina reads to us. Mama would like Catrina because she has been to Ireland! Before she went to college to be a teacher, she went on a tour of Europe with her girlfriends. They went to Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy! Catrina told me she didn’t travel to Sicily. We told her you were born in Sicily and you own a candy store. She wanted to know all about you, so we told her. She asked us to write you a letter and that it shouldn’t be too hard for the postman to find your address.

We hope you write back to us! We love and miss you!

Millen, Dylan, Theo and Francis

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