TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: It is noted that the original letter is written in a conversational and personal vein without regard for proper punctuation.
Nueva Gerona, Dec. 25, '63
From the visit of my brothers, I learned about you. It is a consolation to hear that our children are taking very good advantage of the time. It is one more compensation of Divine Providence for our sufferings. It is difficult to write these days in which memories are so vivid and it is almost impossible to coordinate ideas because emotion chokes us. It is at Christmas time when sentiments, through the sorrow of absence draw us closer to our loved ones. The more presents we have the more we are aware of the separation. But the sorrow is not important, my children, and if having you always in my heart and thinking intensely of you, it increases, then blessed be the sorrow! Fortunately, we are strong; a great faith sustains us with the firmest hopes of our soon being reunited with the family. Any of the steps that are being taken must prosper. Our desires for peace, to live in the company of our children, stirs us to hope a little for comprehension and assistance. At this time of the year, 30 years ago, Mama and I were an engaged couple in love, full of illusions and faith in the future. We were enjoying the preparations for the marriage which happily would eternally unite our destinies. We were making at that time many plans, converted since into a full and beautiful reality. We were ecstatically dreaming about the great adventure of love, and you, my children, were the summation of our dreams. We were in ectasy over the prospect of many children, the combination of our flesh, of our blood, of our souls in the purest ideals of parents in bloom. Our desires were culminated with the arrival of such a beautiful group of children exceeding our expectations - our aspirations - children extremely gifted with the most brilliant qualities and virtues; - honest - intelligent - children who have the love and respect of one another - who adore and devotedly admire their parents - children who work hard, study earnestly - who make sacrifices whenever necessary. In sum, good children, a benefit to the family and to society - loving children who gladly cooperate with one another without complaint - who go through life joined fraternally in perfect communion with God and family. Such are our children for whom today and every day in our prayers we humbly thank God. The All Powerful gives you, my children, a glory of a repeated verse of a most beautiful descendency! What else in the world can surpass it? Nothing that I may know and it is for this reason that I want to sum in that idea my great desire of happiness for each one of my children at this Christmas time. On the anniversary, shower Mama with pretty cards, letters, photos and as much as can make her happy. It occurs to me, Cesar, that you with Mauricio, could give her a good gift. I am not referring now to the marvelous gift of free giving, It is a little grand gift. Since he has so many resources and friends, he could arrange that on the basis of her 30 years, her photo be published in a newspaper section. It would be something to fill us with pride, to do justice to this great wife and mother so that her friends may not forget her. That would do us all good and the reason is plausible. Not always are so many years of marriage completed encompassed with so many children and grandchildren, nor under the circumstances which surround it. If you do not have a good photo, ask Felo immediately for it. (I imagine some persons pale with envy, among them some neurotic!) I am not able to give any gift, but I pray for (her/your) health and ask for (her/it) so intensely that God is listening to me. Freddie is getting along very well in his studies. It has taken him time and work, but in the end he will graduate from this course. I always believed that he would, but I fear for him for the very hard examinations that await him. Sally also - I do now what career - and I am grateful to Jim because he wishes, as we, that she continue studying until receiving her doctorate. He would only desire to offer his assistance and inspiration. I received a telegram from Felo explaining the call that he made to Cesar after the visit. I am happy that he calmed you, and I am presently all right and give you my measagee. I know that every one has moved tirelessly and that on our negotiations being renewed, we will be in first place. To all, I am thankful for Mama who needs to rest with peace and security. My daughters, in spite problems that you have, you have found time to move heaven and earth and our great son with his business relatlona bas succeeded in locating us in a preferable p1ace. I received a letter from Sari on Oct. 27, from Silvia, with her photo in the offlce - the 3rd that I received; of the rest I do not know what they look like now - on Nov. 8, from Cesar, Julie and Lolie on Nov. 11. Thus we are able to endure solitude. Thus help us to wait. Mama telegraphed me, content because she already reeeived many. Remember that you must take a moment and write to one another. It is sad to read that there are times when you do not know about one another "because the telephone is expensive now." Annie needs to adopt a firm resolution for the New Year of involving herself in the reaponaibilities of the family. We are proud of your conduct in college, in a strange home. We are completely satisfied in having such a good and studious daughter who has perfectly fulfilled her obligations. But you have not kept contact with your sister - too often unmindful of their problems when you should share them. Therefore, my pretty brunette, you yourself think of the best way to cooperate with them. It would be nice for you to share the time with your brothers and sisters. Would it be possible, love, for you to spend week-ends and vacations at Silvia's house? In this way you could be of great benefit, just as Lolie has been for some time with Julie. You are a complete woman. You understand that you have obligations, in addition to your studies which you are to pursue with eagerness above everything. If what I suggest upsets in any way your school tasks, then you should continue as you are and in no way should you neglect them. Understood? I leave it to your own judgment, but anyway maintain frequent contact with all the family, and watch out for parties and drinking! Silvia, It is difficult to become oriented with you - who are in contact with the atmosphere and who have taken up to now so many intelligent and proper steps. You will continue with that vast experience, determining what ought to be done on each occasion. It is one more reason for pride for us Before i forget, let me congratulate you on your fine position. You are worthy of these distinctions. Tell me who this is who says he is my friend - be careful, I do not have any friend who might be here, through Dallas, so reject his friendship until you give me his nameYou are alone, without men to protect you and you can be deceived. Grant me blndie the addltioiial sacrifice of not going out Wednesdays with your girl friends. Stay for a good time at home. You still are not free - you should avoid everything that might affect your good name. Never accept going out with anyone or to the house of anyone if you are not accompanied by your brothers. That of Guille is still not definite - he can return - I am sure that he loves you and adores his children in his way. He was criminally indisposed against you by his neurotic mother. When you have to be understanding, make yourse1f interested, but be careful not to exceed. Do not abandon literature. Persevere, write a good book even though it takes you years. arita love, your letters are always interesting to me in that you tell me everything is marrvelous. It is the beet sedative for calming my anxietiea for information concerning the family. Your letters, as those of all your brothers and sisters, fill my life with joy and hopes. They come to be the only light which enters the darkness in which I am living. I regret not having received yet a pboto of your Jim. Mama was enchanted by him. I hope that Cesar furnishes you with spending money in sufficient amount. Do not scrape - please - go to your brother. It would please me for the elders to arrange for an allowance. I leave it to your judgment. Tell me as much as you can of your activities. Lolie, beautiful blonde, you do not tell about yourself even though, in spite of being an adolescent, you are already a woman because of the harsh experience through which you have lived. Your labors and sufferings have made you grow intellectually and spiritually. I am happy that you have in C. and J. the tenderness of brothers and parents. Soon you will again be my little spoiled girl, my heart's desire. Take care of rebellions, Study and work gladly. Cesar, Julie, beloved children, there LB hardly space left. I am happy with your progrress in the program. To Ama,, Javier, Jorge, Freddie, Marianne, I express how anxious I am to hold you against my heart To Gretel and Raul my thanks, Fond regards to Carola, Carmen Rosa, Rene. Loving greetings and my thanks to all but especially to Mauricio and Joe - kisses -Papa