In the Shadow of Liberty: The Chronicle of Ellis Island

By Edward Corsi | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER V
THE MIGRATION

OUR lives had always been molded by father's life; now that he was dead we seemed to have no future. We stayed on at Lugano because we did not have enough money for railroad tickets to Sulmona, the home of my mother's people. The days were long and miserable for all of us. My mother's grief, though silent, was hard for children to watch. Giuseppe and I, child-like, were unhappy because our vivid dreams of the grand life in Rome had burst like bubbles.

Thanks to the loyalty and appreciation of those who were fighting for a free Italy, we survived. The leading members of the movement for the republic were more than kind to my mother. One day she received a present from Italy--a sum of money sufficient for all of us to return, with the assurance of aid that would relieve her of all fear for the future. We prepared for the sorrowful return to Italy.

I do not remember that my mother spoke often during this black period. She devoted most of her time to Helvetia, our newest sister, and stared out of the window. She took care of our wants, and for the rest just looked at us with sad eyes, so that Giuseppe and I, who could scarcely bear her suffering, tried to avoid her glance.

Back in old Sulmona, we were welcomed by the thousands of my father's admirers. We went to the home of my maternal grandparents, but my stay there ended almost as soon as it began. A number of my father's friends came to call upon mother with offers of counsel and assistance. In a few days Giuseppe was bundled off to a

-19-

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