December 7, 1923

Dearest Iulia,

I apologize for the delay in my response. I have been incredibly busy, what with Christmas coming so quickly. I am sure you will forgive me once I tell you that I have been doing much shopping for my dear sweet nieces and nephews — do not ever let them think that Aunty Cati is only ever concerned with having a good time and that she does not remember her family at these important times of the year!

It was lovely to hear about your trip to Florida. It must have been an adjustment to come back to cold, wet Boston after such a long time spent at the beach. I hear they have alligators down there, though — I am sure you were ready to escape becoming some lizard's dinner! If I ever decide to go out that way, I will be sure to ask your advice on the matter.

As to our brother, I can only hope that he plans to attend Christmas dinner at Mother's this year. After the fiasco of last year, however, I am inclined to believe that Gheorghe does not intend to have anything more to do with our family, especially with Father. Did you forget that he reminded the five of us that we are not his true children? Or his insistence that he has no son but Pavel? I understand that you and our siblings yearn for the idyllic days of our youth, but that is no longer the case — just as Gheorghe is no longer who he was even five years ago. The choices Gheorghe makes are his own, and I will stand by his decisions, even if the family feels they are a blight upon our name (certainly, a ridiculous notion!).

I do not mean to be a wet blanket, especially at this time of year. This situation with Gheorghe saddens me deeply, but I refuse to be as silent about it as the rest of our family.

I look forward to seeing you, Felix, and the children at the end of the month.


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