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Chapter V - Carmela and Lucia

My baby girl was beautiful. We named her after her grandmother on her father's side as was the custom of the times. We named her Carmela.

My life was full. I was a woman with a husband and a baby of my own. Nicola and I were both very happy. At the age of eighteen, I was a wife and mother and with all the responsibilities that those jobs entail.

Nicola decided to change his occupation to that of a moulder since he had some previous experience in that trade. It was hard work where hot liquid iron is poured into forms prepared during the day. He wanted to make more money for his family. Still we lived in the same house where the bathroom was outside and our living quarters consisted of only two rooms, but now we had water in our kitchen. We were quite content.

A letter arrived from my brother Luigi who lived in Batavia, New York. He asked us to come and live there. He was also a moulder with much experience and his letter promised that he would be able to get a job for my husband. I had my doubts about moving but Nicola liked the idea and quit his job. I was worried about our financial situation. If my husband did not get the job we did not have any security to fall back on. I had not seen my brother Luigi since he left Italy. I was only eight years old at the time. Now I began to look forward to a new environment and maybe a better way of life.

Nicola left to go and find that promised job and a new future. We corresponded daily. He did not get a job there but I was looking forward to joining him and seeing my brother and his family. However, there was a fly in the ointment. We did not have the money to move. Luigi was not able to help because he had six children, his wife and his mother-in-law to support.

After a month in Batavia, Nicola came back home. I had missed him as much as he had missed me. However, when he came back we had our first quarrel. I was disappointed because the whole trip had been useless and I had very much wanted to see my brother.

Conditions improved. Nicola went back to his job and life proceeded at the same level. My little baby was growing quite beautifully and our family was happy and content.

A few months later I realized I was with child again and this realization pleased me. I wanted a large family and it looked as if I was beginning it quite nicely. My second child was also a girl. She was born sixteen months after my first one. We named her Lucia after my mother. Nicola and I were quite proud of our growing family.

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