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To Nora Drobyshev [Letter 575]

Item Reference Code: 013_52B_004_001

Date(s) of creation

August 6, 1973

Recipient

Nora Drobyshev

Transcript

Translation from Russian by Alex Sadovsky. Sections in italics were written in English by AR in the original letter. This letter is six pages, but the translation did not note page breaks.

August 6, 1973

Dear Nora!

Thank you very, very much for your letter—and, especially, for your offer to visit us. You don’t know how glad I am. I did not dare to hope that it was possible but, nevertheless, I was hoping silently.

When I received your letter, I immediately applied for a request for the documents issued by the American government for a visa to the United States. I have just now received them and am sending them to you with this letter.

They told me here that you must send these documents to the USSR government to the Department of Visas and Registrations (OVIR), with a request to issue the passport for you to visit the United States. If you want to come in November or December, you have to send the request now. (If it is inconvenient to you now, you may delay it until it is convenient.)

No matter when it happens, Frank and I will be very, very happy if you come. When you receive the passport, please send me a telegram at once.

Can Fedya come with you? I would like very much to meet him. Please ask his physician and, if his health allows, I hope that you both are able to come. If it is possible, I will immediately send a request and the documents for him. Give me his name and his patronymic: Fyodor ___ Drobyshev?

Dear Fedya (since you are my brother-in-law, I shall not address you formally), I really hope you are able to come and visit us, so that we can see you. If it is impossible, I am very grateful that you are willing to let Nora go; at least, for a short while. I understand how you both feel: Frank and I also cannot part for long.

Nora, write me your telephone number in Leningrad. I have found out that I can telephone you and talk to you. I want to call you when you return from the cottage. Please give me your number when you come back to Leningrad and what time (according to your time) you are usually home.

Now, about the other news in your letter. Thank you for writing about Daddy, Mama and Natasha. I know that it was difficult to write—and read. I am very, very glad that Fedya has recovered from his disease and can now live a normal life. I have always thought that the hardest and the worst part of life is the illness of those whom we love, and I feel deep respect for you because you have endured such suffering. I wish you both all the happiness that you deserved and have earned. Happiness and courage can keep people alive and well for a long, long time. (I don’t know how to say that in Russian.) Everything you wrote about your feelings for Fedya, I can say (and often have said) about my feelings for Frank, even using the same words. For example, “we are one, and I do not know where I end and he begins.” Just like you, we think in the same fashion, and everything one of us likes or dislikes, the other always likes or dislikes as well—even music. Our friends say that we have an “ideal marriage.”

Now, if you want to practice reading English, I will write a bit in English. It is remarkable that Frank and I resemble Fedya and you in temperament! I am tense, aggressive and very articulate, Frank is calm, gentle and silent. But, inside, he is tougher than I am—and if we ever disagreed, I wouldn’t be able to budge him, and nobody would. I call him “my rock of Gibraltar.” When I am unhappy or discouraged, which is not often, he is the only one who can give me the strength.

We often talk about you. We both hope that you will soon come. We are waiting for you in great impatience—impatiently and enthusiastically. Passionate kisses—and love from both of us to both of you.

Alisa