Daliso and Geni

To prepare for this blog, February…Valentine’s Day…the ultimate month for romance…I reread one of my all-time favorite love stories by JD Robb. It’s the first book in her futuristic series, where NYC Detective Eve Dallas, hard-ass cop with enough problems of her own, meets her future husband, former thief and current murder suspect, Roarke—multi-billionaire with the face of an angel.

I guess all love stories have their merits, but for me, one in particular comes to mind every Valentine’s Day. The enduring love story of my grandparents: Daliso Lenci, of Segromigno Monte, Italy, decides to leave the home of his birth. The lack of work in his small village in the hills of Tuscany, the lure of adventure, and hope fora better life, encourages Daliso to leave Geni Bianchi of the same village behind and travel by boat to America. Painstakingly, he saves the requisite $50.00 to show to the shipping line to guarantee a place on the voyage (equivalent to about $1100.00 today) and asks Geni to marry him and wait until he sends money for her to follow. After he leaves, Geni is determined to wait even though she is considered the belle of her village and already has had several marriage proposals.

And wait she does, for seven long years, with only two letters from Daliso. Crazy you say?

After he arrived in America, my grandfather joined the United States Army to obtain citizenship, and in doing so delayed his intent to send for Geni. After the war, he settled just outside of Chicago among a few other Italian immigrants from his village. And as the story goes, one night after a very lucrative poker game, he won enough money to send for his intended. Romantic? Not very, but Geni made the voyage through Ellis Island, married Daliso, and stayed married some forty-six years. Daliso died first and ten months later, on Valentine’s Day, Geni followed.

So, on that day, even after all these years, I always remember them and their love story with vivid memories and warm affection.

I miss them.


Annalisa Russo is a published author and master storyteller based in Chicago, IL. Currently writing with The Wild Rose Press, she has just released her fourth book: Angel Lost, Angel Found. You can read more about it and the author at annalisarusso.comFollow Annalisa Russo on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.


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