It was a warm, Thursday evening in my beautiful home state of Virginia. I had been very busy this particular day and was ready for a “FixerUpper” marathon – until — I saw something that caught my eye and intrigued my imagination. Sitting by an old house were some odds and ends, mostly junk, and some furniture pieces. Anyone who knows me, knows that I pick up anything on the side of the road, no matter how dirty and then clean it up, taking it from trash to treasure. It was like light bulbs went off in my brain and I had to stop. I spent a good thirty minutes going through what was there, even half-way in the dumpster. As I grabbed a couple mason jars, I noticed some crumbled up letters, stained with age. My mind raced, wondering what they might be. I moved an old doll house out of the way and found an timeworn suitcase (jackpot #praisehands) and inside it was full of old cards and love letters. I seriously felt like I won a Grammy or something. When I arrived home, I began reading. This is a beautiful story and I want to let you slide into the seat next to me, as we explore together what I found that day.
image from google
It takes place in WW2 and, as many couples, the two sweethearts are separated for many months because of the war. The letters began, “my dearest darling” moving onto, “My darling wife”. All of the letters I have read are signed either with “I love only you”, “I love you always, always”, or “Darling I love you so” and then with the name George. I have yet to read one from his dear Ann but I do know she would send him newsy letters, keeping up with the latest, and that was something George loved.
Reading between the lines I caught on that George had an adventurous personality, whenever he arrived to the port of a new city, he had to go and see it. He was also a dreamer, someone who had wishes in his heart, bottled up like a homemade jar of canned peaches, wondering if they would ever come true. He wrote, “Maybe someday they’ll come true. I use to wish for you and that came true”. The love he had for his Ann was one of the sweetest I have ever read. He wrote to her from many different places, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Boston were a few of them. In one letter he is responding to a letter Ann had written him concerning their first child. The excitement in his writing was obvious, also asking her to take care of herself. When the baby arrived it was a boy and his initials S.M. This is how they referred to him instead of his full name.
In January of 1953 a stamp was 6 cents and George and Ann had just celebrated their first anniversary. Only they weren’t together for much of that time, only five months to be exact. Although he loved the fresh sea air, George missed his wife more than anything in the world. Half of his letters are telling her how much she is loved, how beautiful she is and constantly reassuring her that she is his one and only.
I closed the brown cloth suitcase keeping the letters safely inside. Googling their names, I didn’t come up with much. This is the beginning of this wonderful story, but isn’t it amazing? It’s easy to wonder if love like this really exists anymore and maybe by reading this it will shine a little light on your day, giving you a little hope for tomorrow. There are still so many letters I have yet to read and many questions I want answered. I am still digging deeper and hope to write the whole story someday. Ya’ll are along for the ride on this mysterious love story.
Love is a gift, a precious one. When we find it un-expectantly on the side of the road, we must remember it is always to be cherished.