Methods change but love is endless

old post card, vintage, antique-1900074.jpg

“Blessed dear, I love you heaps and gobs and then some and you are never far distant from my thoughts even when I am busiest and I always take you right along with me every place I go.”

The words were embossed on yellowed, aged, cracked, typing paper. On the top of the page was a date . . . May 20, 1931.

On the bottom of the page was a signature from a seemingly female hand . . . but years had faded the ink to the point where it was not clear.

“My sweetheart, I love you dearly and long for you and miss you all the time and dream of the time we can be together again. You are my honey girl. Write me, my pet, and love me always.”

This reciprocal letter was also typed on that old-fashioned paper, fragile and deteriorated. It said it was written on a Wednesday, the year wasn’t stated. And there was no signature.

With the occurrence of Valentine’s Day this week, we all tend to think about the ageless existence of love. The never-ending cycle of relationships has continued through the generations.

Regardless of the era, the terminology, the method or language of conveyance . . . the emotion is ageless.

“Loving you much, mucher, muchest,” the lady wrote back. “You are uppermost in my thoughts and I am happy that you love me so much. Love you honey.”

“You are my sweetheart,” he responded. “Ever and always. Honey, if I could just strain you close to me, your heart against mine, your lips against my lips . . .”

I have to admit I started to sweat a little as I held the extremely old paper in my hands.

“Honey, I love you better than all and always will,” he wrote. “Always know I am thinking of you, loving you and longing for you all the time.”

I sighed and whispered to myself, “There’s nothing like a good love letter.”

As I looked at this pile of carefully crafted expressions, I wondered about the story behind this passionate couple.

And so did the women around me . . . the women who found the letters, eight decades after they were written . . . in the most unlikely place.

Turns out, there’d been talk, some 20 years ago, about a bunch of mystery love letters found in an old filing cabinet at the York County District Court office.

A few people said they’d seen the lovely written declarations . . . but somehow, they were lost.

Over the past decades, the topic would come up now and again . . . in certain circles it became the legend of the courthouse love letters, fired with speculation over who these people were, why the letters were there in the first place and where they ended up.

Then, amazingly and ironically just before Valentine’s Day, 2012, the 1931 love letters resurfaced. And so did the intrigue.

“I was just here, in the back room, going through some files and moving things around, when I opened this drawer on this old desk,” our district court clerk, Sharilyn, told me, eyes twinkling. “And that’s when I found these.”

In her hand was the stack of folded pages that had moved between two anonymous people, eventually to be hidden away inside the hollows of the old courthouse and then the new building.

Their existence is remarkable . . . for a number of reasons. Sure, there’s the age of the letters.

But then let’s also be honest about one thing – District Court is where love goes to die (seeing how it’s the hub of divorce and lawsuit proceedings).

As we read those otherwise private words, I relished the undying human need for romance in this busy world of work, bills, commitments and responsibilities . . . and it seems it held true back then as well.

The couple’s conversations, while dripping with sappy sayings and heart-felt promises, also held commentary about everyday life and worries.

They wrote of devastating $15 mechanical bills, seeing a Jackie Cooper and Chic Sale movie called “Feller Needs a Friend,” dying lilies and a business that “only creates the blues.”

But somehow, the emerging theme was that their love was bigger than it all.

“I am writing you just to tell you that I love the nicest man in the world and his brown twinkly eyes,” she wrote.

“Your kisses are sweeter than honey,” he responded.

I wonder who they were. I wonder how their love story played out. Did they live happily ever after?

Noting the timing of the letters, I doubt either is still alive. We’ll probably never know the answers to those questions.

All I know is that my imagination has been filled with entertaining theories ever since. And I love that they were so in love, so many years ago.

“Love and kisses for you dear one,” he wrote. “Yours always.”

“Loving you and holding you close,” she responded. “Loving you much, mucher and muchest.”

Our language today may be different and such messages would probably be sent via a text rather than with an old typewriter and the postal service, but the feeling is still the same.

It may look different, but love is forever ageless.


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