Love Words-Wrapped Up In A Pink Ribbon

I have had the honor of reading some love letters.  They were bound in a pink ribbon.  Kept carefully, and lovingly, to pass on to another generation.  That generation, shared them with me.

They weren’t letters to me.  They were love letters to my grandmother,  from my grandfather.  From a time prior to their marriage through a time shortly after their marriage.  He was on the road a good bit.  He used his letters to detail his daily travels and discoveries.  This from a time when photography was not as easily produced nor as accessible as it is now.  Words were used, and much more eloquently I must say, to share visions.  But more importantly, he sent her a constant assurance and link back to him and his love for her.  And the life he wanted with her.

Some may question the ethics of reading other’s love letters.  I don’t.  Not when they are kept carefully.  Protected, guarded from time and destruction.  And left purposefully for those left behind, to have.   And not when they are so tender.  So authentic.  So genuine.  So…..graceful in their proclamations.

When I first started to read the letters I kept visually referencing a certain image in my head of my grandfather.  I, of course, saw this man.  My Grandfather.

 

For a few letters I had the difficult task of reconciling the passionate and endearing words of a young man in love, with the image in my memory.  Of course I didn’t know him as a young man.  Of course my visualization of him would be of the man you see above.  Older.  Wise.  Probably more reserved, with us as children,  than the young man who was courting and preparing to marry the love of his life.

Reading terms of “honey girl”, “dearest”, “lovey” and other absolutely adoring monikers he assigned his wife-to-be were bouncing around in my memory trying to find a place to rest comfortably.   With that image of him I hold so dear.

I actually had to put the letters down.  And go back in my imagination to find a young man writing letters who had no designs on grandfatherhood.

I found him.

Now here is a young man.   The world before him.  Life not yet fulfilled.  Love not yet mastered.   This young man can pour out his heart, his love, to someone he desperately wants to marry.  Someone he wants to impress.  Someone he wants to spend the rest of his life with.  Someone he wants to build a world with.

I picked up the letters and continued to read.  The romantic in me and the lover of history were at peace.  I envisioned the young man not known as father, grandfather or great grandfather.   A man in love with a girl and the dreams of what their life would be.

I used the letters to time travel to meet a part of my grandfather not known to me.   To see the young man and feel something of the love he had, the hopes he had.  The darling terms he showered his girl with.  From all of his “Dear and Darling” terms I saw more of this dear and darling man.

I am enjoying the fuller image and vision of this beautiful man.

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39 thoughts on “Love Words-Wrapped Up In A Pink Ribbon

  1. how absolutely gorgeous 🙂 what a gift to treasure x

    • Thank you! 😀 It was such an amazing gift for my uncle to let me read these. Hold them in my hands….like they were in his when he wrote them, sealed them, sent them, and hers when she received them, opened them, read them. Then stored them safely for …ever.

  2. jmgoyder says:

    This must be amazing – how wonderful!

    • 🙂 Thank you Julie. I am in awe of the history, the family connection…. Those pages were in the hands of my family long long long before I (or others) came in to existence. It gives me chills!

  3. Gibber says:

    Sounds wonderful. Makes me think of the the movie “The Notebook.”

  4. Quite a change from a texted I ❤ u!

  5. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post Colleen, it is always nice to learn from our family from another time.

    • Thanks Irene. 🙂 I am in awe of life before us. I love having some connection to it. And knowing “people” as a whole. These weren’t just my grandparents. They were so much more than that. And these letters opened that up to me. 🙂

  6. I believe the romantic in many of us, yearn to use gushy and juicy words to augment our feelings, emotions, desires, and dreams. What happened?

  7. Jim McKeever says:

    Lovely, Colleen. What a treasure!

  8. April says:

    That is so sweet. You know what I’ve found among my dad’s things? Corny and dirty jokes. Maybe I’ll share them sometime.

  9. Wonderful post. How lovely you have these. I’ve often wondered about my father and mother, my grandparents, and their stories for so little has been passed down except verbally and they have such rich and interesting histories. This is a beautiful gift to leave for one’s family. Thank you for sharing this.

    • You’re welcome Paulette. Like you I wonder. I wonder about the dates they had. The way they met. The talks they had. The dreams they shared. I love that these entire lives were lived….and I’m so curious about them. 🙂

  10. markbialczak says:

    You are a lucky woman, Colleen. Who knew they had invented a time travel machine called a pen and paper back then? Beautifully written story here, and photos, the letter and envelope … All of it touches me. Thank you, fortunate friend. 🙂

  11. NotAPunkRocker says:

    What a beautiful gift to have.

    Remember what you said about love notes a few weeks ago? More whispers behind the love and words you heard and witnessed over the years. 🙂

  12. Aussa Lorens says:

    My grandmother has a bound book of all the letters my Grandfather wrote to her while he was overseas, during the Korean war. I would love to read them. I remember even as a young kid that he would leave her short little notes in the kitchen, when he went to work or on a walk or something. Seems like something from a dream.

  13. niaaeryn says:

    That is awesome/lovely (need to make a new wors tgere, awely?). It would be fantastic to have such a gift as welll preserved letters, and about love. I love the history of it to think of him as a young man, knowing what he will become later. Letters can just mean so much more than today’s email (seeing how they wrote, the emphasis on what letters, the ink running low) and being able to literally touch what they wrote. The best time travel, and here time travel with Love. 🙂

    • I think it’s awely as well! 🙂

      I know. It IS time travel. I can go back to BEFORE he was married. He was in love. My father and his siblings didn’t exist. Their dreams, and life adventures had not yet begun. I am fascinated by that! And yes, traveling with LOVE is a darn good way to go. 🙂

  14. Oh my! What an honor to read such loving letters. I can’t imagine how special that must feel, the going back in time to rediscover your grandparent’s youth. ❤ ❤ ❤

  15. cindy says:

    Lovely……this brought me to tears…..

  16. Heartafire says:

    such a wonderfully moving article Chatter, I was deeply touched by this. It is beautifully written, I feel certain the sender and the young woman would be pleased with the way you have delivered this experience. Bravo!

    • That means a lot Heart. That they may approve of the way I handled it. I wouldn’t have wanted to divulge all of their love. But that it existed and thrived and was beautiful….and that I see it that way. THAT is what I hoped to share. So thank you very much.

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