You might think that love letters, like good wine, improve with age. You would be right, they do, but they last much longer. Even the best wine needs to time age so we can take it in, and, alas, over enough time it turns to undrinkable and down the drain it must go. A love letter, however, needs no time in a barrel, never goes bad and is almost always stashed somewhere safe.
Sometimes we find a love letter that we have hidden away, and on reading it years later we are enormously touched by reading it again. We are transported to an era long gone. We are taken back to our strongest times. We are reminded first-hand how we were loved. But, sometimes, tragically enough, a love letter written does not reach its target.
Pfc. John Eddington was on his way to Europe when he learned about the birth of his daughter. He wrote her a letter about his love for her and his longing to see her. He died when his baby Peggy was four months old. Something went wrong, and the letter was not delivered to that little girl who grew up never knowing her father and never knowing of his love for her. Dismal as it was that this letter did not get to its destination almost 70 years ago, you could certainly not say that it lost any of its value as it sat unread. Quite the contrary. Found letters contain all the love originally intended, and over time they become an important historical document.
The diligent and warmhearted woman who found the letter spent fourteen years searching for that little girl, and almost seventy years later that letter was delivered to the daughter of the WWII hero who died without ever having had the chance to hold his baby in his arms, delivered to that girl who never heard her father's voice of felt the touch of his hand.
That letter would have been so important had it gotten to that family in 1943, and tragic as it was for this little girl to grow up not knowing or daring to ask about her father, the letter got there, if not on time, in time. In time for Peggy to know that she never went without her daddy’s love. In time for her to hold something that felt the touch of his hand.
A love letter is a gift custom designed for just one person in this world, a gift that will never go out of style, and a gift that will be someone’s truth years, decades and centuries after it is written as it was on the day it was written. Sometimes a love letter is as close as we can get to holding hands across decades.
Love letters change lives. Write them now and rest assured that your gift will be significant to an endless line of people who are lucky enough to read them over generations. Remember, indelible ink and good strong paper.
From me to you with love in the air, Janet
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