Sunday, February 13, 2011

Be Mine, Valentine

According to an article in the paper, a handwritten love letter is the most sought-after gift a man could give a woman (national poll among women ages 18 to 70). I wonder why men find it easier to go with flowers and candy?

My close GF C. hit the romance bonanza when she married B. Although they've been married more than 17 years, he writes and mails her a sweet letter every single day. Let me repeat that: EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Yes, B's a writer, but he's also a professor at a college and writer and director of a children's theater. He's a busy guy and the fact he makes time for this is all the more cherished by C. She once lamented foreseeing a future where the letters stop. Knowing B, he'll write some and have them mailed posthumanly. Like in that movie, P.S., I Love You.

The excellent McCullough book on John Adams revealed a loving couple and I don't think Adams would have been as successful without his Abigail. They wrote each other daily, exchanging 1,100 letters that we know of. She always began hers with 'Dearest friend.' Although they spent years apart during his political and diplomatic career, she was a keen businesswoman and confidant, and kept the home fires burning. In return he was devoted, and always let her know how grateful he was. They were married 54 years.

Mom and dad have been married 61 years. I came across a few letters he wrote her while he was away at college and she was teaching school. They were ardent and professed jealousy, though she only confided she went out with one other guy , once -- mom and dad have been together since they were 15 and 16 -- going steady, dropped, pinned, engaged and married. They are still so cute together. (They seldom remember their anniversary, which I take to mean they don't have to celebrate the day when they make each day count). Dad's never been much of a hugger or talker, but his actions count.

Excy and I are going on 19 years, and together for 20. He's never been big on writing, either - though I begged for one love letter early on. Does it count when one begs? The first 16 years he made me romantic drawings and cards. I hung them in my dressing area. I tease him 'the bloom's off the rose' because he hasn't done this in awhile. I'm sure he will eventually.

But he shows his love and devotion every day. After Thanksgiving dinner my niece told my SIL she wanted a husband "just like Uncle Excy, who pulls the chair out for Aunt Amy and gets her plate for her and is attentive." She's right, I am a lucky lady. Every morning he brews me tea and serves it to me in bed. Every time we go out he holds my hand, walks on the outside of the sidewalk, and opens the doors and car door for me. Right now he's making another hammered dulcimer stand, as my original one fell apart. I didn't even have to ask! I just showed him the plans and how much they cost to buy -- tee hee...He tells me every day I'm beautiful and that he loves me. If that's not a living legacy of love I don't know what is. I'd still love a letter, sometime, though!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my blogging buddies. I am thankful for you, too!

14 comments:

Retired English Teacher said...

This is a wonderful post. I do believe that letter writing is a lost art. Could we say it is a genre that is dying? Love letters are probably even more rare. This is so sad. Think what future generations will miss.

I had a large number of love letters that exchanged between my first husband and me. Some were written when he was in the army. Others were just daily letters that we wrote to each other. Sadly, the marriage only lasted 15 years, but it produced five children. I recently gave all the letters to my oldest daughter. I knew she would preserve them. I knew that they contained an important part of family history for her and the other children.

My adorable current husband really has never written me a letter. His handwriting is so terrible that I probably couldn't read it. He instead writes letters on my heart with his kind and loving actions. That truly is, as you said, a legacy of love. Letters are nice, but actions speak so much louder than words.

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

I to believe letter writing is a lost art. I have typed for so long that anything longer than a page hurts my hand, but oh well. I have a box of love letters in a trunk that my husband and I wrote to each other when he was in the navy. My husbands handwriting is terrible too, but I wouldn't trade them for the world. It kept me going while he was away all those years ago and the postman used to walk past our living room window waving a packet of them at me and smiling. Have a wonderful valentines day with your guy!

ReformingGeek said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

Hubby and I still hold hands. I think that's sweet.

Jayne Martin said...

And I have... my cat. I think I'll just go stick my head in the oven now. ;)

Lauren said...

Lovely post. Your husband is so sweet. Happy Valentine's Day! even though it's a Hallmark holiday. My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary last October. I'm just happy that neither of us has been the featured spouse on a 20/20 murder mystery.

This past Christmas, my mother handed me a box of letters I had written from camp and while I was abroad. I'm still a broad. It was the best gift ever and my handwriting wasn't too bad either. Now it's terrible and therefore typing is the preferred mode of writing.

Arkansas Patti said...

Any one can write sweet words, they can even be false for who can tell with out tone inflection and eye contact. What your husband does is so beyond some scribbles on paper. He shows you daily how much he loves you.
Your are one lucky woman.

Marvin the Martian said...

Happy V-Day! Thanks for visiting my little corner!

wendy said...

Oh, and p.s. I came across this book that I thought you'd be interested in:
THE FORGOTTEN HORSES....photographed by Tony Stromberg (forwarded by Robert Redford)
18 horse resues and sanctuaries across the U.S.

wendy said...

ooops, I think my first message didn't go through. I was saying what lovely expressions of love.
a love letter truly is romantic, I can't imagine writing and delivering one EVERY single day however.
Love is LIFTED when it is shown every day in some fashion

Carol............. said...

What a sweet post. It's great to have someone in your life that actually SHOWS love and it seems that your husband most certainly does show his.

Hmmmm, a letter every day....don't think I would have the time for all that reading each day ...LOL (kidding)

Traci said...

I think it does count even if you beg. I wanted Alex to help me clean for Valentine's Day I begged and lectured and a miracle happened, he did it, he cleaned the bathroom and washed dishes. I did miss his written profession of love. (he's a writer, not a cleaner, nor a builder,and not a present buyer. I sometimes wish for more of a balance.) Isn't it funny that the grass is always greener? And we tend to give in the way we want to receive?
Your post (and your own decision to see the things Excy does for you) is a reminder to me to appreciate the things Alex does for me that I would miss terribly, like daily back rubs.

Charlotte said...

Awwww, this is soooo sweet. Hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day! Your hubby sounds like a wonderful man. :)

Tam said...

I think your guy's a keeper, Amy! I am a great lover of letters too.

Sarah @ Life as a Movie said...

I like the comment "I have my cat I'll go stick my head in the oven now." I second that motion. Here's my pathetically funny V-Day story...

http://sarahhulen.blogspot.com/2011/02/dear-st-valentine-you-suck.html