In1938, when I was nine years old, United States President was Franklin Roosevelt. It was the zenith of “do It your-selfers. A new car cost $700, gasoline was 20 cents a gallon, bread was 9 cents, a postage stamp was 3 cents, milk was 50 cents a gallon. The average annual salary was $1,700. Hit songs that year were, “Begin the Beguine”, “Thanks for the Memories” and “Whistle While You Work”.
It was Labor Day, we could hear the drums from the parade downtown, but Dad battled termites. He used a heavy brush and painted creosote on the foundation of our ‘brown house’ on 330 South 14t.hStreet. Mother was busy in the kitchen. I wandered down the basement stairs and noted that the crawl space was open. It was kept closed. I peered into the shadowed area and spied a box. Why would a box be under the house. I pulled it to the stairway and slowly opened it. Inside the box were bundles of letters, some tied together with ribbon. Curious as to why letters were in a box under the house, I began pulling a letter from an aged envelope and unfolded the paper and read, “To My Darling, My Sweetheart”…. I had never heard of a love letter. Who had written these? I read further and found a love poem. The signature on the letter flowed across the paper – Herman Bennie Siemens.
My Daddy wrote this letter? My Daddy wrote poems? Why would my Daddy’s letters be under the house? Who is “My Darling”. I opened another letter and found a telling signature, Anna Daisy Suderman - Mom. What a treasure! I found letters that my parents wrote to each other before they were married. I read the school girl writing, slightly slanted to the left that my Mom had written.
My parents were just my parents – and here was evidence of another life of my parents before I was born. Incredible. As I read the third letter from the box, I heard footsteps, and Mom’s voice floated down to me, “What are you doing?” Before I had a chance to respond, Mom swooped down and replaced the letters and closed the box again. “You are too young to read this now.” There never was a time when I could read them. I wonder now what happened to the letters, a testimony of the love that lasted a lifetime.
Love letters are a tradition in history. Imagine my surprise in learning on internet that for a price, you can choose the parts you want to put together to form a love letter, as well as love poems. Interesting that love letters have become a lucrative business based on the need to express love-thoughts to one’s special love. What is it about love letters that books are written on the “How-to’s” of writing a love letter?
One example of Dad’s written love for Mom, the love letters no longer exist, from the back of a picture (above) he gave Mom in 1941. …..In memory of our 13th Anniversary Engagement (April 20, 1926). Here’s to the Dearest little Girl in the World. Who promised faithfully to this humble boy, and through the years has kept this faith – true, pure and without alloy. From Herman.
My love letters from my dear husband were lost in a move. I mourned the loss, but learned through the years that love is not always written – but lived out. When I count all the ways my dear husband proves his love, there is no need for words. He worked long hours, made life easier on many different ways, including often caring for the babies in the middle of the night in our early marriage.
On our refrigerator is a love note from our daughter, I love you, Mommy. A reminder that although miles separate us, our love stays whole in our hearts. We receive love letters from our children, our grand children and from friends. I see a love letter when a child smiles and when I see someone help someone else. A love letter is giving of time and thought. There is nothing more personal that a handwritten note encouraging someone you love. A love letter is putting your heart on paper.
God sent Jesus, His Love Letter to us. This is one Love Letter that is for eternity.
A love letter that cannot fade in time. Every time we see a sunrise or a sunset, their brilliance is a Love Letter from our Creator. Is it any wonder that when we read Paul’s Epistles in the New Testament we know his intense love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Twenty-one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are Paul’s love letters to the churches then and to us today. They tell of the unforgettable love of Jesus Christ who died for our sins and that Jesus was raised to life again, our advocate and giver of forgiveness of sins.
Philippians 1:3-6 - I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
II Corinthians 3:2-3 - You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
What kind of love letter can we write to the One who is our Creator and our Sustainer? II Thessalonians 5:16-18 gives the answer.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.