I know a lot about writing love letters, but I tend to think they were more like little notes that you folded up so small they could fit into the palm of your hand or in my case in between my toes! I think an actual love letter is different. I look at soldiers years ago and their wives or girlfriends, writing back and forth to each other throughout the course of a few months or a year while they’re away.
In November 2015, my nana was busy cleaning out a section of her office. She went through her drawers and found a lot of things belonging to the aunts. I’ve tried to do a few posts of the aunts here and there. I like the fact that they are considered “The Aunts” in my family, even though they’re like my great-great aunts. They were my papaw’s aunts, as his father was their brother.
The aunts were very proper, like extreme! However, I’ve been told they are also very sweet too. I had a total of four aunts: Mary, Regina (Ra-kee-na), Elsaleah, and Lula. The one I am going to be talking about on today’s post is Aunt Mary, she married a man named General, and we thought the recent generations were bad! He was mainly called “Gen” in the family. He died sometime in the 80’s, way before I was born, but they had been married for 77 years! Mary died in the early 00’s, because I remember seeing her a couple of times in the nursing home and going to her funeral. It was my first funeral and surprisingly, I remember a lot more than I probably should since I was like in the first grade!
While my nana was going through the drawer, she found a huge envelope full of Aunt Mary’s things. According to her, she wanted to be buried with them. including her love letters that were from and to her husband Gen. I thought it was a sweet gesture to want to be laid to rest with them by her side, but somehow in the process of dying and having the funeral, the letters were never sent with her, which is really sad if you think about it. However, when nana showed me her pictures of her life as both a teacher and wife to Gen, she has a totally different personality as I thought as a child. She was a scary woman whenever we’d visit her at the home!
As much as I wanted to respect their privacy, I wanted to do a blog post about these letters. My nana found these old torn up letters written by Gen himself. There was one she could tell he had written it to her before they were married because it still had the date on it, the rest we had trouble decoding! My nana attempted to read the torn up letter, there were a few words ripped out of it but I have to say they were so sweet! It was strange to read somebody’s words in such a loving way. He called her different names like “sweetie pie” and “marigold” and he wrote the letters as if he was talking to her face-to-face. They were deeply in love. I understood why she wanted these things to be buried with her, she wanted these things close to her. This was the definition of a love letter to me.
They never had children, but he had a son with his first wife, by the name of Bruce. He married and had a son himself, named PM. Do you remember that name from my summary post? He is the grandson of Uncle Gen. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain how that works after I put it into that post! Gen and Mary were both teachers, both had their master’s degree! She taught sixth grade and could he taught a math and science teacher, plus he was a track coach (he coached his grandson PM when he was in school!) and Mary was a librarian in our hometown.
There was something else that I thought was a little adorable was the fact that they both loved to garden. They would raise rose bushes, at one time they had over 200 roses in various colors! My nana said that Gen would get really into it and would have hybrid roses, which I thought was pretty cool!
What do you think defines a love letter? Do you have any cringing moments in school where you sent a note to a boy or even a girl that you liked them?