I wish texting would be a thing of the past, for it has immensely pushed back the written word, the ever so tangible pen to paper relationship that does not simply get deleted. Nevertheless, it can be kept, re-read a thousand times if preferred, or allotted through generations if the letter was superiorly romantic in all senses of the word.
A couple days ago, I came across such letters.
No not from my parents, the ones that believe pack-ratting does not do anyone organizational good. I did not find any in my grandmother’s home, which I have not physically been into since I was 10 because she accumulates too many treasures and no one in my family can enter. I think experts would call it hoarding, but we will never know just how many antique lamps light up that old house. Let alone, I do not believe I could find such a letter in what I perceive to be an abyss of gadgets and gizmos a plenty. These letters were from him & one particular letter was kept because the first time he told me he loved me, he wrote it. Read through to find out just how long into our relationship he finally told me :].
But first, some much needed love from Love Letters of Famous Men (hence my title) to exemplify my point: Write.
Ronald Reagan to his wife:
“Oh well — that isn’t important. The important thing is I don’t want to be without you for the next 20 years, or 40, or however many there are. I’ve gotten very used to being happy and I love you very much indeed.”
“Your Husband of 20 something or other.”
Jimi Hendrix to an unknown woman:
“little girl… Happiness is within you…. So unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow like the sweet flower you are… I know the answer — Just spread your wings and set yourself FREE”
And my personal favorite,
Ludwig Van Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved”:
“Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm — love me — today — yesterday — what tearful longings for you — you — you — my life — my all — farewell. Oh continue to love me — never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.”
Okay, if you do not have romantic goose bumps at this point, then you did not actually take the time to appreciate the fact that these letters no matter how old, are still admired by women outside of whom they were meant for.
So, it was a wonderful surprise when I found some letters Zach had written to me towards the beginning of our relationship.
Zach wrote me this letter when we started dating around March 2013. I was in school full time and he did not re-enroll until fall. I was busy and stressed and sometimes he did not understand. I am essentially my fathers daughter, and that meant that nothing was going to distract me from my goal, especially not some boy. The part where he says, “I know I do not help much” meaning my stress and determination when it came to school, was true… he sometimes made it worse. However, do not forget that this is what building a relationship is all about. It is trying to find balance in each other while creating a foundation for understanding. He left this letter along with chocolate and flowers at my house so I could see it when I got home from school. I kept it because it made me realize that relationships are not made perfect, but two people that keep trying. Because my dad also said that you only lose if you don’t try, and after all… I am my fathers daughter.
This last letter, and perhaps my favorite disappointment, yes you heard that right, was written by Zach in October of 2013. The day he wrote I love you… 9 months after we started dating..yes people he waited that long, and then I waited two months more :). I was laying in my old bedroom finally done with school work when he came upstairs and presented a letter. “Read it.” Okay first, I never even liked reading birthday cards with people watching me let alone a letter with that person watching my reaction. He proceeded to sit in bed next to me and watched me open it. But first I must tell you that I have a problem not reading the end if something first…and I saw “I love you” before I read anything else. I began to read the rest and all the while thinking that he had not said it, but wrote it. Some where in my disappointment I found it still genuine, but wanted to hear his voice behind it. Two months later and specifically Christmas Eve, I wrote “I love you” on a piece of paper and gave it to him before he left my family party. He smiled and finally I got to hear it, not just read it. I keep this letter because with something that I would normally be upset about, I turned into a little joke when I felt ready to say it, and he knew I was lovingly mocking him♡
High school English teacher, Arizona State University, blogger.