My mother recently stumbled upon her parents love letters. Spanning the course of their courtship and first 5 years of marriage. She has recently organized and shared them with me. I am at first struck by the eloquence, the poetry, the truthfulness, the love that is written on these pages it moves me to tears and I see my grandparents as people, not just my "Memaw" and "Pawpaw."
I loved these people as my grandparents because that is what I had always known them as, but as I read the letters, their story came off the page to me and a love story emerged that lasted until my Memaw's death in 1988. Though she moved onto to a better place, my Pawpaw never stopped loving her and these letters show me why.
A mill town boy and a farm girl. They were both raised in LaGrange GA. and though they never met until much later, their families were familiar with each other. My grandmother Alice was the oldest of two and my grandfather Lloyd also the oldest of two. Ever the playboy, my grandfather had a reputation of being a ladies man, but all that ceased when he saw her. Alice Alexa Lester. In a letter to her shortly after their courtship began he says, "Darling, don't misunderstand me, I love you with all of me and need you everyday more than I did yesterday, but I'm trying to place before you the million and one uncertain thing about my life and never could I show you a good one. I want only that you should be happy and if I can live to see that then I'll be happy."
Just reading these words bring tears to my eyes as I think of my Pawpaw shipped off to fight in WWII and my Memaw wondering and worried as to if he'd ever come back. But she didn't have the advantage that I have today. The instant gratification that modern technology provides. She had to wait. Wait until the USPS delivered those precious letters that I have the privilege to read now.
Oh the grace, beauty and power of his words. No wonder she waited for him, and too his credit (and my benefit), did he do good on his word. He didn't fail her and he provided for her a home, and a life.
Oh that I should be so blessed one day to have the same.