Love Letters from the Past
January 23, 2015
Filed In: Marriage
Recently, I went through all of my Facebook messages and deleted old conversations. I've never been big into using Facebook messages for communicating, but for some odd reason, Facebook preserved just about every message I've sent using the service for the past 8 years. It took me about 2 hours to get rid of all of them, but I did it.
Something very uncomfortable happened while I was deleting those messages-I was extremely embarrassed. The things I wrote, said, and did were, well, juvenile. Certainly they were somewhat appropriate for my age at the time, but older, married, father Chet blushed a little bit.
We all feel that way. We were all dumb when we were younger. I have no doubt that 10 years from now, as I read the early blog posts from Catholic Husband, the experienced writer in me will blush at the messy constructs, poor grammar, and reliance on the same old conventions in post after post.
I recently came across another set of writings, scribbled on random pieces of paper, many years ago. While the author is embarrassed about them, I actually treasure them.
In a small wicker box next to my bed is a collection of love letters that Alison wrote to me many years ago. While I've only started to delve into this trove of insights into the woman who would become my wife, I can't help but be flattered, and, well, chuckle a bit.
Each letter focuses around the set of emotions and thoughts that she was exploring at any given time. There is talk of her crushes, struggle with friends, and even the occasional talk of becoming a nun.
What I find particularly comforting is her writing about praying for me. We grew up hundreds (and at times, thousands) of miles apart. Yet, many times when she wrote about praying for me, I know based on the date, that I really needed it.
She also has a pretty good sense of self-awareness and wrote up an excellent profile of me, 3 years before we met.
How can this make us better husbands, today? No doubt you already know your wife, so it's a bit late to be writing down some notes filled with teen angst and impatience waiting for her.
I think that this brings me back to my commitment to love letters. They're fairly infrequent these days because I want the element of surprise to be a part of it, only making their way into Alison’s hands a few times a year. Nonetheless, they're still deeply important. As a man, I really like getting love letters, even ones from the past. As a woman, I know that Alison loves getting them ten times more than I do.
Love letters from the past are an amazing thing. For me, they're just small reminders of just how much Alison really loves me.