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Love Letters - Who Writes Them Anymore?

Does anyone write love letters anymore? Although I realize that I am dating myself, remember that world before BlackBerrys, text messages, Facebook, MySpace ... even before email? Remember those hand-written notes that most young girls we knew had perfected to an art, an art of subterfuge?

I think it was the challenge of the deception ... to pit your mind against that of your teacher and successfully deliver the spy-type encoded message. Only teachers with eagle-like eyes would detect the carefully folded and carefully worded note. Because, heaven forbid, it might actually be intercepted and read aloud to the entire classroom.

Yes, okay, I'll admit it. It could be my story. Well ... so I'll be honest, the only time I was ever sent to the principle's office was because of a poorly executed note passing. I will never forget the experience and I can tell you ... I perfected my strategy after that.

And then, at some point in time, we moved from the world of girlhood into that of womanhood. The letters we wrote and received changed, not only in delivery, but in content.

I am, of course, talking about those missives written between lovers that have, in some cases, endured the centuries. I've been researching just some of those letters today. I have been struck over and over again by the beauty in the flowing text, those heart-felt words penned by their own hand. Such private thoughts written so captivatingly at a point in time, unaware and unintended for eyes decades letter to peruse.

Here is an excerpt of one I loved. It was written by Abigail Adams to John Adams on 23 December 1782.

"…should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it contained nothing new; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever maintained over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time -- nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my Heart... in some cases. Somehow, it seems to me, that email love letters or text love notes are incomparable to hand-written love letters."
One can't help but think back to our own private missives that have helped journal our lives. My husband announced a few days ago, admittedly a little begrudgingly, that he ... he has carried, stored, and moved "tubs" of letters written to me by different boyfriends over the years. He thought he was being magnanimous when he announced that he kept them because he knew, "they were important to me." When asked if he'd ever read them ... the answer was not so clear. I was also somewhat amused with the idea that he felt the decision on their keeping was up to him. And then I considered the other foot ... don't think I would have been so considerate. I think his just might have accidently found themselves in the recycling bin.

My point, I guess, if I have one, is that I hope we never lose the art of letter writing, or more specifically the art of love letter writing. Though we have reams of recorded documents written by learned men and women throughout our centuries, it is through those found letters, those precious love letters that we learn not just about the dates and facts of our history, but more importantly about our culture. Instead of black and white, we have pink and gray and yellow and red. The picture of our past glows only through the inter-personal, almost introspective journaling of our ancestors.

So, we live in miraculous times. No longer do you need skill to pen love letters! I was amazed when I actually found templates for love letters. What do you want to say ... "Valentine ... after all these years," or how about, "from lust to love." Good grief. But in case you need that extra help, check out these templates.

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