Mary Birk’s Blog: Love Letters

In this age of email and texts, do lovers still send love letters? One of my friends recently recounted the story of her grandparents’ romantic correspondence, and it got me to thinking about love letters. Of course, I went to the internet and found there are entire books written on the subject! Not only that, but they have the words of the actual letters–letters from King Henry VIII, from Winston Churchill, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and so many more. I wonder, did they ever think their private love letters would be in a book?

When David and I first got engaged (in law school), we were separated for a summer. I had a job working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fargo, North Dakota, and he with a large Denver law firm. We used to meet in Medora, South Dakota, as often as possible, but in between times, all we had were letters and expensive long-distance phone calls. We couldn’t afford many calls, but we wrote each other almost every day. I remember waiting for the mail to arrive, and then, tearing open the envelope and devouring its contents. More often than not, I’d sit down and write an immediate response. Immediate being a relative term, as it would take days before David would get my answering letter.

Have email and free long distance calling changed the way we romance each other when apart? I think they must have, and that makes me a little sad. But, I wonder, have lovers found a new way to memorialize their feelings? If so, what are they?

Up in my closet, in an old hatbox, our letters to each other still nestle together. Every once in a while, I take the box down. I smile as I read them; sometimes I cry. We were so young, so unaware of what life had in store for us. But I love reading them, remembering how we loved, and cherishing those days. Even better is knowing that so many years later, that love has survived.

Did you write love letters? Do you still have them? For those of you who fell in love when long-distance calls were free and email existed, do you keep those emails? Print them off? Save them in a hatbox? I hope so. But then, obviously, I’m a hopeless and hopeful romantic.

1 thought on “Mary Birk’s Blog: Love Letters”

  1. Mary,

    How sweet to see this post, and I well remember watching your and David’s romance, love and commitment grow in those early days! I feel as if I was your matchmaker, and I have joyfully remembered each of your anniversaries over the years!


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