A couple of days ago, I noticed that it was “National Love Note” day. I was immediately drawn to this book, gifted to me early in my Celebrancy career, with Love from the last two millennia. Tucked into this book, I’ve always kept a few pieces of mail between my paternal grandmother and grandfather, who courted during World War I.
I realize that these days, young romantic partners are much more likely to text than commit thoughts in an email, much less a letter. However, I would urge that from time to time, couples (married or not) might put pen to paper. These love letters are such wonderful keepsakes—not only for the couple but for descendants, too. Love notes make a wonderful addition to family archives, just as they have for me.
On a slightly different note, many wedding books include various excerpts of love letters for consideration as wedding readings. The letter below, from George Washington to his wife Martha, was included in the “Everything Wedding Vows Book,” (3rd edition) that I collected some years ago. This particular letter was offered up as a possible reading for “uncertain times.” Sounds perfect for today.
Letter to Martha
It has been determined in Congress, that the whole army raised for the defence of the American cause shall be put under my care, and that it is necessary for me to Proceed immediately to Boston to take upon me the command of it.
You may believe me, my dear Patsy, when I assure you in the most solemn manner that, so far from seeking this appointment, I have used every endeavor in my power to avoid it, not only from my unwillingness to part with you and the family, but from a consciousness of its being a trust too great for my capacity, and that I should enjoy more real happiness in one month with you at home than I have the most distant prospect of finding abroad…
It was utterly out of my power to refuse this appointment, without exposing my character to such censure as would have reflected dishonor upon myself, and have given pain to my friends…
I shall rely, therefore, confidently on that Providence which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you in the fall.