Discover more from Musings of Jamie
Love Through Letters
A Celebration for the Month of Love, Let's Hear Your Stories!
I’m not a Hallmark movie person. The movies have never really been my thing, but I also want to say I know so many people who love Hallmark movies and I’m glad those movies bring them joy!
But I do remember one that my Mom bought back in the late 90s that I really enjoyed. Released in 1998, The Love Letter, is a mix of historical, contemporary, and hints of magical realism. So right up my alley. It tells the story of a love letter found in an antique desk that connects Lizzie and Scott, who are separated by more than 100 years (Lizzie during the Civil War and Scott in modern times).
My family and I recently rewatched it when I was out in California (we even convinced my Dad to join in movie night!) and I have to say, I still liked it! It’s very loosely based on the same idea found in the short story of the same name by Jack Finney, originally published in The Saturday Evening Post in August, 1959.
Watching it again reminded me of a letter I came across years ago from a Union solider to his wife.
Sullivan Ballou was 32 years old when he joined the ranks of the Union Army after the attack on Fort Sumter, leaving behind his work as a successful attorney in Providence, Rhode Island. While he would become one of the many casualties of the war during the First Battle of Bull Run, he is most well known for the final letter he penned to his beloved wife Sarah. You can read more about him and the full letter here, but after reading it, you’ll understand why it has stood the test of time. For me, it’s his final words to his wife and children:
“I know I have but few claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me, perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, nor that, when my last breath escapes me on the battle-field, it will whisper your name…
Sarah, do not mourn me dear; think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again…
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care..Tell my two mothers, I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.”
Yes language has changed, but there is something so timeless and beautiful about heartfelt and passionate letters like this one. I have no doubt Sarah read that letter many times over the years remembering her sweet husband (she never remarried).
My Grandma used to say that some people “were in love with love.” While this may not be me, I still love being completely drawn into a captivating love story, whether fiction or a story of real people. It’s those stories of two people overcoming the obstacles that have you either grinning or crying at the end.
So what’s your story? If you are married/engaged/dating, how did you all meet? Or what’s one of your favorite stories of love? I’d love to hear them! And maybe even add some more rom coms to my queue.
Thanks for reading Musings of Jamie! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
© 2023 Jamie Lapeyrolerie