Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Love Story

My aunt died at the age of 87 several years ago. Among her memorabilia I found an exchange of notes between her and her husband of over 30 years. I used it in a writing class and am posting it here.

Gussie met Louis at the beginning of the school year in 1919.

She was 16 and he was a young teacher who was beginning his first year of teaching.

He boarded at her parent's home so she was thrown in constant contact with him.

It was easy for a sensitive young woman to fall in love with this handsome teacher.

In a few months they married. He quit teaching and became a carpenter and

then a contractor. They were always moving as he built houses they lived in for

a while, then sell them and move on to another one he built.

Finally, after about 20 years of this he built a house neither of them could bear to leave.

Although they both loved children, they never had any of their own.

They grew closer and closer as the years went by and they lived alone

just the two of them. When he would go out in the morning to work she always had a hot breakfast for him.

He always managed to get home in time for lunch with her.

In the evenings they would sit and talk.

Sunday's they went to church and both sang in the choir.

Sunday afternoon they would pack a picnic lunch and take a long ride into the country. He always kept several bags of peanuts in the car to eat as they rode along and feed

the squirrels when they stopped. He was a gentle, kind man.

When she would start talking too much he would just look at her and say "Now, Miss Gus" and

she knew to stop.

When Gussie was 48, Louis developed a brain tumor and had to have surgery.

She took him home and diligently nursed him, but he never recovered.

About 5 months later he died leaving her almost totally without funds from

paying doctor and hospital bills but she never complained. She took a job in a kindergarten and stayed there for several years.

Then she started sitting in a nursing home and helping the people there.

At age 80 she had to retire from this due to a health problem.

She died when she was 88 years old.

One of the last things she said to anyone was that she missed Louis so much.

She still mourned his death, even after over 40 years.

Her niece, who was her only kin, was going through some of her belongings and

came across a letter written on an envelope after they were married for 30 years.

It read "Baby, I am sorry I was not here to fix your lunch today,

but I had to go to the meeting. Your lunch is in the oven.

You will never know how much I love you."

And on the back in his handwriting "I missed you today, come by the job if you have time this afternoon.

I love you too."

When her niece read these words she knew, possibly for the first time,

how deep the love between her aunt and uncle.

She knew the meaning of "A Love Story".

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