Dearest Pen Pal,
The lady who owns our local Hallmark teases you because she doesn’t see you as much now that we are married. But I tell her it’s because I get to see you now that we are married. Our communication isn’t limited to the pen and ink you filled each blank space of every Hallmark card. We don’t have to wait until someone is off the phone line so we can talk on the phone. We get to talk at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner, and until we fall asleep at night.
You and I have often talked about how glad we are that you didn’t have a cell phone, you didn’t have email—our courtship was conducted without FaceBook or texting. (Except, of course, for that one cryptic “I love you” I sent to your work address disguised as a UPS tracking email.)
As a result, we have boxes and boxes of love letters. Envelope after envelope emblazoned with Love stamps and Hallmark emblem. And all your creative return addresses. With x’s and o’s to be found somewhere in the card.
A friend recently asked you, “Did you really write Gretchen every single night?”
To his incredulous queries you simply explained: “You make time for what’s important to you.”
And I have the boxes of envelopes filled with Hallmark cards and love letters to prove it. You wrote me from your post at the store, from your grandmother’s house, even a hasty note or two scrawled in the tractor—but most often, it was the letters you wrote late at night, after a long day of work on the farm, when you should have been sleeping but were taking time to write to me instead. (Sometimes, you even wrote me after you’d been talking to me on the phone. Somehow, we never ran out of things to say. And there was always time for one more “I love you.”)
No, I didn’t get a letter every day. With our mail service, it was never possible to get a letter on a Tuesday—unless Monday was a holiday. There was only ever one exception, and I welcomed that Tuesday letter with all the delight of the unexpected.
Just like the way I welcomed the card you mailed to me last Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing like finding a letter addressed in the dearest handwriting to the “best wife in the world lives at…”—mailed to one’s very own mailbox, with a new love stamp I hadn’t even seen yet! (And that particular return address, “Lover’s Lane 143,” showed how well you know me…and my childhood affection for both Anne of Green Gables and Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood.)
You know how I love getting mail. And you know how important the written word is to me. Which is why you still take time to put your love to paper. (Even though you live it out in a hundred different ways every day of our life together.)
Like the card you tucked in my purse two nights ago, to be found and read when I was on my way to Town the next morning. Telling me to have fun and get some coffee. And reminding me to hurry home to you.
It was a Hallmark card, of course. Proving that the lady at Hallmark sees you more often than she pretends. Proving that you live up to the advice you give others: you take time for the little things, you make a point to invest in your marriage in all the ways that mean the most to the one you’re married to. Proving to me, yet again, that there’s nothing better than being married to my best friend and pen pal.
I love you, Merritt. Thank you for loving me so very well.
your pen pal
Not that the postal theme of this blog is any indication or anything, but I adore everything to do with love letters. This Love Letter themed Walk with Him Wednesday might be one of which I read every single post…