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I am a pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. -Mother Teresa

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Barbara-Love, Frank

Well, one of my dreams from the blog has already come true. I suppose the section could more appropriately be called Letters from Soldiers, since some of them won't be in a war. But I think I like "from War" better because it's shorter but also because of Mark Shultz' song:

Just one more reason that shows what a difference a letter can make long after the writer is gone. (Mark Shultz wrote that song after reading a letter to his great grandma from one of her sons in World War II.) 

Anyway, I'm really excited about sharing this next letter for many reasons. I met Mrs. Barbara at my mom's church years ago, & I still clearly remember standing in line at Subway after service one afternoon with her & her husband, Mr. Frank, in line behind us. We were just beginning to really get to know them, so I was surprised when they said they were buying our meal. I think my mom said something about them seeming like a second set of parents for her. I instantly agreed that they seemed like another set of grandparents for me. They lived closer than my grandparents, & I never knew my mom's real mother. So it was nice to have The Goulds. Even though there were many other older couples that I'm so glad to have in my life, I'd never felt like any others were even close to being like grandparents. There is one more lady now whom I met in college (Dr. Miller), but I'm sure more will come up about her later.

As for Mrs. Barbara, I can't describe how much I love her. When she sent me this letter, I wanted to go straight to see her so I could give her a hug! I'm so honored that she's allowed me to share this on my blog. 
This is the first letter Mrs. Barbara received from Frank.  It was in July of 1959,
before they married. He'd just joined the Army & was in training when he sent it.
I love this especially because I've been to Ft. Jackson with Singers,
& it was one of the best, most memorable days I had with Singers.
Hopefully I can find a journal entry about it to post soon.
P. S. Note that the postage was 4 cents! :)
AND no zip codes! 

The story behind the letter (as told by Mrs. Barbara):

Frank was already in the army 3 years and was discharged.  His family had moved to the community where my family lived.  My mother was the postmaster at the small 4th class post office in the community, and I worked in the post office part-time for her.  (She was the post master there for over 40 years).  Anyway, when Frank got out of the army,his dad kept telling him to go to the post office and meet that good looking girl there.  

Well, Frank was a little bit wild in those days and he had an ID he purposely messed up and brought to me (since I had a typewriter) and asked me to type his birth date on the ID.  The date he gave me made him 21 yrs old and he was actually 20 years old.  He had to be 21 in order to go into bars and drink.  Well I didn't know any better, so I changed the date for him, and then he started calling me asking me to go out with him.  He asked me 2 times and both times I made up an excuse and told him no.  The 3rd time, I decided I would tell him yes when he asked me to go out with him.  I didn't know at the time that he had decided if I turned him down the 3rd time, then he wasn't going to bother asking me out again.  (God works in mysterious ways).  

So this was in January 1959.  I graduated high school in May 1959 I had plans to go college, was accepted to college and was just waiting through the summer to start in the fall (I was going to be a school teacher).  Well Frank and I met in January, had our first date in May.  We went to the movies.  In those days there were drive-in movies where you sat in the car and watched the movies. The first movie we saw was "The Fly".  He tried kissing me on the first date, but I ate onions before we went out (purposely) and that pretty much put an end to the kissing.  

We dated the summer of 1959 which consisted pretty much of going swimming in the river that ran past my house.  In July, he knew he wanted to marry me but he couldn't find a job, so he re-enlisted in the army.  He asked me to marry him.  My mother told me I couldn't do both, go to college and get married, that I had to choose one, so I chose to get married.  

We were married October 8, 1959.  The old people in my home town always said our marriage wouldn't last because Frank was so wild and I was a "nice" girl.  That made me mad and I said well I will just show them and we both looked forward to the 50th anniversary to prove everyone wrong.  

We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversay October 8, 2009.  Twelve days later on October 20, Frank passed away. I believe that Frank hung onto life just for me until our 50th anniversary, then he let go and passed on to go home with the Lord.  We had 50 good years together and I still to this day miss him terribly.  Life just never seemed worth living without him and I look forward to the day that I join him in heaven.

P.S.  I have the first letter he wrote to me after we were married if you want it too.

(I knew none of that story until she sent the email to me! And, don't worry, I told her that I do indeed want the first letter he wrote her after their wedding. So, keep checking back to see if it's up yet. :) It might be sometime next week. -MCS)


  1. What an awesome post. Loved the pictures of the letter and the story behind it. Wow.