When was the last time you received a handwritten letter in the mail? It's likely been a long time now that we have the use of text, email and social media to keep us connected to our loved ones.
In the time of World War II, handwritten letters were one of the few ways for loved ones to communicate with soldiers fighting overseas. These untold stories by young lovers are ones that inspire the meaning of devotion and carrying on a relationship even if you don't see each other for years.
Get your tissues ready, because these stories will show you what true love is.
Virginia To Rolf Christoffersen
A letter postmarked May 1945 was discovered in a gap under the stairs while Melissa Fahy and her father were renovating their home.
It was written by a woman named Virginia to her husband, Rolf Christoffersen who was a sailor in the Norwegian Navy.
“Dearest Husband, I still have a few minutes on my lunch hour and I was dreaming about you so I thought I’d write to my favorite pin-up boy. Are you as lonesome for me as I am for you?” Virgina wrote.
“I love you Rolf, as I love the warm sun,” she continued. “That is what you are to my life, the sun about which everything else revolves for me.”
That's when Melissa attempted to find the owners of the letter and finally deliver it.
Just a few hours after posting on Facebook, she tracked down the couple's son in California.
The son read the letter to his 96-year-old father. Virginia had died six years previous.
Source: Global News
Agnes and Thomas Coomes
When Thomas was deployed overseas during WWII the couple was merely dating, but remained connected through their letters that they wrote every day.
“They were merely dating, yet they wrote each other every day for 3 years, 3 months and 4 days during the war,” said their granddaughter Meghan Coomes Hagedorn.
Their most touching letter, was one Agnes wrote on New Year's Eve in 1943.
“The opening line was, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t see each other the entire year of 1943.’ She documented her entire New Year’s Eve that night, writing, ‘I’ll write when the bells are ringing,’ and then, ‘Happy New Year, darling, the bells are ringing, it’s 12 a.m.’ It’s like six pages long, it’s so incredible. They numbered their letters and wrote in secret code so she always knew where he was. It was very romantic,” Meghan said.
Their love and devotion to each other inspired Meghan to create her own jewelry line using replicas of the thousand of letters her grandparents exchanged.
“I only used the original letter for a few pieces of jewelry, everything else is a copy,” she says.
While Thomas died in 1999 at the age of 80, and Agnes passed away in December 2016 at the age of 94, these pieces of jewelry will have their love live through their family.
“My grandmother said, ‘I never thought anybody would care about those old letters!’ ” Hagedorn recalls. “She thought it was so neat. She got to revisit that part of her life 70 years later. It was a really special thing that we got to do together.”
Meghan's favorite letters, are those her grandmother signed with a kiss.
“She kissed all of her letters with Revlon pink and red lipstick. The color has maintained all these years. The lipstick-kissed letters are really special because it’s like her little fingerprint, it’s so unique,” she says. “And my grandfather signed his letters with, “With an ocean of love and a kiss on every wave,’ which was really romantic.”
The stories don't end here, though.
Frank and Pauline Elliott
Three years after her mother died, DeRonda Elliott finally opened the suitcase containing the letters her parents exchanged in WWII. Her father, Frank, had been killed on D-Day and afterwards her mother rarely mentioned him.
The letters were so moving that they were later published in American Heritage magazine, and President Bill Clinton even quoted one in his speech that marked the 50th anniversary of D-Day.
Frank had left Georgetown University to join the Army in 1943 and Pauline stayed behind in New Castle, PA with their daughter DeRonda Dee, who was just a toddler.
31 Days Until D-Day
May 6, 1944
All day I have been fighting the feeling which has been dominating me of late. I keep continually thinking of home and longing for home in the worst way. All your letters of how beautiful my daughter is becoming by the day. The realization that I am missing all these months and years of her formative growth is actually gnawing at my heart. . . .
I love you, Frank
28 Days Until D-Day
May 9, 1944
The invasion, I read, is a topic of daily conjecture among the people at home and I guess you are a mite worried. Well, sweetheart, don’t worry, please. It is possible I may be a member in the assault but no more possible than that I may someday die. It is God’s will darling, to which we must all bow, and His will be done is a daily admonition we make. I don’t hold with the ‘theory of the inevitable’ school and so you may be sure that I won’t invite disaster in any form. In prep school we had a quarterback who always qualified his pre-game prayers with the phrase, “Not my will God, but Thine” and so it is sweetheart and so it must always be — we must trust our God unflinchingly, unquestioningly. But enough of this heavy stuff . . .school’s out.
I love ’em all but Polly best of all —
17 Days Until D-Day
May 20, 1944
Dad sent a fellow today to fix up our yard and he really did a super job — it looks nice. There is so much shrubbery here and so many with plants all around that I can never find enough time to keep it looking as it should look. Now it looks wonderful. All the spring flowers are beginning to bloom now and the sight of them just increases my longing for you. . . . Sometimes I sympathize with myself by counting up the months since I’ve seen you — and because they are too many — nearly eight now — I feel very, very sorry for myself. . . .Really dear, I try not to feel sorry for me — there are many who are much worse off than I — you are the one who is undergoing all the hardship — I have Dee who in herself is enough to compensate for anything. Without her, I don’t see how I would endure this separation. Yet constantly, darling, all of me longs for you. It can’t be much longer now, sweetheart.
I love you, Polly
9 Days Until D-Day
May 28, 1944
Here it is Sunday again — Sunday night. I think this is the most lonely time of the whole week for me. I am so darn lonesome for you, Frank darling. Oh I’m not the only one and I know it — there are millions just like me, wishing with all the strength of their hearts and minds for the return of peace and loved ones. — Dee is sleeping on this Sunday night, and the radio is playing old and beautiful music — and I am thinking of the Sunday nights to come when you will be listening to such music with me. — Took Dad to a ball game today — Dee went along — maybe she’ll learn to like baseball as well as her Daddy does — I’ll bet that she will.
I adore you, Polly
1 Day Until D-Day
June 5, 1944
. . . This is a beautiful summer evening, darling. I am sitting at the kitchen table (and not even noticing the noise of the refrigerator) from which place by merely lifting my head and looking out the window I can gaze upon a truly silvery, full moon. It’s beautiful, dear — really beautiful, and it has succeeded in making me very sentimental. I had begun to think that I was becoming immune to the moon’s enchantment — so often I have looked at it without you and to keep myself from going mad told myself “It’s pretty, yes — but, so what?”. . .That’s not the way it really is though, darling — the sight of that shining moon up there — the moon that shines on you, too — fills me with romance — ; and even though it’s just a dream now, it’s a promise of a glorious future with one I love more than life. The darned old moon keeps shining for us, darling — and even as it now increases that inescapable loneliness, it also increases my confidence in the future. I truly love you . . .
Source: Washington Post
Cyril and Olga Mowforth
Cyril Mowforth served with a tank regiment in El Alamein, North Africa and Germany during World War II. He and his bride Olga had just married weeks before he was called up. The couple exchanged nearly daily letters between 1940 and 1946 while he was overseas.
"Dad would send his underpants home to be washed and sewn from northern Europe, and mum would send a few squares of chocolate in between dad's socks that she'd darned. It was very sweet," they son Peter said.
A lot of Cyril's letters were censored by the army.
"There are big holes in them where dad had mentioned where he was and it had been cut out,'" Peter said.
Source: Daily Mail