Love Really Does Never Die

Donna - Houston, Texas
Entered on October 9, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, love

This is a story about love, ageless love and my mother and the fact that it’s never too late to learn something you never knew about your parents. I sure don’t claim to be any prolific writer, but this struck and stuck me when it happened.

Before she met my dad, my mother had a boyfriend in the Navy, during WWII. About a week before she passed away, she called my sister and I together and wanted to make sure a list had been made out of all of her personal belongings that had not been mentioned in the will, and that she wanted distributed between us and to know before she passed away who was getting what.

Well, we had our little meeting with Mama (she was always one to make sure all of her business was in order) and we went over the personal effects and agreed who was getting what. My sister left the house before I did and before I left, Mama called me back as I was getting ready to leave. She said, “Donna, there is something special I want you to have because I know you will take care of them. I just never have been able to part with them.”

Inside her little bedside table she reached in the very back and pulled out a tiny little cedar jewelry box, a cassette tape and a stack of letters in the old “Air Mail” envelopes (you remember the ones…with the red, white and blue borders???) all tied with a little faded yellow ribbon. There were 34 letters in all. She said, “I’ve never told you before, but back during WWII, I had a boyfriend who was in the Navy. We met in a cafe one weekend when he was home on leave. We got really close and wrote back and forth as much as we could. I wrote him more because I had more time. I was working back then making parts from metal for planes and ships. A lot of women did that back then. We fell in love through the mail. These are all the letters he wrote me. And this tape is one that has a song that reminded me so much of him. I want you to keep these for me and take care of them. All of these years I’ve kept them and would read them over and over”.

By this time I about had tears in my eyes because my Mama was always the “ROCK” of our family, and other than showing love for her children and my Dad, she never showed too much emotion.

I told Mama I would treasure these letters and other things for the rest of my life and would give them to my son when I passed. I got home and was reading the letters. Golly, how men could talk to a woman in those days…so sweet and genuine, and this guy really let his emotions flow in his letters to Mama. It was obvious from his letters that they had planned to be married as soon as he came back home. Well, I got to the last letter and in that letter the man said this, “Millie, I’m not real sure I’m going to be making it home. Things are pretty rough over here. Now, I don’t want you to be worried about me. If anything ever happens to me, just know that I love you deeply and with all my heart and you are the reason I wake up and do these things we have to do over here. I am sending you my crucifix to keep for me. Keep it close to your heart and every time you see it or touch it think of me as I will be thinking of you.” Inside this last envelope was also a newspaper clipping from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that was an obituary for this man. He was killed at Pearl Harbor. Also, there was the original Western Union telegram that had originally gone to his mother to tell her of her son’s death while “bravely serving his country.” The tape she gave me had “her song” on it. It was a song by Mark Chesnutt titled “Old Country.” When this C&W singer came out with this song I always wondered why Mama loved it so much. We usually never think of our parents as anything BUT our parents, but this last 10 minutes I spent with my mother that day showed me that she was just like me after all.

OLD COUNTRY

City sun goes down at night

Making way for neon lights

Country boy is lookin at the moon

City girl is dressed just right

She may stay out late tonight

Country boy just plowed today ’til noon

From Birmingham to Ohio

How they met nobody knows

Every now and then they get together

She used to want to climb the walls

She’d never been loved at all

Not until old country came to town

He’s the first one to the room

Ice and drinks will be up soon

Everything is perfect when she walks in

They kiss and hold each other tight

They know what’s in store tonight

This ain’t some place they have never been

From Birmingham to Ohio

How they met nobody knows

Every now and then they get together

She used to want to climb the walls

She’d never been loved at all

Not until old country came to town

Thank you for allowing me to submit my story to “THIS I BELIEVE”. You may choose to not use it and I understand. I just ask one thing of whoever reads this, please spend some time with your mom and dad if you still have them and learn something about them you never knew before. It’s amazing how it makes you feel…simply amazing. Have a wonderful day!!!!