Saturday, February 14, 2009

Terms of Affection




Some believe that love letters are an exchange of words written between lovers, filled with passion and rapture.

But the bond of love goes far beyond that... there are notes that speak of forever, faithfully, affectionately, ever yours, that loves you, with love and a kiss...

Most of these terms of endearment I have discovered concluding letters written in the late 1800's. They are shared between mother and daughter, sisters, brother and sister, even close friends.

The group tied with a silk ribbon shown above date from the 1880's and are touching as they demonstrate the love bequeathed from a married sister(Nellie b. 1859) to her younger bother(Lester b. 1866) These faded pages share the final months of her life before she succumbs to consumption. He has moved west in search of work and she misses him dearly.

In her last note dated Oct.4, 1887 she writes:

Dear Lester I hate to be the means of disturbing your plans, you have long wanted to go west and you probably have plans in your mind that you would like to carry out but I know you want to see me for I know you love me and it seems as though I couldn't die without seeing you but then the thought comes I may live many years yet and can't tell.

I can go through a good deal but I suppose the time will come sometime that I can't. May God bless you and keep you in good health and bring you safe home.
Ever your sister that loves you
Nellie

Nellie died the following spring April 6, 1888.
Aged 28 years, 7mos. 22 days
Her brother Lester cherished these letters for the rest of his life and when his grand-daughter passed away they came into my possession.
More than 120 years after they were written their terms of affection are steadfast today.

14 comments:

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

What a lovely, lovely entry. I'm so happy that you have these precious letters. Since you will treasure them. As they should continue to be treasured.

And one has to wonder, did she ever get to see him again........?

Aunt Amelia
"I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me."
~ Sara Teasdale

TRES BELLE said...

Susan,
What a lovely post, one that is so appropriate for Valentine's Day. How touching to read the words between brother and sister. I remember reading a letter written to my Grandmother from my Grandfather while working on the railroad. He would be gone during the week and return home on the weekend. He mentions "tell the boys to feed the chickens and to make sure certain their chores were completed." Because we were around them so much during my childhood, when I read these letters I felt it was a side of him I never really knew.

Your blog looks beautiful. I love the changes you have made and I hope all is okay with you.

Kris

The Victorian Parlor said...

Wow! That is beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing!

Queen of the Armchair aka dzintrastitcheries said...

Oh Susan...this post touches the Heart...how just so utterly beautiful...and how so very lucky that this letter has been treasured all these years...I get the flutters reading this one...Dzintra XX

Lea said...

What precious words that we are now the keepers of, this love that holds on and lets go... thank you Susan for sharing Lester and Nellie with us. Thank you for touching my heart as you always do... XO

Dixie Redmond said...

Isn't that beautiful?

Annabelle said...

Love is Eternal,
Love is a Treasure.

Beautiful post Susan.
Hugs Annabelle

Lana said...

How sad, and yet how wonderful, that their love has lived on in those pages. What a treasure you have Susan!

Sea Angels said...

What wonderful treasures in such appreciative hands..thankyou so much for your lovely get well wishes..I could not have asked for anything more beautiful, you are a lovely soul.
Love Lynn xx

Henna said...

What a treasure! Beautiful story with a touch of sadness, so many years since it´s written...thank you for giving us a glimpse of something that happened long time ago.

Winter greetings / Anne

Suzanne said...

That is so poignant, yet beautiful. I'm so glad you are the keeper (and sharer) of so many past treasures, Susan.
Hope you enjoyed a Happy Valentine's Day!

KaReN EiLeeN said...

I love old letters anyway, but to have some that were written by family....a treasure. The letter is so beautiful and filled with simpler times...

Warm Wishes,
Karen Eileen

Fete et Fleur said...

It is hard for me to leave a comment after I've read one of your posts. Your posts touch me profoundly and then words seem to slip through my mind and become inadequate. Thank you for the beauty.


Nancy

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sucha an amazing and poignant letter. It is so lovely that it has survived all this long while to be cherished by you.