Excerpt for Love Letters: A Tribute to a Lost Art by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Love Letters

A Tribute to a Lost Art

Published by J.T. Marsh at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 J.T. Marsh

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Recently, my grandmother died at the age of ninety-two. She died peacefully in a hospital, surrounded by loved ones, including myself. In the months that followed, one of the items discovered as we sorted through her possessions was an old shoebox containing love letters written to her by her husband, my grandfather, while he was serving in the Canadian Army and stationed elsewhere in the country, away from her. He died of cancer twenty years before she did. Such a quiet, reserved man, he was, but entirely different he became when writing to his love: romantic, passionate, even poetic, such a soft-spoken man was when so moved by love. This is how I’ll remember him, them, for so long as I can find it in me to remember them, not only as the kindly grandparents whose home I’ll always wish I could visit one last time, but also as the sweet, sensitive, sentimental couple separated by the thousands of kilometres yet together in spirit, always, by letters sent through the mail.

I won’t reproduce their letters, in whole or in part; rather, I’ll use them as inspiration for what love letters might look like today, if only we, as a people, still wrote them. In these advanced times, with so many instantaneous forms of communication and too many competing distractions on our attentions at every moment of every day, it seems the art of writing a love letter, something so simple and joyous, has been lost. These letters are written as though to be from no one in particular and to no one in particular; I write this book, these letters, as a tribute of sorts to the essence of a feeling, to that feeling and to that devotion that compelled my grandfather to write those letters from that army base in some city hardly anyone’s ever heard of tucked away in some corner of a country with a name like Canada. Would that we, as a people, might rediscover the lost art of the love letter, and in so discovering learn, in some small way, to love each other again

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