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When my husband and I downsized in June 2006, there came to light in our attic a cardboard file bursting with the letters we had exchanged since we met. Meeting at university in 1955, we wrote to each other at least twice a week during all the vacations, and notably during the year after graduation before our wedding in June 1959. I had determined that when we married I would read all the letters again and interweave them into a sequence that anybody could understand. They were long and intimate letters, intimate not about sex because we had never gone beyond what used to be known as “heavy petting,” but mentally and emotionally intimate, about how we foresaw a future marriage relationship, the books we read, the films we saw and the topics of the day.  We never used the telephone.  It was not then the custom to use the phone for private conversations, which were in any case impossible because the one phone in the house was in the sitting room.

So why did I never open the cardboard file again?  And why is it still unopened, in the loft in our new house, even after my husband’s recent death? I really do not know. I had a wonderful marriage, so disappointment is not a factor in my reluctance.  Nor do I mind my four sons reading our love letters. I would welcome the comments of other ElderChicks. [Please comment here.]

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