Last night my dad handed me a Ziploc bag filled to bursting with letters that he and my mom had exchanged while they were dating and oh my stars are they giving me life right now. The letters begin, as far as I can tell, in the fall of 1976 with a three-page missive addressed from my mom's college apartment at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan to the USS Steinaker, the ship that my dad was stationed on during his time in the Navy. On the back of the first envelope reads "A little sunshine sent your way - - Hope it brightens up your day!" and on the front is a thirteen-cent stamp with a picture of the Liberty Bell on it. In the letter itself my mom talks about apartment living and homework and her intramural softball team, which had just lost their first game twenty-four to one. I wanna go and shake my dad awake right now and ask him the million questions that I've come up with while reading the first dozen or so letters, but that would be nuts so I'm just gonna put my favorite part from the first letter below and pick his brain tomorrow.
I wanted to thank you for a great time when you were home. I haven't done something goofy like that in a long time. I couldn't believe it when you took me and we walked right into that pool. I'll have to say that I didn't get an excess amount of sleep that weekend but it was worth it. Hey - Mark Lambert - you are crazy!
It is so damn cool to read my mom's words and to see how much her scratchy handwriting didn't change throughout her life and to witness my parents' love unfolding. Also, I think it's important to note that today is, or today would have been rather, their thirty-seventh wedding anniversary.