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Some of the most touching love stories are those that blossom through deep struggles and extreme situations like war.
Harley Rustad of The Walrus learned of one such love stories when his mother handed him a worn box, torn at the edges, containing dozens of envelopes, tied with yellowed string in small bundles.
The letters were love letters, sent by Rustad’s grandfather, who wrote to the love of his life from the battlefields of the Second World War:
The Canadian soldier, Harry Macdonald, my grandfather, had sent Jacquelyn Robinson dozens of letters, spanning several years—letters written in spidery cursive by candlelight as rain pounded down on corrugated rooftops or amid the blasts of nearby shelling. His letters were often rushed or cut short, with some started and finished with hours or even days in between. He frequently apologized for his messy handwriting, hoping his words would be legible. One letter, sent five days before, written in haste, contained a question for which he anxiously awaited a reply. The letter had begun with a familiar two words, “Dear Jacquie,” and ended with a question: “Will you marry me?”
He signed the bottom of the page, folded the sheet, and slipped it into an envelope and carefully wrote a Vancouver address. Now he waited, not knowing what would come first: death or a reply.
Read the rest of the fascinating story over at The Walrus.