Blog 2161 – 09.16.2021
S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss)
When I was a young man, over fifty years ago, it was a common practice among separated lovers to write love letters and to write above the flap of the envelope, after licking it to seal it, the letters S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss.)
A month or so into this my last away from my wife work assignment I got the idea of writing my wife a love letter everyday so she would have a pile of letters to remind her how very much I love her. With relatively cheap long distance calls, texts, and emails so widely available these days people do not write letters as much as they once did. Many people never did write letters very much, but almost everyone enjoyed getting a letter, most still do. “Please, Mister Postman” is a song from the past that expresses this world wide sentiment.
The two years and nine months that I was away from home in the military I wrote many letters home to my mom and dad, my brother, and my wife for a year. I wrote everyone I had an address for when I first got to Vietnam in January of 1970. Military personnel in a Combat Zone were allowed to write “Free” in the right hand upper corner on the front of the envelope where the stamp goes and I so saved a lot of stamps that year. I have licked a lot of envelopes in my life time. That reminds me of the princess who said she had to kiss a lot of frogs before she found her prince.
When my step-son David joined the Marines in the early nineties I wrote him a letter every day while he was in Boot Camp at the Marine Base in San Diego. I remembered how much getting a letter at “Mail Call” meant to one homesick soldier and figured it might work the same for Marines. Eighteen years later, a long time buddy of my son, Jonathan, joined the Army and I wrote Private Justin Simon a letter everyday during his Basic Training.
I realize that in recounting these letter writing episodes of mine might I risk two consequences: One – Losing a blessing from Heaven for “tooting my own horn or ringing a bell is the actual terminology that Jesus used when he talked about the religious folk of his day ringing a bell when they gave offerings, alms or did good deeds as if to say, “Hey look at me, what a great guy I am.” But I never wrote any of these love letters for a blessing from heaven or the praises of anyone even the person I wrote them to, just as I no longer write these blogs for “likes” or to grow a large following. Love letters are just meant to be that – love notes in a never ending song. And Two – Perhaps causing my wife to think that her pile of letters is less special because I have had previous letter writing campaigns to people that I have loved. I used to think that she might be a bit jealous of these blog love letters that I began writing for you over six years ago. Jealousy is a silly notion for I believe that it is possible and practical to love everyone even as it is impossible to love everyone the same. Everyone is unique therefore every love is unique as well.
My lovely and loving and dare I say only true wife Linda Lee’s dad, I have long thought of him as my dad too, had Alzheimer’s the last several years of his ninety years plus life. He got so difficult to care for that he was placed in a twenty-four hour care facility the last two years of his life. At first he resisted the loss of his freedom, but as Alzheimer’s took more and more of his mind he was more a peace than he had ever been to my knowledge in his life. Wallace was a worrier but his worries ended before his last adventure in time and space did. Before his disease stole so much of his memory, I began writing him a letter everyday as I thought he would appreciate the attention and he did proudly showing his pile of letters to everyone who visited him. That is what love letters are meant to do, to remind you, the postman (postal person) and everyone who hears about them that you are indeed a well loved and special person. I still smile remembering hearing my name called out at “Mail Call” and recalling a line from the song I mentioned above: “Is there a letter in your bag for me?”
This one, indeed every one, of the now over twenty-one hundred and sixty love letters are here for you at theencouragingword.co. Just scroll down and you can read everyone if you want to. What a pile of love letters, you must be somebody special. Indeed you are and not just to me.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
P.S. I have no envelope to lick nor to write S.W.A.K. on, but each encouraging word is Sealed With A Kiss all the same.
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