Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heats Day

I've been helping my dad go through the boxes in my mother's office.  Right now, we are sorting out boxes of random family memorabilia.  I found a love letter my Opa wrote to my Oma when they had been married for 40 years.  My dad's dad, a native of Rostock Germany, was on an LDS mission in another area in Germany when he met his future wife.  Per mission standards, missionaries aren't allowed to date or cavort (what a great word!) with members of the opposite sex, but that didn't stop him from falling head over heels in love with this pretty girl.

Before he was finished with his mission, she left for America, and he followed after her as quickly as he could.  They were married in New York as soon as he arrived.  To honor their German heritage, we called them Opa and Oma.  I love how in love he was, and the tender way he tells their story.  (All spelling and punctuation is in the original)

Fourty Years Ago

I could not say: "I love You,"
   I could not ask: "Do You?"
   Nor place my arms around her
   Or touch her lips - Would You?
I could not nest her head close,
   or softly stroke her hair
   I could not say sweet nothings
   Or snuggle close to her
I only could do dreaming,
   Could only look afar.
   I only could Keep hoping
   To hold what I but saw
I only could be looking
   And squeeze her hand awhile
   I only could be near her
   To share her girlish smile

Mine was a higher calling
   To serve the Lord of Old
   Mine was to love God's children
   And lead them to the fold.
My life was secondary
   My mission was at hand
   My calling was to wander
   Wherever I was sent.

I longed for just the moment
   A chance for which I'd prayed.
   I longed to vent my passion
   But not from right be swayed.
I longed to know her feelings - 
   But at the proper place.
   I longed to plan my future
   But not my life efface.
My prayers, I'm sure were answered,
   The day arrived at last
   My prayers walked right beside me
   When I her hand held fast.

It was a small Branch outing
   For all, the young and old
   We wandered through the mountains
   And soon we found our mold.
My heart beat loud and heaving,
   My thoughts could not be hid.
   At last a burst of sighing
   Gave voice to feelings deep.
I asked: "Will you be willing
   To wait a year or two
   When I complete my mission
   And can return to you?"
My heart stood still, if wondering:
   "Was this the proper place?
   'mid pines and rocks and sunshine
   To start such noble race?"
But now my part was over.
   'twas now her turn to say.
   I'm sure she too was thinking:
   "Is there no other way?"
And true to girlish candor
   Her choice must yet be free - 
   She hedged - she squirmed - she halted
   But quietly lisped: "Maybe."
I did not then Knew women,
   I do not Know them now,
   But in my heart the answer
   Was clearly a loud "JA."

A tender bridge was a-building
   Between two different souls.
   But time has added firmness,
   Part by the furnace coal.
This little tale was simple,
   But out of it grew a tree
   The fruits of which are pleasant
   As anyone can see
In time we knelt together
   Around the altar free
   To be as one, united
   For all eternity
As children came to linger
   In our home awhile,
   They shared with us the blessings
   Which we felt in our soul.
Then one by one they entered
   One life's eternal way.
   They too found mates to cherish
   And tales they like to say.

We started out a two-some
   Were blessed with six souls more.
   They multiplied to twenty -
   Who knows the final score?
All this had it's beginning
   On the 26th of May,
   When two youths walked together
   Some fourty years ago.

To my eternal sweetheart
May 26, 1967

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