After 56 Years of Marriage, Old Woman Finds a Farewell Letter from Her Husband – Story of the Day
Marlene and Charlie had the ideal relationship for almost their entire lives. One day, Marlene rummaged through their closet looking for something for Valentine’s Day and discovered an old letter dated over 40 years earlier. She couldn’t believe the shocking things Charlie had written.
It was a few days before Valentine’s Day, and Marlene was searching her closet looking for some of her old things. She was almost done making Charlie’s present, but she wanted to see if there was anything else cute in her boxes and drawers of memories to incorporate in her gift.
Making presents for her husband was not hard at all. They had known each other as children and got married right out of high school. It was over 56 years later and they had five kids. Their eleventh grandkid was just born.
They were considered the ideal American couple living in Ohio, and Marlene couldn’t believe she had met the love of her life at such a young age. And that meant they had tons of memories together. Marlene still kept letters she wrote as a child and teen to him, most of their movie tickets, and even more memorabilia. She decided her Valentine's present for Charlie this year would be a flipbook containing all kinds of things.
Looking around, Marlene opened one of Charlie's drawers and stumbled upon something she never expected. It contained Charlie's mementos. He also kept pictures, letters, gifts, and even the books they read together during their courtship.
“I can’t believe he kept his mementos here. Isn’t this exciting?” she told herself as she rummaged. Maybe, she could add some of his things too. But something caught her attention. It was a letter, yellowed with age and sitting at the bottom of the drawer. She had never seen it before, and curiosity got the best of her, so she opened it. She shouldn’t have.
I can’t do this anymore. I didn’t realize this is what married life would be like. I want more. Goodbye.
February 10, 1975
Marlene froze after reading those short words. She was sitting almost inside their closet with boxes all around her, and suddenly, she couldn’t move at all. She stared at the date in the letter and it was tough to see because she remembered that date well. That night she told Charlie she was pregnant with their first child.
They had struggled to get pregnant for nine years after they got married, and finally, it happened. But now, all her memories were marred with the idea that Charlie wanted to leave her back then. He was so decided to leave that he had written this letter.
“Honey, I’m home!” she heard Charlie’s voice yelling from the living room. He had gone bowling with his friends and was back, so Marlene packed everything up, placing the letter in her pocket.
She went to greet her husband, but her mood had soured. She was no longer looking forward to Valentine’s Day, and she hoped Charlie wouldn’t notice. However, her husband knew her too well, and by the end of the day, he had had enough. They were watching television, but it was clear that Marlene had something else on her mind.
So Charlie hit mute and questioned her, “That’s it, Marlene! Something is clearly on your mind. What happened? Is it the kids? Did something happen to the grandkids? What is it?”
Marlene looked up from her lap and smiled sadly at her husband. She reached into her pocket and gave him the letter.
Charlie frowned and took it. He opened it and sighed almost immediately. “Oh no. I hoped you would never see this, my love,” he whispered.
“You were going to leave me? You realize what day that was?” Marlene asked, unable to contain the emotion in her voice.
“I didn’t want to, Marlene. I swear! But you have no idea how hard things were for me. I wanted to shield you, but my parents… they were pressuring me to have children. They even started introducing me to women against my will. It was a disaster,” Charlie revealed the shocking truth of the past.
“What? They were pressuring you for grandkids? Introducing you to women? Oh my god!”
“Yeah, I knew how hurt you would be if you had found out. At one point, I thought they were going to say something to you. So leaving felt like the only way to protect you from their idiocy,” Charlie continued. “But I’m so glad I didn’t. It would’ve been the worst mistake of my life. I placed the date on the letter after you told me about our son. I wanted to remember the day I almost messed up,” he added and smiled at his wife with moisture in his eyes.
“Really?” Marlene cried and leaned into her husband. “So you were never unhappy in our marriage?”
“Of course not! I was deliriously happy. I met the love of my life when I five years old, and I never looked back. I still remember the day we started dating, the day I proposed, our wedding, our honeymoon… everything seems like it happened yesterday. I’ve been insanely happy for over 56 years, and I want to love you until the day I die,” Charlie voiced vehemently, holding his wife tightly on their old couch.
After that night, Marlene stored that letter back in the drawer. It was no longer a bad memory. It was a memory of the different path their life could’ve taken, and she was glad it didn’t go that way. She and Charlie had an ideal Valentine’s Day on the 14th, secure in the knowledge that they both loved each other more than anything in this world.
What can we learn from this story?
- Talk to people before reaching conclusions. Marlene was lost in her head, and luckily, Charlie noticed. But she should’ve asked him directly what that letter was instead of worrying on her own.
- Cherish your spouse. Charlie and Marlene have the kind of relationship everyone is looking for, and they cherish it every day as if no time has passed.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an older man who visited his daughter in another state only to be turned away at the door.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.