Valentine’s Day is the time we set aside, every year to celebrate love and romance. And this year I want to celebrate by sharing with you a very special treasure, discovered tucked away in a stack of cards Lily had saved.
It’s a Valentine from Freddie.
There’s no date on it, but I have to wonder if it was from some special year in their lives. It’s the only one she saved, and it so perfectly captures the forever love they shared.
Sharon has told me more than once how particular Freddie was when he picked out cards for Lily. He would stay in the card isle for an hour if necessary, reading one card after another, getting teary-eyed with emotion, as he searched for the one that truly said everything he wanted to say. I wonder how long it took him to find this one?
My favorite parts are the words added in, with Freddie’s own hand.
When I was writing the story, sorting through cards and letters and family lore as I tried to make it as true to Fred and Lily as possible, I remember noticing that Fred always called Lily “sweetheart” in his letters. And so of course I used that as his name for her in the book.
And of course, at the end of the card are the familiar words he always used. “With All My Love, Forever and Ever.” As you probably know, they were my inspiration for the book’s title.
One of the most beautiful things to me about their love story, is that it’s not the kind that just ends with “And so they were married. The End.” leaving us to wonder how they actually got along once real life set in.
Theirs was the kind of love that lasted beyond the first blush of youthful romance. The kind that shone brighter with each passing year.
I’m so honored to be the one trusted with writing the story of that love. It’s been an incredible journey. And I only hope I can do it justice.
Happy Valentines Day, Everyone!
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