9 Memorable Love Letters

We searched the country for inspiring love notes. Here are nine that touched our hearts.

By Rory Evans

"I can't wait to crawl in bed with you tonight. Pray that my flights are smooth w/ no delays. By the way, I'm sleeping in tomorrow. -Are we really waiting till 2011 for babies?"

Whenever Claire Vath, 26, travels on business, she hides notes for her husband, Stephen, also 26, around their Birmingham, Alabama, home. “Our relationship was founded on letters, e-mails, and instant messages,” Claire says. “We have boxes of notes from the past ten years.” P.S. They’ve decided not to wait until 2011 for a baby.

"Darling I can't replace you"

From Jenny Weaver to Mark Bjerke, college students in Santa Rosa, California. “Scribbling the note on the envelope flap is unexpected,” says Bill Shapiro, editor of Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See, “and unexpected is good when it comes to love letters.”

“Honey, I miss you. I work hard, hoping that, because I do, I’ll be able to see you sooner. I can truthfully say that I live for the day we can settle down for the rest of life together. Don’t ever doubt that. All of my love, Bill.”

One of hundreds of letters that Bill Neff, a soldier stationed in Europe, sent to Maxine King from 1942 to 1944. Bill returned home safely, and the two married and lived happily together for 60 years. He died in 2002. Maxine is now 90.

“You are very close to your family, which is good. I’ve realized during my travels that to have a family is important. I’m crazy about you. Consider me as part of your family. Forget my Mr. Know-It-All demeanor. Under it all, I love you.”

From John Hill to Sandy McCormick in 1980, after they’d traveled through Europe together after college. She returned to the United States, and he followed her with his correspondence. They’ve been married for 23 years.

"Leland, do you like me or love me? Circle one. I love you. Write back please.
I love you Jana but don't tell anybody or they will tease me. Love Lee"

Fourth graders Jana Glasgow and Leland Elliott (circled at left) shared this exchange in 1973. “He was my first love,” Jana says. “Whenever we watched a film in school, we held hands under the desk in the dark!”

" J -Thank you for the past four nights; I hope we have four million more. I Love you. -A"

A 1994 note from a woman to her boyfriend, whom she later married. "This is great because it’s so succinct and specific," Shapiro says. "The 'four nights' and 'four million more' say it all."

"I look at you now and feel my breath catch just as it did on that drizzly April day when your poor father walked you down the stairs and into marriage. And I think now, just as I did then, that I already have my share of blessings without ever counting past the first. You are my one, but that isn't the blessing. The first is knowing I am yours."

Jay Heinrichs wrote this to his wife, Dorothy, 28 years after that April day. It appeared on the first page of a book of photos of their life together, his anniversary gift to her.</i><br><br>

"I love you baby. Janet will you marry me?"

William Sisson, 39, posted this collage on Facebook the same day he proposed to Janet James, 31. “This is the perfect proposal for the Facebook era,” Shapiro says. (She said yes.)

"Dearest Lauren, In our twenty years together I have never loved you as much as I have the past few days."

A husband to his wife, a few days after she’d given birth to a son with Down syndrome. At the time, they knew he’d need heart surgery. The family is now thriving, just as predicted in this letter.

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