The Truth Of Love In Letters

In my nearly 50 years of living, I've been in love a precious few times.  And of those precious few times, on occasion, I expressed my love for my beloved through the lost art of letters.  Those to whom these were written, should they read them here, will well remember them, and when I re-read them, and the replies that sometimes came, I relive every joyful, achingly painful moment of love's journey through my life.  These letters reveal the truth of love and the longings of my heart and soul, they tell the truth of me...

Those who visit here from time to time will find in no particular order and with no rhyme or reason a record of my heart.






This Is How Love Makes You Feel...


I had the occassion today of re-reading a love letter I once wrote to someone I was very deeply and quite completely in love with... It brought a strange pause to my heart to realize that I would and could thereafter love someone else even more than this... so much so that words, mere words became poor descriptors of the emotions and the connection, however one-sided, that would eventually come to dominate my life from then on. How strange is this thing we call "Love"



Sometime in the not too distant past...


"Dearest To My Heart,"

I just sent you my goodnight wishes in a text msg... reading your email and then hearing about your "Omen of Love" in your evening sky made me so happy... In these moments I can hardly believe how I've been blessed with a love like you... Yes, prayers were answered, and doors were opened, and Love's dream will be our real world.

I enjoyed reading your texts this morning, I couldn't read them right away as I was serving a client... but hearing the phone alert me, knowing it would be from you made my heart leap... I felt so wonderful... When I glanced at myself in the mirror, I was awash in the color of love... When I finally was able to read what you'd sent to me, I closed my eyes and I was there at the window with you, standing close behind you, holding you, kissing you softly, whispering my loving thoughts into your ear. It was a wonderful dream that will become real for us...

I'm glad you know how much I love you... I know that you love me deeply too... I feel your love all the time... it sustains me and makes me whole and able to carry on... Yes, I was very happy today... because I was dreaming of you...

I was happy that you understood when I closed my text to you with C.F.F. I want to take your name as a testament of our love and wear your ring as a symbol of our commitment and union... My niece was talking to me today... and I asked her right out of the blue, if she wanted to come to my wedding... She looked surprised and then said sure as long as "she" was nice. She then said she didn't believe I was getting married as I'm not seeing anyone. I replied "You'd be surprised... everyone will be." Then very surprisingly, she mentioned that she'd seen "Charles Pugh" yesterday. He's the openly gay news anchor I told you about last Sunday. She said "he's going to marry a man..." and I asked her, "How do you feel about that?" I was so happy to hear her say "I think it's okay, he's nice..."

Then as quickly as I was encouraged, she expressed some disdain for the reality of "our" physical relationships and then told me of how her brother had made so many disparaging remarks about Charles Pugh and gay men in general and how even my sister, their mother had joined in a bit... So now some doubt has creeped in, I might be wrong about my sister's reaction to us, but I don't think so. She and I are quite close... we are probably the closest of all our siblings. Probably because we're only a little more than a year apart in age... We've worked together in the business now and in the past... and then caring for our mother, brought us much closer in the last few years too. We'll just have to wait and see... but my spirits are not dampened in the least... I have a great deal of faith in the power of love. I think my nephew is just saying what he thinks he's supposed to... I think he will still love and respect me as his uncle. (He'd better, I changed too many dirty diapers for him not too :-)

Yes, I'm longing for moments of everyday life to be made special with you at my side. So long I've waited for you... So deeply I've longed for a soul mate, a lover, a friend like no other... Now having found you, I see all my dreams coming true... I often dream of the joy of having a second dish to wash... two sides of the bed to make up... someone to stroke my fevered brow and ask me "how was your day?" All the things that I see so many take for granted, these will be precious and dear to me... Not because of what they are, but because of you... for I've waited a lifetime for you to come to me. I'll live to see the love in your eyes... to feel your gentle touch... to hear you whisper softly in my ear... these will be a glimpse of Heaven to me and the memories that will give me joy for all eternity.

Your gifts tonight, were more precious to me than all the riches of this world... You sent me flowers... you sent me your sweetest thoughts.... you sent me your love, the greatest gift of all. Your lyrical lines and sweet declarations of love for me took me to the highest mountain top where I could just see over into Heaven... It was as if I was lifted by angels flitting unseen about me... I could smell the roses... I could see your loving eyes... I could feel your heart beating next to mine... I could feel your caress and hear your voice saying... "So deep in love am I"

I'll always be yours, now and forever and for all eternity. So deep in love am I...

I love you... feel me next to you tonight, for I am there... loving you... always loving you.

Your Christopher

Thus was the letter I'd sent in reply to a poem my love had sent to me that day (it is below)... Though he was across an ocean many thousands of miles away... And though we'd never seen each other except in the photographs we shared, my love for him was real.

What a strange thing the human heart and soul is. This is what is occupying my mind today... Love.


Love is transcendent...

I know that love is in many ways a magical power, a force whose influence is more than what meets the eye. In the earliest days of my new life after accepting the truth of my heart, I fell in love with a man who lived thousands of miles away.  And although we'd never met in person and had only communicated in letters and emails, we were deeply in love.  This is poem that my one time beloved wrote for me.  I gave it the title, "And This Is What You Said..."


"And This Is What You Said..."

I'm going home now to feed on love and dream of a prince who appeared
out of nowhere and slayed the dragons of loneliness and heartache. I'm
going to tell my heart to wait just a few more moments and then the time
will come for the love of a lifetime to wake me from the dreamy sleep of
hopes and wishes for a heart to touch my own...

I'm here, you're there
I dream, I dare
You lift my thoughts, you care

Man I love
Remember what we have
Comes from above

As I close my eyes I'll dream
Soon my love will be before me
Not distant and unseen

So I'll tell you now in a simple way
I love you now, forever, and a day
Sweet man, hold my hand... Forever

So much love for you, Chris...
I'll see you in my dreams tonight.


Although fear destroyed all the hopes embodied in this lovely poem and our love eventually died a painful agonizing death of shattered dreams and denied passions, this poem convinced me that love was real and reading it often sustained me in the darkest of my dark lonely hours.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


The Truth Is: You'll do anything for love...

This is the suicide note that I wrote to "the beloved one" and it reveals and tells the story of the depths of a loving heart and the lengths to which one might go to relieve the pain of love lost...



Riverside, California
February 1, 2008 3:02AM


My Dearest and Most Beloved Stephen,

If you are reading this, then I am no longer of this world, but of the next… Please don’t despair or believe that you bear great responsibility for my death.  Perhaps the events surrounding the intertwining of our lives over the last year in some way precipitated certain decisions I have made, but the choices I have made in my life, are and have always been my own.  I am responsible for them to both man and God.  I sincerely believe that you may rest assured that I am at peace now, loving you still, even from beyond the veil of death.  You are now completely free from me as your treatment of me suggested you wished to be.  

I am sorry that I could not force myself to not love you as you so many times suggested I needed to do. But, I could no more do that than I could stop the sun from rising or the tides from coming in and going out.  I simply could not stop loving you with all my heart and soul, as I knew from the first, that you were the one I had for so long waited, the one for whom God had created my heart.

Once again, My Dearest, I wish to thank you for the loving care and concern which you were able to show for me during our time together… Even during those times that I found to be so very hurtful, I always still felt your love for me, even when you were able to say you didn’t love me.  And even when you were angry with me, a great deal of love still shone through those dark, lonely hours.  To me, you were the fulfillment of a lifetime of hopes, dreams, and fervent prayers… To have known you and to have loved you, and to have been loved by you was the sweetest and most wonderful experience of my entire life.   The moments of joy I’ve felt with you in the last year were truly the only times I’ve ever been truly fully happy in my entire life.

Although you would not allow yourself to love me as completely, I am eternally grateful to you and to our Heavenly Father for having had you in my life at all.  My life was repeatedly filled with emptiness and pain before you came.  And though it has returned to that, I am thankful that I knew the taste of love before I tasted death.  My joyful time with you was much too short, but I am thankful for it and will remember it until all the days of the heavens and the earth have come to an end.

As I said, Dearest, if you are reading this, then I am on a new journey, a home going… And make no mistake, that is what it is, a home going.  I am gone home to be with God.  I am ready to look upon His face and tell Him of my journey here on earth, of my joys and sorrows and pains and of how I tried my best to be faithful and true to Him and to the one He allowed me to love… you.  I’m sure that I’ll ask Him why it could not be as you and I at one time had dreamed and planned.  And I am sure that on His answer, my pain will cease and then I will finally be at perfect peace.  

I must confess to you that I am truly sorry to have had to leave this world in the way which I have.  But the pain of loving you with every fiber of my being and with absolutely the whole of my heart, while knowing you could not or would not love me in that same way was just too great to bear.  

And so, Dearest Stephen, as I leave behind me the cares and worries of this world, I wish for you so many things… Beloved, I wish for you every joy, every happiness, and absolutely every precious desire of your heart.  I pray that God grants to you your every need and that your wants may be fulfilled abundantly that you may have joy in them, in this life, and in the next. Though yes, I wanted so much to be a part of bringing every happy thing to your life, alas it was not possible.  But I do pray and hope that the things I did for you, the ways in which I loved you, opened the door to you finding true and lasting happiness.  If so, then I am happy and my living shall not have been in vain. 

I pray for you now, and I will always pray for you in Heaven too, that God will add all His blessings to you.  I also pray that you will not be alone on the rest of your journey through life.  Please let yourself love and be loved… Learn to accept both the good and the bad from the one who loves you and whom you love.  I pray that God will send that special person into your life with whom you can share the happiness you once promised me.  I know that in love, My Dearest, you will find the fullness of life and the closeness to God that you seek.  Trust that God has made no mistakes in creating you as you are.  You are precious to Him and He loves you and would not sentence you to a life alone.  May He bless you with another such as I.

I go now in peace.  My last thoughts will be of you.  I love you, Stephen.  Know that even through tears, anguish, and now death, I loved you with all my heart.  Please remember me fondly.  Think of me every January 15th.

Goodbye, My Love,

Christopher


Although I lived, and how that came to be is a story for another time and place, part of me still regrets that fact.  For I went on to live with and to love this man even after he never received this letter. And the cruelest part of this recollection is that I remember in excruciating detail, every moment that led up to writing this letter in a cold and lonely hotel room in the first lonely hours of that first February morning of 2008.  You can read that story here: "Seeking Angels at 37,000 Feet."




"Fear Eats the Soul"


He was my first...



Billy,

I hope you're smiling as you read this... You've been on my mind a lot, so much so, that I realized as each time I thought of you, I was smiling.  I walked past a mirror this afternoon and I caught a glimpse of myself and I saw it in my eyes... that spark that had been missing for so very long.  The difference between being utterly alone and then being so close to someone that you feel like two have become one...  I really miss you more than words can say.

Yesterday, on the plane I must have seemed quiet strange to the fellow who sat next to me.  I got on the plane took my seat and closed my eyes... and I sat like that for almost the entire two hours.  I didn't want to see myself leaving... leaving you... leaving the wonderful way it felt to be with you.   I find myself wondering how did this happen?  We hardly know one another and yet somehow we knew all that the heart needs to know... In a sense, it really is very cruel isn't it...?

Today, in the wee small hours as I lay in bed this morning, a midst the symbol-clash of thunder and the gentle drumbeat of the rain I reached out to touch you for I saw you in my mind's eye... there beside me... Now again for a while, I guess I shall have to live in the life for my dreams.

Speaking of dreams, did I tell you about my favorite song... Its called "You only live twice."  The lyrics have always seemed to speak to me  since I first heard it as a young child... they go something like this... "you only live twice, or so it seems... one life for yourself and one for your dreams, you drift through the years and life seems tame... till one dream appears and love is its name..."  I'd like for you to hear it.  Nancy Sinatra did the version I like best for the James Bond film of the same name.  But its been recorded by others a few times including a favorite symphonic version by the London Symphony Orchestra.  If you send me your address, I'd like to send you a copy.

I say I can live in my dreams, I've done it for many years... but I hope I don't have to.  I hope we'll stay in touch and learn more about each other... 650 miles is a long way, but in truth now you're just a dream away.  I now  have a reason to part the shimmering veil of the night, for it is there that we are still together... I hear your voice... I see the gaze of your tender eyes... I feel the caress of your strong hands... and the electric touch of your lips upon mine.  Now I beckon "come sleep... take me to the life for my dreams."

So...now you know something more of me... I'm a "hopeless romantic..."  Having read this wouldn't you agree?  As I listened to you speak over dinner that first night we met... I thought you might be one too...  I was so nervous, but then you said some things that struck chords deep within my soul... Then I knew everything would be alright, that I could give you my trust, that I could tell you anything, and that I could share with you any of my hopes and thoughts and dreams.  Although I find life to be rather simple at times,  its still so very impossible to understand... but alas, the poets have told us many times, "ours is not to understand."

Well, now that I've got all of this out, I guess I should close here.  Again, I hope we'll stay in touch... I want to see you again in "the life for yourself."  As I told you, I've got lots of vacation time, may be when things are less hectic for you, I could come see you over a weekend or for a few days, or you could be my guest here in Detroit...?  Don't worry, I've got enough guns to keep you safe (now I know you're smiling...!)

Here's my address and phone numbers:

Christopher Flournoy
XXXXX Broadstreet Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48238
313 XXX-XXXX (home)
248 XXX-XXXX (office)

I'll send you my cell phone number when I activate it... I haven't yet... you'll remember me telling you about my aversion to telephones in general and cell phones in particular.

Christopher





I met him online just days after my mother died, as I struggled with the loneliness that engulfed me as I contemplated life without her.  Together with my sister and my niece, I had been my mother's caregiver through the years of enfeeblement that come with old age.  But I had also been my mother's companion since I was 16, when my parents divorced. We were almost more like friends than mother and son and we could talk about anything, anything except the pink elephant that had been in the room since I was 5 years old.

But then suddenly my mother was gone and I had kept my promise to her for 35 years.  And so, I resolved that I would try to seek love, the love I had denied myself my entire life, the love of a man.  In those early days (now nearly 10 years ago), I didn't know what to expect or if I'd find happiness or greater misery than I'd known in the life of denial that I'd been living, but I took a chance and after looking at literally hundreds of profiles from across the country, I settled on reaching out to Billy.  

Billy lived safely some 650 miles away from me, so I thought he'd be someone I could reach out to without much risk or danger.  I convinced myself that he might be someone to explore my thoughts and feelings with, while I fearfully stayed safely out of reach.  But of course, the subconscious was at work as well... for Billy actually lived in a city that I visited infrequently (once or twice a year) for business.  And as fate would have it, work took me there just a few weeks after my mother's death, and just as we were growing closer to one another in our emails.  One of the bravest acts of my life to that point was suggesting to him that while I was in his hometown for business all that week, if he was too, I was open to meet him in person.

That first night, after my meetings, he picked me up from my hotel and we went to dinner and enjoyed each other's company immensely.  When he dropped me off back at the door of my hotel, I shook his hand as I got out of the car and thanked him for a lovely evening, and I know that we both felt it... The first pangs of love were in the air and more than that, something I'd never allowed myself to really feel - the passions that had arisen and the longings and desires that burned in my heart.  On our third evening together that week, we made love and then I knew without any doubt that I was as I always knew I was.  I was a same gender loving man, and I was in love, not for the first time, but for the first time when it was real and I was honest with myself and had accepted and followed the truth of my heart.  His name was Billy, and he was my first.



"Fear Eats the Soul"



His name was Christopher, just like me...

Dearest Christopher,

Well, here I am again… wanting to tell you what I hope you already know; that I love you with all my heart.  You’ll never guess how happy talking to you made me this morning.  I was just really overjoyed.  Hearing your voice, so bright, happy, and loving makes me warm all over.  I feel so fortunate… when I pray, I always give thanks for you being in my life.

I had another long hard day at work… we’ve been very busy.  We’ve had quite a few new clients come in during the last week.  I didn’t leave work today until almost 7 pm , which is almost unheard of.  But it’s all good, because although I was very tired, all I could do was smile today as I recalled our talk this morning.  Didn’t sit down once from the moment I walked in the door after talking to you until I got back into the car to come home, I didn’t even get to eat my lunch.

I didn’t cut the grass when I got home…  I decided to bake myself a cake for my birthday instead.  I just took it out the oven.  Man, the kitchen sure smells good.  I wish you could have some, that would make my birthday perfect.  Well, that and a couple of other things… :-)  Which by the way, is as dirty as I know how to talk.  Pretty lame huh?  Now don’t get me wrong…  I think I definitely know the language of romance, but I’m not good at being explicit about sex.  But have no fears, I am very much alive, although somewhat inexperienced. 

You and I “almost” talked about “sex” a couple of times.  The truth of the matter is this…  I really highly esteem sex as the greatest expression of love and affection you can give to another person.  I never could bring myself to see it in a more casual light and I don’t think I ever want to either.  I remember alluding to this, but I think you should know that my experiences and encounters have been very limited.  I can count the people I’ve shared that level of intimacy with on just one hand, and I’d still have three fingers left to count with.  Which brings me to what I want to tell you but I’m always a bit too shy to say it…  I love you Christopher, and I want to share that level love and affection with you.

I really long to see you, and touch you, and hold you in my arms and share my love with you.  I’m actually hoping for even more, but some of my dreams are a bit fearful for me to contemplate because I don’t know what you’ll think of them.  But I do know this much, I love you and I can’t imagine anything I wouldn’t do to be with you., or anything I wouldn’t do to make you happy.

Well, I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open now, so I guess I’ll close here.  I’m going to bed to dream about you being right here by my side.   In my dreams, as in my reality, I love you, and I want you, and I need you; and I always will.

“One Four Three!”

Your Christopher

The "Christopher" to whom this is written was someone I met in the virtual world of the internet.  We talked both online and later by telephone sharing the precious details of our lives being lived far apart from one another.  Yet, despite the distances of time and space that separated us, something amazing happened, we fell in love. This letter was sent to him the night before my birthday, in a year not so long ago that I can't remember it as if it were only yesterday.

Though I never met him in person, I loved him.  And my love for him was just as real and just as important as any I've ever known.  This is why I closed my letter to him with "One Four Three," I'd never heard of "143" as an abbreviation for "I love you" (it's the letter count in the three words), but it was his favorite way of expressing the affection we felt for one another... I would later make it my own declaration of love to the one who later actually appeared and swept me away to a moment in time when I thought all my dreams would come true.


"All the world loves a lover, but how it does laugh at his love letters."
- Edgar Guest


*****


"Fear Eats the Soul"


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