Love letters


I had no intention this year of putting up a special showcase for Valentine's Day. Vane suggested it to me a week ago, he even gave me an idea. But it made me really lazy. That thing about putting hearts left and right in all the stores in the city, of course. Too predictable and monotonous. And beware! Which we have done many times. Maybe that's why. This Valentine's DayNot hearts, I told him.

And I went to my house so wide. But my mind is treacherous and at night it conspires against me. I wanted a quiet month of February, a memory came to mind and there it materialized. It was like an apparition. The idea for our Valentine's window display came to life. Would be called Love letters.



It is not more than that. A tribute to a practice that has absolutely disappeared from our lives and that new generations have no idea what it is about. Write love letters. Receive them, read them, save them, perfume them, reread them, even break them.

Since I really like stories, and more so those that are born from the heart, I am going to tell you one that I think is beautiful to give life to this Valentine's Day. It speaks of love, but of a love that goes beyond romanticism. It talks about love for life.

During confinement, every other week (when I didn't have to be with my daughter), I went to my parents' house to help mom and Vane take care of dad. I already told you that they were very hard days. Aside from the forced confinement, the uncertainty, the deaths from Covid and the saturation of the Health Service, we faced a brutal cancer that was stealing our father from us with every breath. The deterioration, the illness, the helplessness and the immense pain of losing one of the people you love most in this world plunge you into darkness and a sadness that is difficult to combat. However, by living in my old room, I rescued memories rummaging through shelves and drawers that took me to happy and joyful times and that helped me face the harsh reality that surrounded us. And one sleepless night I opened a box.



It contained more than forty letters that my first love had sent me during the almost five years we dated. We studied Journalism together in Bilbao and every time we were separated, on vacation or on a long weekend, we missed each other so much that we wrote long letters to each other that we sent urgently. Mom, very much in her vein, always told me: “But how clingy you are! If you are tired of seeing each other.” However, for me, everything was not enough. I loved him so much. Dad didn't usually intervene, except if instead of paper and pen I hooked up the phone and called him. There he hit me after the time he deemed regulatory. “Sandra!! Hang up since you've been there for half an hour,” he said, leaning out the door. I still delayed saying goodbye for a few more minutes. You know, that thing about you hanging, not you.


Well, as I was saying, I always lose track. In the silence of the night, in my old trundle bed, I reread that wonderful correspondence, more than 25 years later. There were not only letters. There were stories, music tapes, drawings, postcards, press clippings, photos... I fell in love again. Of us, of the two young people that we were and that we loved each other with that purity and that truth, of life, of love stories, of the human being, who is capable of feeling and expressing such beautiful feelings. In those love letters, from the first and the one that marks you for life, I found refuge and hope. The words that he had dedicated to me so long ago lulled me in those moments when I found comfort in nothing.

I needed to find life in death and those letters gave it to me. They were my antidote.

After confinement and dad's death, I took the box home. It was a cardboard box lined with paper that we had bought together. It looked old and faded and that made it even more charming. More love couldn't fit inside.

This is the story I wanted to tell you. I have not revealed the name of its protagonist, nor the city where he lived. He was always a discreet person who felt happy going unnoticed, that's why I wanted to respect his privacy.

Yes, I have used your letters to set up the Valentine's Day display. I have placed one between the hands of our mannequin, wanting to emulate that magical moment when you open the envelope, when you look for solitude and a quiet place to enjoy the words of love it contains. Vane has built a fantastic mailbox, American type, where to deposit the rest of the correspondence and behind the scene, as a backdrop, I have written and expanded a fictitious letter that could well have been any of the ones I keep in my box or one that some young man wrote, out of love, to his dearest friend.



Love letters. The anxiety that you suffer while waiting, delusion going to the mailbox every morning to see if it has arrived, the tickling in your stomach when you finally receive it and recognize the letter of the person you love in the envelope and the impetus when opening it or, on the contrary, the restraint when keeping it in your pocket waiting for the perfect moment to read it. Letters that you then carry with you for days, that you reread again and again, that you end up knowing almost by heart. That you answer quickly, searching inside yourself for your feelings more beautiful, and you run to the mailbox so that it arrives quickly so that you can receive another candy that you will taste with a delight that has no equal.

Love letters. Who doesn't smile to themselves when remembering them? Has it been since you wrote one? Grab a pen and paper, today could be that day.