love letters may more with scarf

Love, Letters and Legalities

I am not very romantic. In fact I am hopeless. But I do give a mean blow job. And one can’t be good at everything.

Romance and Love Letters

I have received two love letters that I will never forget. Both changed the course of my life. I’ve often wondered what would have happened if those letters had never been written.

Love Letter One

The first was from Vic. His letter arrived after he heard I was to be married to Seb. He talked of our long history and wonderful memories and I fell into a pool of my own tears and arranged to meet him. It was after that meeting that I called off my wedding.

Love Letter Two

The second letter was from Seb. We’d stayed together without getting married. But being a fickle, flighty female I’d chosen to go my own way for a year. I needed to experiment sexually and it was during this time that I met Al and my man. I was certain it was over with Seb. Indeed it was until the letter arrived on my mat. Once again I wallowed in tears as I read about what I meant to him. And yes, we got back together.

So even though I am not a romantic I’m obviously a sucker for a good love letter.

Tony’s Letters

But what I really want to write about is my Uncle Tony. Well,  my Mum’s older cousin.

Tony had married Betty, one of my Mum’s friends. They never had children (except sadly a stillborn). Then years later his wife died of cancer. It was at this time that we became close. He introduced me to the countryside and we would spend weekends walking his dog over fields and through the woods. I adored him. He was a wonderful man.

When he died the older members of my family gave me his personal effects. Knowing we had shared a special relationship. At just fifteen I was devastated. He was the father I should have had. Numbness crept over me and I refused to let myself grieve for several years. When I finally did, the fall out was quite bad. My emotions were in a bit of a mess for some while. So it was another chunk of time before I felt brave enough to go through all his things. That’s when I found the love letters.

The letters were written years before he married and dated during the latter part of the war and the early 1950’s. As I read them I was suddenly transported back to a time when it was considered shameful to love in the way he had.

I say shameful because back in the 1940’s and 50’s it was illegal to be gay. Tony was corresponding with a man called Charles. And I soon learned although very close they rarely managed to meet.

I didn’t realise immediately that they were love letters as much of the subject matter was about trivial things such as talk of the local pub and family members. The declarations made at the end of each letter made it clear the two men were in love. I felt blessed to learn more about this incredible man’s history and I cherish the letters to this day.

Finding out Tony was gay wasn’t really much of a surprise to me. There had always been a certain campness and gentleness about his persona. Thinking about it in depth I can see how difficult his life must have been, living in those times.

Having a wife.

Losing a baby.

Loving a man.

As a child I used to daydream about growing up and marrying my Uncle Tony. He made me feel special and important. When I was with him I was invincible. But like I said at the start I’ve never been a romantic. Me? No never 😉

February Photo Fest Day 12

This shot was taken at the same time as Come Outside. So many good shots were taken that day.

Still sticking with my theme of outdoors for this image although it is quite a close up.

Blogger mention – I have really been enjoying Brigit’s photos for the photo-fest and her theme is – close ups.

Day12 Close Up



15 thoughts on “Love, Letters and Legalities”

  1. Oh wow. I can only imagine how it must have felt reading those letters of your uncle. Thank you for sharing that. It gave me chills reading it.

    I think I remember reading about the love letters you mentioned at the start of the post before. It’s incredible how much impact letters can have written by the right person and with the right words

  2. Declaring affection and love for another is a risk. For your Uncle Tony it was not just a personal risk it was actually illegal. I think that when we are in a place where we feel safe we can risk a declaration, partly because we know we are safe but also because we want the other person to know how we feel without ambiguity or doubt.

  3. What a cool thing to have found. I love old letters. It’s an intimate knowledge for you to have read them, and I bet, eventually, he would have wanted you to be the one to find out his secret. I feel for the people who have chosen to live this way…keeping their real selves so hidden and basically living a lie to be accepted in society.

  4. I loved reading this. It didn’t go where I thought it would but am really pleased that you shared it. Reading Tony’s story made me feel so many things. It must have felt like quite a privilege to find out who he really was ?

  5. I can see that he meant a great deal to you, that he was an extraordinary person and that those letters were so important to him that he kept them.

    I think there may be a romantic in there somewhere ?

  6. What a touching story for you to share with us May, I must admit I smiled because I had an uncle that I had a similar relationship with. He was my Mum’s brother and while my Dad, who I love to bits,wasn’t very naturally paternal as I grew up my uncle was and we had such a special bond, he died when I was 13 and it was gut wrenching. Your post made me think of him though and that is always a blessing x

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