I don't know what her name was. I do know she was in love in 1935.
Not everything from her estate sold during the two "official" days of the sale. So the estate sale company posted a notice online: Everything left in the house would be given away at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
Naturally I took advantage of this offer.
I found, among a pile of used books and office supplies, three pages torn from her old diary. Just three pages. They must have been the most important ones, the ones she made sure she saved. Her survivors didn't treasure them like she did. So I did.
I didn't take the time to read the three pages until I got home. They are the (partial) story of her romance, set in the midst of the Great Depression.
Tuesday, June, 11, 1935
11:00 p.m. The chimes are just striking. Only 45 minutes ago I said good-bye to Burke. I have no idea when I'll see him again. It may be the end of another chapter in my life -- I hope not, but it may be. Things look very dark -- I wish I could see ahead, but perhaps it is better that I cannot. It is strange how "alone" a parting can make one feel. Close friends are so few in this world & so dear.... I think I'd better get into bed & to sleep before I begin "slopping over."
Monday, July 22, 1935
Had 3 letters from Burke today. He has a job! Not so much of a one to begin with but it has a future -- with Standard Oil. He is very happy about it & is actually making plans for the future -- that's something for him. I'm so happy about this! He wants me to come in fall if the job works out all right & he likes it. He writes:
"I'm sure you'll like it out here and at least we can start by ourselves and build our own little world."
Does that sound like a proposal of marriage? Is it just that distance lends enchantment -- or has he discovered that he really needs me?
Perhaps this year will be quite interesting before it is over. But I am very happy tonight.
Tuesday, September 3, 1935
Tonight is a very special night. I wrote to mother & dad and told them I'm going to be married the first week in October. Mother has thought of it already, but I wonder what Dad will say. Told Mrs. Rudolph tonight that I'm leaving the 15th. It all seems rather hazy yet -- it doesn't seem like it's really true. It is hard to realize that I will be married in a little over a month. Only 10 more days to go of work. Wonder what Townsend will say?
It's all like a dream, but it's a dream coming true!
I don't know what her name was. I do know I'm glad she wrote down her love story as it unfolded. Because now I can apply the Sonnet 18 theory to her words, and the words of her loved one, once destined for a green recycling bin if someone didn't rescue them.
William Shakespeare -- even though he never dreamed of cyberspace as a library for the memories of love -- was right!
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Write down the story of your love. Even if you don't share it with anyone else. Write it down.