Final love letter’s what he needed

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “To my loving husband. Today is a special day and I can’t think of a better way to start it than by telling you I love you. “After all these years together as husband and wife, the most important thing I’ve learned is that love is a whole lot more than flowers and candlelight. “It’s sticking together during those times when you’re short on money, patience and confidence. It’s taking turns getting up with sick children, sacrificing something you want for something the family needs and always being willing to listen. “We’ve been through a lot together, and yet we’ve always emerged closer and stronger than before. I don’t know if I could have made it through without you there by my side. “I will miss your voice and bright smile, and although we will be separated, memories cannot be taken from us. You are a great loving and caring husband, father, grandfather and soon to be great-grandfather. “We started out with nothing but each other. Then our lives were blessed with three wonderful sons and we thought we were the richest people in the world. “We have lived and loved together through many trying years. We shared each other’s gladness and wept each other’s tears. But now, I must go home. God’s said it is my time. “May God bless you, and watch over you until we meet again. Love forever, your loving wife, Flo.” Norman wiped away the tears, and closed his eyes. His wife didn’t have to write that letter. He knew she loved him, almost as much as he loved her. He was a cocky young guy when he came home from World War II in 1946, on a mission to propose to the hometown girl from Flushing, Long Island, whom he’d known since they were both 11. But Norm Edwards had a quick stop to make first. To see their parish priest. “Have you got a date open, Father? I’m going to get married,” Norm said. “Have you asked Flo yet?” the priest asked. Norm shook his head. Not yet. That was next. “I asked her to go to the movies, and as we were walking there I told her I wanted to make a quick stop by the church first,” Norm said Monday. “As we walked by, the priest yelled out, ‘Is June 9th OK, Norm?’ I said, Wait a minute, I’ll find out.” Then Norm got down on one knee and asked his childhood sweetheart to marry him – preferably on June 9th. She said yes. Fifty-nine years later, another priest – Father Kevin Rettig of St. Joseph The Worker Church in Canoga Park – stood in front of 120 parishioners at Mass one Sunday, asking them to please stick around a little longer. He had a letter he wanted to read to them about a beautiful marriage that two of their own – Norm and Flo Edwards – had for almost six decades. When the priest looked up after reading Flo’s last love letter, there wasn’t a dry eye in God’s house, he said. “Flo knew Norm was going to need that letter,” said Nancy Coffman, Norm’s sister and Flo’s best friend. “The reassurance that he did a great job as a husband and father – and she gave it to him.” Because love is a whole lot more than flowers and candlelight. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Norm found the letter exactly where Flo had hidden it a few days before she died. Top drawer of the bedroom dresser, right-hand side, under her lingerie. His sister, Nancy, had called a few minutes earlier, telling Norm it was there, and how Flo had made her promise not to tell him until after she was gone. And now, Norman Edwards sat on the edge of the bed he and Flo had shared through 59 years of marriage, holding the last love letter his wife wrote before cancer ended their love affair in October. “Do not open until God calls me,” the envelope read. last_img

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