A random discovery in a thrift store record sleeve brought a World War II veteran to tears.
ABC News reports Bill Moore, 90, was married to the love of his life, Bernadean Gibson, for 63 years before she died in 2010. The couple’s daughter, Melinda Gale, said that her mother kept all of the letters that Moore wrote his wife while he was fighting in Patton’s Third Army in Europe. This particular letter, however, was lost – that is, until Colorado resident Ilene Ortiz stepped in.
Ortiz discovered the touching letter, which was 70 years old and written long before the couple got married, in a record sleeve and knew she had to track down the author. As it turned out, Moore had been living in an assisted living home for veterans not far from Ortiz. Moore was soon reunited with the long-lost letter, and reading it again brought him to tears.
“My darling, loveable, alluring Bernadean,” the letter read. “I ran out of space, but I could have written a lot more adjectives describing you. You are so lovely, darling, that I often wonder how it is possible that you are mine. I’m really the luckiest guy in the world, you know. And you are the reason, Bernadean. Even your name sounds lovely to me.”
The letter, written by a 20-year-old Moore, prefaced their decades-long marriage that resulted in three children and a lifetime of happiness. Moore said that letters were the only means of communication between he and Bernadean, whom he met while on furlough.
“When you’re apart for that reason, not knowing if and when you’d ever see that person again, every chance you got to communicate was just wonderful,” an emotional Moore told local news station KMGH.
While a wonderful reminder of the love he had for her, Moore said the letter is also a painful reminder of his wife’s passing.
“It’s difficult talking out loud about it to other people,” he said. “But I loved her, and she loved me. That’s all I can tell you. It’s a heartache not being with her all the time.”
Gale said the letter was a beautiful example of the love she always knew her parents had for each other.
“My hands were shaking when I finished reading it,” she told KMGH while holding back tears. “It truly was a window into how deep their love was.
"And obviously, they were married for almost 63 years," Gale added. "We knew they loved each other very, very much, but as children you don’t see that. Where it came from, that deep connection, and this was a window into their story.”