18th Century Love Letters

This was an incredible joint project with a close friend, Jerry Rizzi, who is an incredible artist and song writer as well. I am grateful to have him in my life. We wrote these separate from each other yet reviewing them together.

 

Analisa:

My Dearest Benjamin,

Oh, how the day seems to be so long. I know that it was only yesterday that you left but it seems as if it has already been weeks. I stare down at my, the ring, the promise you have given me glistening in the candle light as I write this, and it makes me miss you more.

Our hopes and dreams rest in your hands. I know that you leave to start a new life, a life for us. A life in a place where things are new and not ruined and bedraggled like they are here. I wish that I could have left with you. I would have been by your side to work hand and hand with you. Be by your side as we start our lives together. But alas, I wait patiently as instructed by you and my father. I would toil and work by your side making our way together. But that is still not proper for a lady of my standing and my father wishes to think that it will never happen. He is determined that his sweet precious southern plantation princess will always be a proper lady who doesn’t work. Why must he be so hard headed?

As I send this letter to post I can only hope that it won’t take too long to arrive in your hands. I pray that God will keep you safe, keep my heart with you always and I cannot wait until we are reunited, and I can drink in the sight of your face and again feel you stand by my side.

Always Yours,

Analisa Bouvier

P.S. Remember always that I am yours and I will always wait for you.

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Analisa:

Dear Ben,

I know that it has only been a week since I last wrote but this distance is so hard on me. I want nothing more than to share my day with you like before.

I look out of the window of the library, it’s raining today. I awoke to the sounds of the rain splattering the window sill outside. I can scarcely see past the garden the rain is coming down so hard. I hide myself away in the library as everyone wishes to talk to me about you.

When I sigh they ask me, “Why are you so sad?” I tell them that my heart is aching inside me missing you. They scoff at me and tell me that I am too young. They tell me you will never make it, that you will never come back for me. They call me silly to wear your ring and patiently wait for you. Foolish girl my mother says.

My father still believes in you. Perhaps he has seen the love in your eyes as I have. He tells me to have faith that God will bring you back for me. He will bring you back and then we can start our lives together as a family. Build a home, build a family, and spend the rest of our lives making each other blissfully happy.

I think of the flowers you left me on my window sill the day you left, my heart aches and I smile just to look at them. I miss your smile and your face. I am grateful for that single kiss that you gave me before you left. I will wait anxiously for the day when you take me in your arms and you call me your wife.

Be safe my love. I miss you, I need you, and I long for us to be reunited and married. I long only to be yours.

Praying for a safe journey and your safe return.

All My Love Always

Yours,

Analisa

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Benjamin:

My Beloved Analisa,

I just received your letter. It has been two weeks to the day that I have left you, I know this for I miss you every second, minute, hour and day that I have been gone, be it temporarily. I see your beautiful face; I feel your touch, your kiss. Know this my Analisa, we will be reunited. I must do what a man must do. I am coming back for you within the year that is my goal. It has been two years since the end of the war. I need to have some finances in place as I, like your father, do not want to have you work outside of the home. But be in a place where you can be a mother, a wife, and not to mention a proper lady (which you already are).

Rest assured my dearest, every moment I am gone is another moment I am nearer to coming back.

My Love to you,

Benjamin Miles Beulea

 

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Benjamin:

Dearest Analisa,

I see that you wrote me a 2nd time before you received my letter. I am sure by now you have gotten it and read my words, my heart. We are sharing our days, though apart, we are together. You wrote of the rain that makes you sad and that you couldn’t see past the garden. Analisa, there is no reason to look past the garden, as the rain helps the garden to flourish and heal any wounds it may have.

Yes, you are young, younger than me, but you are an old soul. I perhaps a young soul, but which soul we may have we have given to each other. And yes, your father has confided in me, saying to go into the world and over this next year work on building a career at least enough to find your way and then come back for my daughter.

With every tear there too is a smile and with a very ache there too is a calm that only joy can bring.

I will be back and on that day,  it will be forever.

To my Dearest love,

Ben

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Analisa:

My Dearest Ben,

It feels as though years have passed even though it has only been two long weeks. Not a moment passes by when you are not in my thoughts. My heart aches not having you near me. Seeing your words on paper and knowing that your hand had touched that paper brought tears of joy to my eyes at seeing that you were okay. The familiar lines of your handwriting scrawled on the paper for my relieved heart to drink in. How good it is to know that you are okay.

I won’t forget a single moment of our teary goodbye. Your blue eyes glossy with held back emotions, my cheeks wet with tears, and the morning dew clinging to our skin, the fog rolling over the garden and the road in front of the house. My face in your hands, your lips on my cheeks, kissing away my tears and promising me the world if I wait. Whispered promises against my cheek of your safe return to take me away to the amazing home that you have created for us. Such a blessed and wondrous reunion that shall be! A moment filled with tears of grateful hearts that shall never be separated ever again.

Once I hold you in my arms, I swear I shall never let you go. Will you place your cheek against mine for the rest of our lifetime?

I worry so with you so far away. Are you safe? What is it like? How does the weather fare compared to home? Are the women there beautiful? Does your heart wander from me as Mamma says it does? Oh how I wish it wasn’t so far, so long, that I must patiently wait for a beginning that has yet to begin!

I picture our lives together to pass the time some days. I see you, handsome and strong, arms stretched out wide to receive your bride. I see our first night as husband and wife and though I blush terribly at the thought and my heart races in my chest as I wonder if I should start this letter over again as a proper lady knows better than to write such un-lady like things.

Alas, I shall leave it, my heart belongs to you and I shall openly share the contents of it.

My love, my heart. I miss you.

I wait to hear about your travels and adventures. Leave nothing out and I shall wait when the Lord brings our hearts back to each other.

Be safe my love, I need you.

Always Yours,

Analisa

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Benjamin:

My Analisa, My love,

It does feel like a year a long long year, but I know it is laying the foundation of our everlasting love and our lives together.

Please never concern yourself with the thought of my heart wondering it is in one place and that place is with you. Not sure why your mother would let you worry like that. You ask me if there are beautiful women, well I am sure that there are. But whenever a woman may cross my path, all I see is you.

The weather indeed is fine. Ti’s colder then down south, but my every thought of you gives me all the warmth I need. And I too will never let you go once you are in my arms again.

I love you

Benjamin Miles Beulea

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Analisa:

Dearest Ben,

The days pass slowly without you here. I skipped my studies today and rode through the fields on Gypsy my newest horse. I was so eager to be away from all of the bustle and noise this house is filled with. The plantation is usually so beautiful this time of year. Without the workers that we had before the fields lie before me, unattended and sad, a mirror of how I feel. We had very little help getting everything planted so little work has been done. And Lord knows Father won’t let his beloved princess help in anyway. As if my hands are too dainty, my heart to faint for such a thing. Perhaps he fears any hard work might actually kill me. I wish so much that Father would worry and pester over my sisters and leave me be.

Proper things seem less fitting these days. When I am alone, I throw on an old pair of Father’s trousers and I ride bare back on gypsy just like a man would. I let the breeze blow through my hair, and I feel the sunshine on my face and the warmth of the sun on my skin. I think of you while I am riding and my heart cries out for you. How long must I wait for my love? I sigh audibly and then I am questioned by anyone who hears about what could vex my heart so that I would make such sounds.

My eyes well up with tears and inwardly I sob, that you my heart’s desire is so far. In a place I don’t know. Such a big city compared to our small country side. I wonder if New York is as big as people passing through here say. If the people are as coarse and uptight as the rumors say. Your words of reassurance of our love help me to find peace. I still worry though, that I will find myself alone, that I won’t see you again, that I will never again kiss your lips, that I won’t see your face and our love will be lost to the memories of our plans and thoughts of what could have been for us.

Alas, despite my fears I will have faith in you love. Faith that your heart is hear with me as you say. Somehow, someway, we will be together.

Be safe my love.

Always Yours,

Analisa

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Benjamin:

My Love, My Analisa

Gypsy, the name of your newest horse, it is befitting. We are, you and I, like two gypsies in the night. We are Searching and wandering in our hearts and thoughts of one and other. You describe the fields as being bare and unattended, a variation to such a theme, to such a dream I should say, is you and I bare, yet attended to, by one and other. While you ride your horse and the breeze blows throw your hair, think of it as my breathing and the sunshine as my body next to yours. As I write this I am in my room on my bed. Though your heart cries out for me and while mine does for you in the end it only will make our hearts stronger.

I must tell you, if I were your father I too perhaps would be guilty of shielding you. But I promise you, I will never make you feel that you can only be how I want you to be. I am certain you remember that we addressed such issues in our past conversations. Yes our plans for you to be the mother of my children, my wife and my companion for life. And though you will be at home and I at work, we will be respectful of each other’s wants and needs.

Yes, I am in a big city a new land a new sense of being. I tell you there are people from many places, many countries. It is why I fit in and why we may choose to come here to live. My Aunt Frances has helped me with several businesses that have agreed to work with me in the jewelry trade. Each contact and transaction is a closer step to our future.

Please, if need be, I beg of you never ever lose thy faith in me and in our love.

You be safe, and know the truth, I love you,

Benjamin

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Analisa:

Dearest Love, My Benjamin

Looking through journal entries has brought me to a stunning realization. Yesterday a year ago was the first time you held my hand. Such an innocent gesture that holds so much meaning. As I look at my hands, covered in proper lace gloves my fingers long to be enclosed in yours, to feel you hold me tight.

I check the mailbox every day. You distant words of love and hope are all that get me through each day. Being without you is like being without the very air that I am supposed to breathe. To be without my heart is so painful. I know that you feel it too. The distance is so hard.

Everyone tells me it is foolishness to wait for you. Mother has even started bringing her idea of well to do suitors to replace you. I find myself excusing myself with a fake headache and other ailments. Soon I fear she may call the doctor in, and then what shall I do?

Rest assured my love that I will wait on you until there is no breath left in me. I shall wait till God himself takes me home. I will wait for you.

I love you.

Always Yours,

Analisa

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Benjamin:

My love, Analisa,

Indeed it has been a year. Happy belated anniversary. Know this my sweetheart there will be many more. There will indeed, be a lifetime of our celebrating such an occasion. I have enclosed a ring and although it may not be our engagement ring, it is just a reminder of the rings to follow.

I am not sure why anyone feels it is a foolish heart to wait for someone you love and who loves you.

How easy it is for some to not believe in true love. And, how unfortunate it is for anyone to try and discourage a person from taking such a path, perhaps a path not yet taken by those who dismiss such a notion.

Do as I do, keep your faith in what we have, what we are building and what we will have together.

Love you,

Benjamin

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Analisa:

Sweetest Benjamin

My patience is being sorely tested my love. My mother parades suitors through here as if I am available for such a thing! In a week there have been seven men through this house! One for every day of the week! If I have to sit through one more meal intended to sell me off to the highest bidder so my mother can feel like she saved the plantation by marrying me off I may run away and never look back!

I have so many fears about this distance between us. With mother on this marriage rampage, as if my finger and the promise it contains means nothing to her. I will wait for you forever if I must and old maid before I would dare succumb to the tortures and pressures of my mother laying at my feet all of her problems and expecting me to take care of them with a simple marriage of convenience for her.

My heart belongs to you, it will always belong to you and I will always wait for you.

I will hold off my Mother’s advances for as long as I can., I miss you my love, pray for me every day for the strength to go on day by day without you.

Yours Always,

Analisa

___

Benjamin:

Analisa My love,

So inappropriate of your mother to let men parade through your house, almost as if it were a brothel. She insults you, me and our relationship. I sometimes wonder if perhaps, your mother is trying to live through you. Please forgive me if I am being distrustful, but every day that she pursues such actions, in the long run, she will lose her own self-respect, indeed in her self-worth. The fact that she would, at all cost, try and preserve the plantation at the sake of her daughter’s happiness, well being and indeed life is appalling.

Please Analisa do not fall prey to your mother’s betrayal to you and I. No man would or could ever love and care for you as I do. I believe in you. Your inner strength and your inner beauty will withstand the test of time.

For now, stay where you are as we have no other choice. However, if something should change and you could move away from there until I came for you, then fine.

Every day as I work at my trade, every diamond that I see, every diamond that I touch, tells me I am that much closer to putting the ring on your finger.
Love you,
Benjamin

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Analisa:

My Only Love Ben,

My mother is a constant reminder of how strong I felt with you here and how weak I feel against her with you gone. The suitors are more and more every day and lately I feign illness more and more keeping to my bedroom just to keep from fighting with her. With you gone each day just becomes much too much for me to handle and deal with her. I am so alone here, and it weighs heavy on me.

The thought of running away crosses my mind more and more each day. My grandmother sent word from London that she wanted me to come and see her. Help her with some of her students. She said that my studies here will have me ready to be a tutor to some of her younger students. I am so tempted to leave, willingly accepting the magical distraction that the children in her educational care can offer me.

How can I speak of leaving, going away from you even further when I miss you so very much? I wish you were here with me, this life has less meaning, and it is far too hard without you.

What do you think love? Should I go, should I stay? Are you ready for me? Could we make it when you have only been gone two months?
Please love, I need your help and guidance. What should I do?
Always know I love you, I wish I was there and our lives were already started but as I always will, I shall wait for you.
I love you.
Yours Always,
Analisa

—–

Benjamin:

My Dear, My only Love, My Analisa

I too am tormented with our separation not just daily but every minute of the day, be awake or sleeping. But I do know what keeps me going and building is that you and I are meant to be together. No matter how determined your mother may be to put an end to our relationship, we will prevail.

Go to your grandmother in London where there will be piece of mind, where you would have a distraction and a positive meaningful purpose working with children. Analisa, I am not ready to bring you here, as we had discussed prior to me leaving, it will still be a good 9 more months to a year.

The distance may physically be more than a thousand miles difference from where you are now to me, but it would be a million miles away from where you are now, both spiritually and emotionally.

I love you and please let me know if and when you do depart.

All My Love,

Benjamin

—–

Analisa:

My dearest Benjamin,

By the time this letter arrives in your hands I will be gone. The escape I need cannot come fast enough and with the last encouragement from you and my father I am done. I am leaving for London in the morning.

My heart tells me that this is the right thing to do. But I have a deep sense of dread that something I am not prepared for awaits me in London. Perhaps it is the journey to somewhere unknown. Maybe it is that I am going even farther away from you and I already feel as if you are a world away from me. My heart beats for you every day. It beats a constant reminder that I love you, that I am yours. That I will always wait for you. There is no other for me, my life, my love, my heart, they all belong to you. While the waiting seems like the hardest part it seems worlds easier than staying here any longer and dealing with the parade of suitors that have every interest in my title and my station but no interest in me.

My only love, tuck me away inside your heart, hide me there. No matter the time and the space that separates us, I am there. You need only look there to find me, waiting for you. I will wait there safely for you to come for me. I will wait forever if I am called to. I belong to you, I could never find myself with another.

Worry not for my heart love, it is safely there in New York with you. I will pray for you every day, and I will be joyful when we are reunited.

I shall send word once I arrive in London so that you do not worry for my safety.

Remember, I love You.

Yours Only,
Analisa

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Benjamin:

My Dearest Analisa,

By the time you get my letter I shall be gone as well. Life, sometimes, indeed many times has twists and turns. I now have been summoned to California, as I have been offered a promising position with a large regional jewelry company. My Aunt’s best friend’s cousin is one of the owners there.

Are we, you and I, being challenged, being tested by either God himself or by some other force. Here you are in England and I heading to California; soon to be further away from each other then we could have ever imagined. I still know we are united, we are one. This perhaps, will allow me to get things in place for you and I even sooner than expected.

I am sure San Francisco is a nice place to be but there is no place good enough without you.  It may be where we want to live and raise a family. Though New York may be our choice as well. In the end, it doesn’t matter where as long as we are together.

For now, London, England is your place of residence and mine soon to be San Francisco, California.  I do not have the specifics as to where I will be living yet. As soon as I know I will write to you with the address. Meanwhile your heart is in my hands and my heart in yours.

I miss you, I love you,

Benjamin

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Analisa:

Benjamin,

It has been six long years since our farewell, but the pain has always felt like it happens only yesterday. I received word from your cousin that you had been home to Louisiana to see your family. It hurt to hear that you had been home. As I haven’t been home since I left over six years ago. But the reason I am writing this letter, is because I was walking in town several days ago and I could not believe my eyes. I pulled the hat from my head, lest my vision be obscured and distorted by the limited view. Shocked at what my eyes beheld. I nearly fainted right there in the street; for there you were. My only love walking, clutching the hand of a tiny beautiful little girl. I can only imagine that she is your daughter, she has your curls and those amazing eyes. And the beautiful woman that was with you I can only imagine is your lovely wife. Oh, how my heart aches! Though, how happy you must be! Heart bursting with love and joy. And I am alone, heart breaking at seeing the only man to ever hold my heart holding the hand of the most beautiful little girl my eyes have ever viewed. She looked at you with such love and adoration. Truly she must be yours!

My head and heart are full of questions. Why are you in London? When did you leave the states? When did my only love find new love and make a family and a home??? It took all the brevity that I could muster just to get the address to where you are staying here in London so that I could send you this letter. My heart yearns out for answers. My cheeks have been tear stained since the moment my eyes saw your smile. Looking down on the face of your daughter, totally besotted by her. Oh, how I miss when those eyes looked upon me.

I know that we have been apart for ages. And now you have a family. How can I even dare send you this letter? I must know though. Please tell me of your life. Please tell me of these years apart. Leave out no details. Do not fear hurting me with the answers to my questions. I need to know. If not for any other reason, tell me so that I may close the door upon my heartache forever and never think of you this way again.

Though I felt betrayed in our relationship, in the end I wanted you to be happy, it has been my only thought, my only wish for you all these years. I just want you to tell me of the happiness and the experiences of this life you have had without me.

If for only this one moment, think of the love we had and tell me the answers that my heart so desire.

Despite what I said, I never let you go.

Always Yours,

Analisa

—–

Benjamin:

My Dear Analisa,

You may not believe this, but I now know that I saw you as well. I tell you this because over the years, be it on a city street or a restaurant, your face has appeared to me so many times only to be someone else. I saw your beautiful face, in my mind, I accepted the fact that it was just some stranger, just someone else as usual, even though I knew you were in England and in the very city I came too. This is a small world, for my wife, Sofia’s family is from a town near the city where you live. Yes, it was my beautiful 4-year-old daughter holding my hand. Her name is Juliette. However, the woman you saw with us was a temporary nanny and someone I barely knew.

I must tell you my wife has passed away. She left me with the most beautiful gift of life, my precious daughter. We came to England to visit her family whom haven’t met my Daughter yet.

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought of you in all the 5 years I had been married. Indeed, I dreamed of you on a number of occasions. But I would too be lying if I didn’t tell you that I still love the woman I married, the mother of my child.

I am so grateful for you contacting me. And, for that brief moment our paths crossed that day. Somehow there was a reason, perhaps closure, but perhaps not.

With Respect & Love,

Benjamin

___

Analisa:

Dearest Benjamin,

It has been 8 months since I received your letter. I delayed in writing you because my heart was aching so for your loss, for your pain. I selfishly wept for the things that we had lost.  Things we can never get back.

I started letters to you so many times, and time after time I crumpled them up and threw them away. My words of comfort sounding hollow compared to the tragic loss of your love. I truly ached for you sweet Ben.

I have seen you several times out with your beautiful daughter. I have wanted to stop you a dozen times and embrace you. Meet this child that has totally stolen her daddy’s heart. But alas, I could not bring myself to interrupt a moment between you and her. It wasn’t, isn’t my place.

I realized something while walking in my Grandmother’s garden about 3 months after your letter. Our time is past. I cried myself to sleep that night. Weeping one last time for my loss, our loss. In that moment though I found myself free. Free from the past that I have so long held deep inside me as the only way I could be happy. The only possible way to ever be loved or find love in my eyes was to wait for you.

I write this to you because in the time since our brief crossing of paths my heart has finally been stolen away by someone. It was so strange, so foreign for me to feel that hunger and want for someone. It has been so many years since I felt the attentions of a man that intrigued and interested me. Someone who shares my interests. Someone to make me laugh and smile. I truly never believed that anyone, but you could do those things.

I was so wrong. I can say that I have never been so happy to be dreadfully wrong about something.

You told me once that you hoped that if I was to find a love that you hoped they would love me and treat me the way that you would had you not let me go. Indeed, this has been found for me, my heart is full and happy and I finally feel like I can let you go.

This letter was the hardest thing to write when it seemed as though fate had deemed it possible for us to try again. I promised myself a proper letter of goodbye to you. To tell you that I will always love you. That I will keep our love, our sweet childhood dreams in my heart always. I pray that you will think of me fondly, as I will always think of you.

My dearest Benjamin, please be happy. Spoil your beautiful daughter rotten, and perhaps in time we may be able to see each other again one day as the very best of friends. I will always be here, and I am but a letter away if you need a friend.

Rather than say goodbye I say farewell for goodbye means that we shall never speak again, and I know that someday we will.

Always,

Annalisa

 

 

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