Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Love Letters’ Category

There are Several Kinds of Love

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

I was astounded when I came across this letter from John Steinbeck to his son Thom. Thom, a teenager at the time, wrote his father and told him he was in love with a girl named Susan. John wrote his son back with a thorough and beautiful explanation of and celebration of love. I recommend reading the whole letter. Below are the parts that spoke to me most:

“There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.”

“If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.”

“It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.”

Thanksgiving Love Letter

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In early December, a good friend of mine shared with me a love letter he wrote just before Thanksgiving. My reaction, “Can I post it on my blog?” (in other words, I love it!) He was flattered but wanted to make sure it was okay with the recipient first. Permission has been granted, names have been changed, and I gladly share this short, sweet, lovely, amusing letter with you. It’s the only Thanksgiving themed love letter I’ve ever seen. Applause!

Dear You,

When I was 5, 6 & 7 years old, my Grandma used to dress up my cousins, brothers & me in pilgrim & Indian costumes, give us index cards, and direct us to act out a play about the story of Thanksgiving (or the sanitized, pretty version, not the one where most of the pilgrims on the Mayflower died and didn’t survive the first winter, then ended up killing most of the Native Americans through germs and warfare, or buying their real estate for trinkets).

It’s been a long while since I’ve given thanks for more than my mom, brothers, good health, and the usual things. On top of our scorching hot chemistry, the decency and mutual respect with which we treat each other–embracing each other for who we are–is something I’ve never experienced with anyone else. For that, for getting to know you, for time spent with you and exploring each other, I am thankful. Here’s to more adventures together.


Damn Those Letters!

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Usually, when I come across a story about someone finding letters from the 1940s it’s a triumph. They are love letters between grandma and grandpa during World War II, or they tell some other glorious story from the recent past. In the case of a 96-year-old Italian woman, it was damming evidence. Her 99-year-old husband (of 77 years!) found letters to a secret lover she had written in the 1940s. He divorced her promptly. Yikes! At first I thought he overreacted, but now I think he was looking for an excuse to leave. The article says this:

“The uncovering of the letters inside an old chest of drawers was the final straw for a relationship that had already been rocky: 10 years ago, the husband moved out to live with one of the sons, but returned weeks later.”

Rocky! After 60+ years. Oh my, marriage is an endless source of fascination. She begged him to stay but he wouldn’t hear of it. After all, he’s 99 and Italian. There are wild oats to be sown.

And with that, I bid everyone a very Happy New Year!

The Letter Went Wonderfully

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

When I write letters for people, I rarely know the outcome. Sometimes people tell me they like what I’ve written and sometimes it’s crickets after I send my final draft. I wrote a letter for a young gentleman last week and he went so far as to tell me how it was received by his lady love.

“The letter went wonderfully! I slipped it into her bag just before she left the car at the airport and she found it sometime later in one of the TSA lines. She began to read it and just started crying (happy crying) but she then took notice that everyone else was paying attention to her haha. Thanks again.”

What a good feeling this is! I have no doubt that her reaction would have been exactly the same had he written the letter entirely on his own. I just gave him a head start.

Moving On

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend. I spent my weekend moving, which isn’t necessarily fun, but the end result is good. I moved from Prospect Park, PA, which is near the Philadelphia airport, to the Fairmount area of Philadelphia. They are 15 miles away and a world apart.

In Prospect Park I lived with my sister, and I left because her fiancé moved in. Many people have asked me if I felt kicked out of my home—not at all! I’m excited for the change in scenery. Plus I think that our home in PP is perfect for a couple just starting out. In Fairmount I’ll live with my cousin Kate. You remember Kate. My travel buddy.

In Fairmount, I’m in walking distance of both the Philadelphia Art Museum and one of the oldest prisons in the country—not to mention lots of yoga studios, bars, used book stores, and cafes. I’ll fit right in. Because of the move, the subsequent need to get settled, and my sister’s bachelorette party, which is this weekend, I won’t be blogging for the rest of the week. Before I go, however, I want to share this precious letter my sister wrote and gave to me on moving day. She doesn’t like her handwriting so she’s figured out a way to slide small thank you notes through her printer. Transcript is below the card image. I’ll be back next week!



My Dearest Sister,

On this, the day you move out, I have something I wish to say to you. I want you to know how much I have enjoyed living with you these past 4+ years! We really had to grow a lot when we first moved in together, but we did and I’m so glad we did. In hindsight, I believe it was such necessary, fundamental and lovely growth for both of us.

I also want you to know I will really miss you—I will miss you singing to me as I ascend the stairs each morning. I will miss fighting over whether to watch America’s Next Top Model or Bones. And I will miss simply having you around all of the time.

However, I think and I hope you will be very happy in the City with Kate. And I hope and pray that wonderful things happen to you in this next chapter of you life, or maybe it’s just the next chapter of you living situation—either way. So I wish you many blessings and much more lovely growth as you go. But remember, I will always be here for you, and wherever I am, you will have a home there also!

Much love,

Window Shopping

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

If you’re reading this, it means you survived the rapture. Hooray! It was a gorgeous doomsday here in the northeast—the most gorgeous day we had all week.

On Friday, reader Mike sent me this photo his daughter took at the Tiffany & Co store where she works. I’m guessing it’s an ad? It’s a fun one! Transcript below the photo.


Hello Maisie,

Did you know that last night was our 18th date?

On our 5th I told you I loved you.

On our 9th you said you didn’t know what love is.

On our 10th date. . .

Well we both know what.

On our 13th date you said love is anarchistic nonsense.

Last night I do believe you used the “L” word.

I rest my case.

– D.

In other news . . . I highly recommend you read the essay on Modern Love Rejects today. It’s about a journal turned blog and a blog that ended up wreaking havoc on the blogger’s dating life.

Two Meaningful Messages

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Yesterday, reader Mike left this comment with regards to typewriters:

“We have a ‘vintage’ portable typewriter with a single sheet of paper in it down in our basement. We type single-line love notes to each other on it.”

That is the cutest typewriter story I have ever heard. It’s reason to get one!

Another reader, who shall remain nameless, wrote me this earlier in the week:

“I randomly found that lovely video of you reading from your book on Youtube. There was a girl I’d basically been besotted with ever since first year, and I finally decided to bite the bullet. I’d been toying with the idea for a while, and when I saw your video I just figured it was now or never. So on Valentine’s Day I sent her a short letter, telling her how much I admired her, how much I loved spending time with her, and would she do me the honour of doing so on a date sometime that week. Well, suffice to say that I was quickly shot down in typical “I only see you as a friend” style. Normally, it would have killed me on the spot right there and then. But when I read her response, to my utter disbelief, I was fine. Sure, it sucked like rejection always does, but I was still standing and wasn’t chronically depressed.”

Naturally, this message warmed my heart. Often times I put stories out into the world on paper or video and wonder if I’ll regret it. I never have, and this is why. If just one person can take the story and use it to his or her own advantage or inspiration, then it was worth it. Thank you for writing me kind reader! (This reader is from England, in case you were wondering about his use of the word “besotted.”) This is the video of which he speaks.