05 love endures passiton

Photo by Susan Kirsch on Unsplash

To download these free stories, please enter the newspaper publication you represent with your email address. Thanks!

Please enter your organization and email above before downloading these articles.

Download PDF Word .doc Download Photo .jpg

Pass It On®

Love and Healing

By The Foundation for a Better Life

Nelda was 23 years old and pregnant with her third daughter during the Great Depression, living in a hardscrabble western town with hard-packed dirt roads lined with desert flowers that somehow managed to push up through the cracked clay. Her husband found work on the Hoover Dam dangling from ropes with a hundred-pound drill. He died on the job. Nelda got the news two days later and sunk into a deep melancholy that would resurface throughout her life. With three small girls to take care of she worked as a postmaster at the small-town office that doubled as a general store. Neighbors dropped off bits of their harvest, widow’s mite offerings in those lean times. There wasn’t a lot of time to offer support and condolences; everybody was working sunup to sundown. But one friend suggested Nelda ease her pain by writing to servicemen injured in the war. It was a pen pal program begun by the Red Cross. So, Nelda introduced herself, not sure what to say.

Ross had been in the Merchant Marines in Canada. While working on a boiler, the thing exploded and injured his leg. He’d walk with a limp the rest of his life. He received Nelda’s letter while convalescing in Vancouver. And that’s how it began.

A year’s worth of letters made their way from the Western desert to the temperate coastal clime and back. She sent photographs of little girls in pinafores with sun-dried faces beside a young mother who smiled shyly at the camera. He wrote poetically of the rainsqualls that roll in from the Northern Pacific. Conversations took months to complete. Here were two people, each with a piece missing trying to fill each other’s spaces. There was time to respect each other’s scars, to embrace without the physical contact that can sometimes hurt if you’re not careful. They began to understand each other, to find love between lines. And so Ross wrote the letter that would change everything: Will you marry me? Love longs for answers. Love endures the wide spaces between hearts. Finally, a scented letter came. Ross hurriedly packed a few bags, including his tools and his best shirt, and drove down the coast; somewhere at the top of California he turned inland and ended up between Nevada and New Mexico.

There was a small wedding inside a clay brick church. Hand cut doilies and music from a Victrola. He would lead as they danced, supporting her thin body and fragile emotions. She would be patient with his slow left leg.

Ross opened a service station and thrilled Nelda with daring speed on long dirt roads in his automobile. He raised the girls and they called him daddy. He patted their soft heads with his big hands and walked the floors with Nelda when her darkness returned and anguish turned her breaths into sobs. Like the desert flowers, they always seemed to push through, enough love between them to bring on the beauty of another new day.

Love...PassItOn.com

LOVE...PassItOn.com

Copyright © 2021 | The Foundation for a Better Life | All rights reserved.

Pass It On®

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

  email

Your Comments

No comments have been made yet. Be the first!


Here are some other inspiring newspaper articles you might like.
Reach for the Stars…

Reach for the Stars…
No Matter How Long it Takes.

The Least Likely to Help.

The Least Likely to Help.
How a bedridden attorney still fights for the rights of others.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.
The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.
The Hidden Figure who Helped Put a man on the Moon.

Being a Mother…

Being a Mother…
The roundabout journey to a dream fulfilled.

Road Trip Across America.

Road Trip Across America.
A discovery of what unites us.

Everybody Gets on Base.

Everybody Gets on Base.
Measuring the victories of life, one single at a time.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.
The story of a young woman who dreamed of pushing the boundaries and now designs launch systems for NASA.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.
Kaelin Clay made an unpardonable error in football. And he owned it.

An Impossible Journey.

An Impossible Journey.
How John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in wooden boats.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.
How humor and history go together in this classroom.

Taking Responsibility.

Taking Responsibility.
How one high school student supported her family during the pandemic.

Stay Curious.

Stay Curious.
The remarkable underwater life of Jacques Cousteau.

Born to Make a Difference.

Born to Make a Difference.
Kids who are changing their world.

The World Awaits You.

The World Awaits You.
The story of the first woman to circumnavigate the world.