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Wow, it’s Day 10 & the last day of our #StoryPeopleWithLove contest featuring EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE. We can’t thank you enough for sharing your stories with us & the entire StoryPeople community. So fun!

Love takes many shapes – your stories not only reaffirmed but also celebrated this. Love is about ourselves, family, friends, lovers, teachers, siblings, pets, & everything in between. Love is easy & hard. Silly & serious. Spoken & unspoken. Old & new. The list goes on. Love is also something that can’t be squelched by distance. Today’s winner MaryAnn Shupe reminds us of this.

Here’s MaryAnn’s story (ahhh, yes, a delightful story of Love Letters for Valentine’s Day:)

“Ten years ago there was a five-month period when my husband and I had to live apart. Paul was starting a new job in Wisconsin, I was finishing a teaching post in Maine, and our youngest son was finishing his senior year in high school. Those were full and sometimes difficult days for me. I was working full time, packing up the house, single parenting, and dealing with more snow in March than I could ever remember. I even dealt with a flooded basement. It was all pretty daunting.

But every day, from February 28th to June 29th, 2007, Paul wrote and mailed me a hand-written letter. He filled me in on how his job was going, things he was discovering in the neighborhood, descriptions of his new favorite trees, or what was blooming in the yard. There were love notes, words of encouragement, reflections, ramblings about sports, or just something to make me laugh.

The letters were often the bright spot of my day. They were a piece of Paul’s heart and a glimpse into the new life ahead for us. And they kept coming. Sometimes they piled up for days because I just didn’t have time to read them or I was too grumpy to even open them. At those times I wanted help, not a letter. At one point, I put a pile of them in the recycling and woke up in the middle of the night and frantically rescued them. How could I even consider throwing them away?

I still have the letters…all 121 precious, every day expressions of love from the love of my life.”

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