In sorting through my documents trying to clean up my hard drive by deleting what I no longer used, I came across one that said-- fairy tales can come true. I didn't remember what it was about and when I read it, I got curious-- How'd this work out for these people later after a late in life rediscovery of romance.
Turns out the lady, who is a writer, had several books out to tell what happened and I bought two of them for my Kindle (links at the end of the article). Don't you just love the internet and Kindle :). I have no idea when I'll have time to read them, but I definitely will someday as they look like books I can relate to not just as a writer but also as a woman.
First is the story. I almost never ever post someone else's words, but is going to be one of those exceptions. I think I must have gotten it from a friend's email although I am not sure. It seems from an email since it was printed in a fancy font. Checking properties, it said I put it on my computer in April 2012. I have to take the word of my computer as I had forgotten the story totally but enjoyed it when I read it again.
Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you're young at heart. Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
All true fairy tales begin “Once upon a time.” And so must this love story, which began more than 2 decades ago.
A Portland writer met a doctor from Stockholm, Sweden, in a San Francisco restaurant and ended up touring the city together, walking and talking and talking. The next weekend he would be in Seattle, so she followed, walking and talking and talking. The two platonic friends parted, saying they wouldn’t write. As the woman drove south, she had the strange feeling of leaving her best friend.
Yet their letters crossed in the mail and continued to across the continents, sharing careers, families, philosophy, their mutual love of nature. Surely they would never meet again, so the letters were honest and without guile.
Two years passed and the Swedish doctor came to work in Seattle for a year. The man and woman met again and began to fall in love. But he had a family to whom he was committed; she acknowledged that and honored his integrity. Once again they reluctantly said farewell, and she went on to marry another.
Over the years she would wonder about that man and ponder the ‘what ifs?’ and the ‘if onlys.’
Nearly 20 years later the woman had a dream the man stood in her kitchen with his wife. The wife-- without sadness or anger-- was turning her husband over to the woman. With a start, the woman awakened: What could this dream mean, and what on earth was happening in his life?
At the very same time on the other side of the world, the man typed the woman’s name into the Internet. Nothing. For months he browsed. And then on this side of the globe, she typed in his. Finally they connected. His wife had died. The woman had divorced. And neither had forgotten the other.
Once more, the letters and now e-mails crossed. Early one July morning the woman got a call. She hadn’t heard the man’s voice in 20 years. He was at a medical conference in Denver! Within 3 hours she was on a plane, risking everything on a spontaneous surprise visit. In a convention room filled with 300 people, she found him. Twenty years spun back in time, and they were young again; nothing had changed. Nothing but circumstances, that is.
In early November, the man flew the woman to his home in Sweden for a two-week visit, which felt like a honeymoon. They went shopping together to decorate the new home he had just built. They wound through the narrow, cobbled streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town Stockholm) and clambered up four flights of a centuries-old building to meet his 85-year-old mother, who greeted the woman with a hug. She met his 3 grown children, who thanked her for making their father so happy and presented her with a gift upon her departure. She met his best friends, and together they laughed like old companions.
Together, they visited the cemetery on All Soul’s Night, when families light candles and small lanterns on the graves. He spoke of the numbness, the pain, the daily walk through the woods to this green gravestone. At the wife’s grave, the woman burst into tears: “I always wanted you, but not at this price, never at this price!” The man and woman held each other and came to understand that “For all things, there is a season”
Each day he brought her breakfast in bed. Once more, they walked and talked and talked, and the days were seamless, fluid, without effort. They cleaned and they cooked and they entertained. They listened to music and read aloud. They lit candles morning and evening against the cold November darkness. They traipsed the woods and he showed her favorite places: the meadow the young parents cleared each spring for the children’s maypole festivities, the swimming rock, the enchanted hollow tree where the kids once played.
They threw supplies into a duffel bag and climbed into his boat for the hour-and-a-half trip through the Stockholm Archipelago of 24,000 islands to his century-old cabin. The Baltic suddenly turned angry and wild, and she clung tightly to keep from being thrown from the banging boat while he steered them safely on. I would trust my life to this man, she thought. I already am.
They hunkered in the one-room cabin as the wind pounded a the red plank door. As the corner fire warmed the room, they stripped off layers of clothing and loneliness. Candlelight reflected in the tiny windowpanes and each other’s eyes in a wilderness on the edge of the world.
Each day they laughed and loved and learned more about the other. Each day they marveled that life just couldn’t get better. And each day proved them joyously wrong.
And these two people who so savored living alone agreed they would live together. It was as obvious as eating and breathing. “We have two wonderful places to live in, we love each other and the rest is just details,” the man said.
And the woman nodded, confident that the fates that had brought them together over 20 years and 6000 miles wouldn’t fail them now.
At last, after years of writing about other people’s fairy-tale endings, the woman is living her own.
Wish me luck. Jann Mitchell
She wrote three books relating to this (she has more than those out ), but I only bought the following which expand on what she wrote above and then take her to Sweden and her new life. I hope someday to set aside time to read them as well as all the others I've stored there for a time I can just read for pleasure. My life right now is tied up in research, editing and hopefully soon beginning a new work. But there will come a day I just want to sit and read. The books on my Kindle await that day.
You know the fact that she had this experience and that we can vicariously share in it through her stories, it doesn't mean we have to or want to rush out and try to get some of that for ourselves. Romance is not about buying a product. It's not about being jealous of what another got that we might not have. It is about a certain kind of energy. I think this is a good and encouraging energy which makes our own lives better as we take it in and we don't have to run off on an adventure to get it. It's waiting in books.