Sex & Relationships

A love story: The lost letters of Dot and Lynn

A bundle of letters washed up on the beach reveals a real-life love story.

Letters tied with ribbon, Feb 13, p109

Photo by Art-4-Art/Getty Images

It turns out that love truly can conquer all — even a ferocious hurricane. Amid the debris that washed ashore in the wake of Hurricane Sandy was a stack of letters, 57 to be exact, tied together with pink ribbon.

The discovery was made by 14-year-old Patrick Chaney as he combed the beach, surveying the damage from the storm in New Jersey with his mother. They took the letters home and dried them by the fireplace.

What awaited within the pages was a love story that began 70 years ago. Dorothy “Dot” Fallon penned the letters to her sweetheart, Lynn Farnham, in the six years leading up to their 1948 wedding. She was at nursing school in New Jersey while he was stationed in the Pacific.

“My darling Lynn, just a few lines this morning, as this is going to be another one of my many busy days,” writes Dot. In a time when it’s possible to be constantly connected to our loved ones—via texts, email, Facebook, video chats — it’s remarkable to reflect on the commitment and romance of letter writing. A bundle of Facebook messages will certainly never wash ashore or be passed down through generations.

Dot and Lynn were married for 43 years until Lynn died in 1991. Dot—who is 91 years old and in a nursing home—has since been reunited with the letters, and her neice is reading them to her.

“Really Lynn, it doesn’t matter where we live, as long as we can call it a home of our own,” she writes in another letter. Their love affair spanned half a century and carried them through a long-distance relationship, two children and now, Hurricane Sandy.