Photo of Frederick Claflin
There is a love story I want to tell you. It is something that I may not have gotten permission to share but because I know their story is worth everybody’s attention, I will still go ahead and share it with you.
This is a story about our friends, R. and L., who live in the Southern coastal part ofMassachusetts. R works as an accountant as well as a Market America consultant while L works in the retail industry. R and L continue to share a love story that I always think worth creating a romance film out of it. They are both in their late forties, living gracefully and loving better each day! They live to love and their love lives with them.
Their love story came through a conversation one evening while we were at another friend’s house.
About twenty years ago, R (male) was stationed in the Philippines as a US Marine Corps. He was very young and in his late teens when he decided to serve the country and luckily was based in the Subic Bay area, Central Luzon, Philippines. At that time, L (female) was 18 and was working for her aunt’s little grocery store near the base. She was there for only one reason, to earn money for a living. Little did she know that everyday, there was this man – R, who was keeping a close eye on her.
The young man R would go to this sari-sari store almost everyday in hopes of getting to know L better. At first, he started going to the store to buy a bottle of beer here and something to snack on and would attempt to talk to L in English. L, who can understand English was very intimated with the young GI’s accent and handsome face. She tried to ignore him the first few times but the young man R was very persistent. She brushed him off and told him to go away – but the young man, won’t! Instead of leaving her alone, he continued to pay her a visit and pretend that he needed something from the store just to catch a glimpse of L’s beauty. He continued to do that – while she wants to ignore him. All that L. wanted to do at that time was to earn money and not be involved with a stranger, let alone an American who might be gone in a bliss!
Yet, he knew he was falling in love with her. He knew his heart belongs to her, but he just doesn’t know how to win her. Finally, after several attempts and showing her how serious he is in establishing a romantic relationship with her, she gave in. She fell for him – his handsome face, his dedication and the way he was seriously pursuing her. Soon, they were together, secretly – away from the knowledge of L’s aunt, whose only vision for L is to finish school and get a better life. They were seeing each other, loving and being intimate.
Until, one night that changed it all.
R heard the breaking news that in less than 10 hours they were going to be deployed toVietnam. It was an abrupt announcement and he tried his best to look for her and tell her about the sudden plan. He went to look for her but he couldn’t. The following day, he left thePhilippineswithout saying goodbye to her. He left with a heavy heart and a child in his girlfriend’s womb.
Meanwhile, L was devastated. She carried on with her life without any idea what happened to her beau and without knowing exactly the location of R. She carried their child in her womb for 9 months, oftentimes hiding it from her relatives, whom she didn’t want them to know that she was a young mother out of wedlock. She took the embarrassment, the hurt and the pain of being a single Mom. She took odd jobs to raise her only son. She moved on without hoping that R would ever show up, let alone marry her someday. She shunned men from her life.
Meanwhile, R was back to the United States and has been doing his best to reconnect with her – but there was no luck. He kept on trying but he was unsuccessful in his attempts. He remained single and hopeful that one day he will see L again.
That went on for almost twenty years!
Until one day, when L was working in Japan she got a phone call from her aunt in the Philippines telling her that R called and wanted to talk to her! That was the first conversation they had with each other for almost two decades! But the love was still there. The love they shared remained where they left off.
L finally left Japan and went back to thePhilippinesto meet R. At that time, their son was already a teenager and was delighted to see his father. L and R have been reunited by their love. It was their faith and their love that kept the bind between them stronger. Far and across distances, they have come to show each other their love and the feelings they still share even after years of not seeing, hearing. They kept their hopes – and their faith, that one day – their TRUE LOVE will come back!
Now, over ten years of being together – they surely are still in their honeymoon stage! And when you hear them call each other “Dear” you know that every single letter of that word really brings back a story of real and authentic love, faith and commitment.
To our friends, R and L – may your love continue to inspire us to strengthen our love, our hope and our lives! Your story will always remind of that beautiful things will shine through love and faith!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!