An everlasting love
eBay is full of weird, whacky and wonderful finds, but this wooden framed etching of Beethoven’s house is by far my favourite, but not for the obvious reasons. Ludwig van Beethoven pushed the limits of music composition in terms of emotion, formality, and length, making him one of the most important composers of all time. But that isn’t why this is my favourite find of all time. Although I admire the works of the great man, on the back of the etching is a handwritten love letter dating all the way back to 1935 and that is where my intrigue lies.
I purchased the etching for $30 about ten years ago, but I truly believe it is priceless. It reaffirms my passion for antiquing: it’s not the monetary value of aged pieces, but rather the history that accompanies them. Sometimes that story is obvious, but sometimes it’s up to your imagination. That’s why I adore this love letter. I can only piece together what I know about that period of time, but personal details of Lois, the writer, have no bounds of wonder.
In the midst of The Great Depression and just years before the official beginning of World War II, Lois made sure he let his love know that they mean more to him than anyone else he’ll ever know (his words, not mine); that no matter how near or how far he may be from his love, his feelings never falter. They go the distance. They expand and adapt, just as Beethoven did with his music, which shows Lois put in a lot of effort to source the perfect platform to host his letter; one that truly supported his message. Perhaps he was preparing to serve his country in war. Perhaps it was a forbidden love and his message had to be hidden behind a beautiful etching. Perhaps he had to move far away for work. Or perhaps there were no excruciating circumstances, but Lois wanted to share his love in a romantic way anyway. I’ll never know, but that doesn’t stop me pondering.
It’s one of a kind. A slice of history. A peek into a stranger’s life from almost a century ago. And now that letter sits in prime position on my bedside table. It’s a reminder that no matter what is going on in my world, love can and will always persevere. Lois’ love lives on in my life, and now in yours too. And, well, who doesn’t love a great love story?