The first time I heard this song – it stunned me, it devastated me. It completely took me unawares, and yet I was completely aware of what it was about. I remember being glad that I was by myself, because – how to explain this feeling, how to explain the tears in…more words?
My heart is the candle and your heart the flame that burns with a fire so true
are my favorite words in this song. When I learned about the history of the song, and found out that what inspired it was a very special letter.
It was almost too perfect. A love letter, written by a man facing battle, uncertainty and the possibility of never seeing his wife and sons again. Im not even sure in this day and age how many 32 year olds would be capable of this type of depth of emotion. I guess that is what we get for trying to cram everything into 140 characters. It truly is one of the most beautiful letters I have ever read. I wonder if he (and she) knew he was a wordsmith or if it was a special blessing from God for Sarah to have those words to remember her Sullivan by.
Something that I read about this famous love letter was that – there were 5 copies of the letter none of them written in Ballou’s hand. Also he apparently never sent the letter, but it was found in his trunk. Lots of questions remain about its authenticity. It does not stop me from believing that even if it weren’t Sarah and Sullivan -it was someone else going through the horrors of war who felt the exact same way. Perhaps they could not express it so eloquently, but they felt the same. Someone somewhere felt the same. Someone whispered their loved one’s name with their last breath. I have no doubt.