Since The Letter Writer Long Ago Departed This Orb, It Is Offered Anonymously

Okay, so we don't know where all this is going. Nor do we know what our allotment is in this grab bag they call life. But we have had a wonderful thing, and with a little luck, we'll keep it going -- maybe the rest of the way.

For now, let me say I love you with all my heart. I want you and need you. I have my own fantasies about the future, and you're IT, baby. You're IT. All I need to do is squeeze your hand to know it. It's that simple.

Think of me where you're going but not so much that it gets in your way. Have a ball, but be comforted by the thought that somebody back home loves you very much, and misses the daylights out of you.

I'll take good care of our town until you come back and help me run it. OK?

The Navy used to have a special signal for times like this. It was, "God speed and a safe journey."

It fits.

I can remember wandering through a department store, looking for some little thing that might make you smile. And that's how I found the little Viking. The saleslady still doesn't know why it meant so much to me.

How could she know? How could anybody know how much the little things mean ...the cigars, the easy smiles, the warm wonderful hugs?

But is there a way to tell you -- you especially --how much this has meant to a man hungering for TLC? I don't think so. And yet I think you know, without my trying to put it in words, how life has come alive again. Now it has taken on meaning.

How much easier the mornings are, knowing there's a chance I'll see you. I look out the window at the office, and I see the plane leaving for Bimini, but it's not just the morning plane. It's the plane that will take us there, one of these days, so we can wander along the beach, barefooted, splash in that beautiful blue water, and forget there's another world out there somewhere.

You're off to Europe again with your old friend Georgie and her mother. I'd think about us, even though it's late in the game, for us to have our walks in the rain, a quiet time for music at the end of a ragged day, a good laugh about shorts with racing stripes?

Do you remember the feeling when it turned out our staterooms on the Hanseatic turned out to be adjoining? And when we sang "To Each His Own" to Haines and Harriet before we even knew our lives clicked? When we danced our first dance closely at Bill Tucker's place?

And so now you leave me, I hope the trip will be everything you want it to be. You wrote the Maxwell House advertising campaign for Georgie's client so this is a good way for her to do payback, take you along with her still-with-it mom to Europe.

See everything there is to see and then come home. Come back to me and that little doll of yours, because we will miss you. A ton. And in our own way, we'll hug you so tight you'll know how we feel about you.