"You are so lovely, darling, that I often wonder how it is possible that you are mine," the letter reads

By Alexandra Zaslow
Updated February 19, 2015 06:00 AM

In 1945, while fighting in World War II, Bill Moore wrote his beloved girlfriend, Bernadean, a love letter. Seventy years later, the recently rediscovered letter is back in the hands of the still-smitten writer – and serves as a poignant reminder of his lost love.

“I was really surprised, because I had no idea it would show up in the way it did,” Moore told ABC 7 in Denver after a determined stranger found the letter and made sure it was returned to its rightful owner.

When Ilene Ortiz brought home a record she had purchased at a thrift shop in Colorado, she was surprised to find a love letter inside.

“I thought, ‘This is such a romantic letter and someone should have it,’ ” Ortiz also told ABC 7 in Denver after contacting the news station for help locating the owner.

Six months later, she got in touch with the couple’s daughter, Melinda Gale, who couldn’t believe her eyes.

Turns out, Bernadean had saved all the letters Bill sent her, but they got lost after she died in 2010, after 63 years of marriage. Gale and her father, now 90, are grateful to now have this one.

“Most of their dating was through letters in the war,” Gale told the outlet. “I can’t even imagine their relationship and how hard it would have been to love one another so very much and to never know what was going to happen.”

The letter from 20-year-old Bill reads, “My darling, lovable, alluring, Bernadean. I ran out of space, but I could have written a lot more adjectives describing you. You are so lovely, darling, that I often wonder how it is possible that you are mine. I’m really the luckiest guy in the world, you know. And you are the reason, Bernadean. Even your name sounds lovely to me. It’s just when I get so horribly, terribly lonely for you that I write letters like this. I have never been so homesick for anyone in my life as I am for you.”

“They had so many great, wonderful years together that just going back to the beginning is always something that’s an amazing thing,” Gale said. “This is the most wonderful gift.”

Seventy years after first penning the letter, it’s clear Bill’s passion for Bernadean still burns bright.

“I loved her,” he told ABC 7 through tears. “And she loved me. That’s all I can tell you, that it’s a heartache not being with her all the time.”

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