A love letter lost & found again, 42 years later

A love letter lost & found again, 42 years later
This past week, a special connection was made between two families because of what the 1974 tornadoes that ripped through WAVE Country delivered - a lost letter. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
This past week, a special connection was made between two families because of what the 1974 tornadoes that ripped through WAVE Country delivered - a lost letter. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Last week commemorated the anniversary of the deadly 1974 tornadoes that ripped through WAVE Country.

This past week, a special connection was made between two families because of what the tornado delivered.

It's the story of the traveling love letter.

"Dearest darling. Honey, received your most welcome letters," the letter begins.

It's no ordinary love letter though. John Lang says he knew that in his gut when he found it on the ground in 1974.

"I just realized that there was something real special about it," Lang said. "I could see that it had some military stationary."

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He was right. It was a letter from then-Sgt. Waverly Waters, addressed to his darling, Ms. Wuanita Ricketts. A longing love letter deposited into Lang's father's backyard by the deadly tornado.

"I always wondered who was the original writer, the author of the letter," Lang said.

Fueled by curiosity Lang searched for the owner for more than 40 years, until he came across Iris Waters and Regina Varney just last week.

The two daughters of Sgt. Waters. Also the two daughters who had lost their father's barn, and everything in it, to the tornado. Iris Waters says her mother kept a wooden chest filled with letters she had exchanged with her husband back when he was in World War II.

"All the love letters were upstairs in that trunk and it was gone after the tornado," Waters said. "There was nothing. We just assumed that we would never, ever, ever see another letter that dad had written to mom again."

Like a sudden burst of sunshine, they got a call from Lang. He wanted to return a letter. It may be just one of hundreds, but one is enough to see how much their parents were in love.

"November 27th, 1943 from Italy. Dearest darling. Honey, received your most welcomed letters," Sgt. Waverly Waters wrote. "Honey, I do love you, even if you don't hear from me very often."

The sisters don't have their parents with them today, but thanks to one man miles and miles away, they're keeping a slice of their love stored in a little envelope.

"He loved his country, he loved God and he loved his family," Varney said.

The power of love never ceases to amaze.

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