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DEAREST YOSHIKO, It seems like only yesterday that we met. It was my first day at Itazuke High School and you were standing there so confidently, talking to your friends. I kept glancing your way and finally as our eyes met, you greeted me with a soft smile. You were the most beautiful young woman that I had ever seen and the warmth which rushed through my heart told me that you were so very special. Little did I know at that moment, the rest of my life would be spent loving you.

I have so many fond memories of those years which we shared together in Japan. Our first date and even our first kiss. The anticipation of being with you as I walked through the narrow streets of Takamiya leading to your house. The walks we took under moonlight skies, dancing ever so close to the songs of Johnny Mathis, talking about the things which seemed most important at the time. But the memory which I treasure most was the night I asked you to marry me and you said yes. That was the happiest moment of my life. And from that night forwards, my life was never quite the same again. My heart, my soul, my very being, was devoted to loving you. And the days we shared from that day on would be forever embedded in my mind.

Spring turned into summer and another season of loving you slipped into the past. And then your father's work called him back to the states. When you told me that you had to return with him, I never gave up hope of being with you in the near future and continuing our plans to be married. I never told you this, but as I watched your plane climb higher and disappear into the distant skies, tears came to my eyes and I couldn't stop their flow. From that day forward, solitude and loneliness became my best friends. In the days and months ahead, my letters were answered almost in silence. And the few which were answered never contained words relating to our love. My mind told me that the love you once had for me was gone, but in my heart I knew that I would love you for as long as I lived.

Not long afterwards, Dad was transferred to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. I had a new home. I don't remember now how many times I wrote to you. I only remember the emptiness I felt without you. Later I married someone I knew for less that eight weeks and became a father the following year. You married shortly thereafter. I had no way of knowing that you still loved me and you had no way of knowing that I still loved you. Over the years to come, however, we never lost contact with each other. And with each letter and each phone call, we only confirmed what we knew in our hearts already.

There were so many, many times over the years when I would search for a secluded place and let my thoughts wander back in time to Japan and the moments spent with you there. Oh, how I wished that I could have seen your smile or heard the laughter of your voice once again. And the emptiness inside would bring tears to my eyes and a pain to my heart that it had never known before. Christmas would find me alone late at night, gazing upon the lights on the decorated tree, with you in my thoughts. And each year on your birthday, I would whisper,"Happy Birthday Yoshiko....I love you." And at night , I would gaze up into the heavens and wonder if you were watching them also. And the number of times over the years which I thought of you became the same as the stars in the heavens.

My life has been devoted to loving you and even as I read your letters once again tonight, I long to be with you . It has been so many years since I last saw your face, but in my mind I can see you as if it were only yesterday.

The years have past so swiftly. When I look into the mirror, I see the face of a man old in age now. But when I look at your pictures...I feel the heart of a young boy. You are still there in my heart and in my thoughts and in my dreams.

Maybe tonight you will think of me....And if you do, I pray that it will be with love and remembrance of the young man who so long ago promised to love you with all of his heart and soul untill time no longer existed.

Goodnight sweet Yoshiko...I love you.