MONCLOVA TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - In the year 1965, nothing could hinder the love between Paulette and Thomas Gunn, even when Tom was deployed in the army for the first year and a half of their marriage.
To keep their love alive, they sent letters to one another, every single day. Needless to say, they were filled with romance and often started with words from Tom like this: "My darling Paulette, Hi honey, I love you. Did you know that? You better."
Paulette describes that time with a smile on her face while she reads the letter aloud. She saved hundreds of them, for safe keeping, but little did she know those letters would play a huge impact on her life nearly four decades later.
Tom and Paulette had four children together and more than a dozen grandchildren, but during their 40 year marriage, they began to grow distant and eventually divorced in 2005.
"We had a lot of good times but we had a lot of bad times too," Paulette said.
Five years later Paulette was single and wanted to pitch the letters. But before she did, she contacted Tom, who was also unmarried, and asked if they wanted to read the letters together one last time.
"I have to admit, I did it on the pretense and hoping what it did to him what it did to me," she laughed.
And it did.
While rereading the letters they remembered the year 1965 again and it reignited their love so much that they got remarried in March 2011.
But their time together was short. Tom was diagnosed with dementia and his health quickly declined.
He passed in April 2017 after spending those six years together again.
He loved her so much, that what he spent his final breaths uttering to Paulette before he passed.
"About the last, I don't know five or ten minutes, he had turned his head toward me, looked at me with his eyes. Right in my eyes and he said, 'love...you' and I said 'And I love you," she recounted.
"The last six years were probably the best years of our marriage," she said smiling.
"I wear both rings," Paulette explained. "I wear my husband's ring first because it's closest to my heart and my ring's in front of it because we were together and we're still together. We'll always be together in spirit."
So this Valentine's Day, her first without him, she admits there will be tears. She plans to sit in the house they lived in together and reading through her journal where she documented their story.
"I've journaled for over 50 years so I've written down all, everyday, everything that's happened up until our remarriage so I'm going to sit and read that and I'm going to cry and I'm going to remember and look at photos and that's what my Valentine's Day is going to be."