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"But now remains faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love."
-I Corinthians 13:13
Love. It truly does make the world go 'round. Whether it's the romantic love of sweethearts, the cherishing love of parents, or the loyal love of friends, we all have special people in our lives.
But do the people you love know just how much you care?
It's easy to forget the importance of saying "I love you" in the business of our daily lives. But the Central Kentucky News-Journal gave readers a chance to do just that. We asked readers to write a letter to their loved ones, explaining just why that person is so special.
While Valentine's Day generally focuses on romantic love, we also sought letters that illustrate love of other types, such as the love of a parent for a child, a special friendship, a grandchild's love for his or her grandparents, or the special bonds that exist in other relationships.
A panel of judges chose a letter from a child, one from a teenager and one from an adult for a prize package. Judges looked for creativity as well as originality.
The winning letters are printed on this page. All of this year's love letter entries can be read on our Web site at www.cknj.com.
This year's children's winner is Murphy Lamb of Campbellsville. The teen winner is Stacy Blair of Campbellsville, and the adult winner is Patty Martin of Littleton, Colo.
Martin will receive roses from Magnolia Alley, two buffets with drinks from Creek Side Restaurant and two movie passes to Green River Cinema 6.
Blair will receive a large one-topping pizza from Papa John's, a manicure by Amanda Gowin at Studio 434 and a haircut by Angela Cox at Davina's Plaza Salon.
Lamb will receive a large one-topping pizza from Papa John's, a gift certificate to McDonald's and a haircut by Angela Cox at Davina's Plaza Salon.
Each winner will also receive a subscription to the Central Kentucky News-Journal.
- Editor Rebecca Cassell can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 227 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Murphy Lamb, 10, Children's Winner
I'm just writing to thank you for all the wonderful things you've taught me and how you showed me to become a better person in life. While I'm writing, I'm going to tell you just how special you are to me and why.
I want to thank you for being by my side and cheering me up when I'm down like when I had my bike wreck and cut my left knee, bruised my right one, and my elbow started bleeding, you helped me because right when you heard me hit the ground you came out, comforted me, and took me inside and helped my wounds to make me feel better.
You have also taught me right from wrong. When I do something bad like if I hurt my sisters because I'm mad at them, she'll sit me down and tell me what I did wrong and how I can fix it. So I would go tell them I'm sorry and she told me next time to walk away from the problem or count to 10.
One more thing I thank you for is just loving me no matter what I do, like if I was really bad that day or if I'm in a bad mood, she gives me a hug and I tell her how bad my day was and talk it through with her, and I walk off with a smile on my face thinking how good the day has been, even though it started out rough.
Now that I've told you what I've learned from you, I want to tell you how I've benefited from the stuff you've taught me. Since you've taught me to stick by someone's side and to cheer people up when they're sad, I can become a better friend because I can cheer them up better because I know how to do it. I benefited from being taught right from wrong by knowing not to do something I'm not supposed to do or that's bad. I've benefited from you loving me no matter what by me loving everybody more than I used to because I've learned not to judge people by their outside, but by their insides.
So thank you for teaching me all these valuable things that will help me a lot all through my life. I hope you've enjoyed hearing all the things you've done for me and I hope it makes you feel special.
Stacy Blair, 15, Teen Winner
Dear Mom and Dad,
I never say this face to face with you because I figure that you already know, but, in case you don't, I love you. You guys are always there for me. Every minute of the day I know there is someone thinking about me, knowing that I have a great potential.
Valentine's Day is coming up and all that's going through some people's minds is "I can't wait to be with my sweetheart," or "I want to tell my sweetheart that I love them," but not mine.
I don't mean to disrespect anyone by saying this, but nobody really knows what love is at 15 or 16 years of age. Love is really about caring for people who you know love you back and care for you no matter what happens. They are there to hold you and say everything is going to be OK, which is a special bond between parents and their children.
Nobody really takes the time to say, "Hey, thank you for raising me, keeping a roof over my head and food in my stomach. Thank you for giving me hope and faith and believing in me when I didn't and nobody else did either."
I am writing this letter today for two reasons. One, to let you, my parents, know that I love you and that you are the greatest and I wouldn't know what to do without you; and two, to let readers know that it is OK to really care about someone and eventually love them, but until that day comes don't put your parents aside for nobody because that is one true love that no one can ever give away or take away from you.
I love you Mom and Dad. Thanks for always being there!
Patty Martin, Adult Winner
I found the most amazing love recently ... a love that started 59 years ago when I was born.
I was given up for adoption at 10 months, and no information was or had been available to me regarding birth family. Adoptions are closed records and cannot be opened. Through the Internet and a private investigator, I found my birth mother's family in October 2008. My birth mother is deceased, but her siblings are all alive.
The past few months have been truly wonderful. I visited my mother's siblings in November and was welcomed with open arms, loving hearts and generosity.
The one sister and four brothers had known me as an infant, and they said that they would each mention me from time to time, wondering what happened, if I was alive, and where I was living.
The eldest brother received the call that someone was searching for them, and he immediately knew that it would be his sister's child. Within 15 minutes I had phoned him, and within the next day or so, it became obvious that I would need to see them personally. I was already in love with each of them and their spouses through our phone calls.
Two of the brothers picked me up at the airport and the ensuing ride assured me that this was "real." When I arrived at the reunion site, the camaraderie and instant connection began and continued throughout the weekend. At the end of the weekend, one brother said, "We haven't seen you for 59 years, but it's as though we have known you all our life."
My husband, my children and now my family - it's all the love I ever needed or wanted.