Noah, the main character in the film “The Notebook,” wrote a love letter every day of the year to win the affection of the love of his life, Allie, but a real-life New Jersey man has outdone the movie’s romanticism, showing that these types of displays of love and commitment aren’t just in the movies.
Toms River resident Bill Bresnan, 74, has continuously written a love letter every day to Kirsten Bresnan, 74, his wife of almost 40 years, and there are more than 10,000 of them filed chronologically in 25 boxes at their home.
Bill says that all letters are either signed with the kisses and infinity signs, “I love you madly” and an infinity sign, or “I love you, my darling” and an infinity sign.
The daily expressions of love began as occasional notes scribbled on napkins and small pieces of paper he gave to his wife over coffee while commuting together shortly after they met in 1974 while teaching a class to license students in the security industry, Bill said. They slowly developed into a card every day.
“She was this beautiful Northern European woman who struck me like a bolt of lightning,” he said.
Their relationship blossomed. They had a simple wedding in the city and have lived happily ever after since, Bill told ABC News.
“We’ve never had a fight once in almost 40 years of marriage,” Bill said. “We might disagree on something, but we talk about it rather than argue.”
Bill has never a missed giving Kirsten a card, he said. Even when they’re away, he makes sure to send postcards or write letters in advance.
While he fears that because of his age he may forget one day and his wife says she would be “heartbroken” if she didn’t receive a letter one night, they are still going strong and the letters continue to be written each day.
Kirsten states that not all the letters are mushy love letters, as some of them are hilariously funny.
Kirsten also takes the time to surprise her husband with little notes, showing her gratitude for all the little things he does for her.
Bill also goes big once in a while.
“We once reenacted the Katherine Hepburn movie ‘Summertime'” Bill said. “I took Kirsten to Italy. We sailed across the Mediterranean, took a train to Venice, wandered the city, had pizza at San Marco Piazza and literally did everything in that movie together.”
One of his favorites out of the 10,000-plus letters he wrote for his love were a series of 50 cards, one for each of the 50 days before her 50th birthday, he said.
Despite the countless good times, the best friends have weathered some storms together as well,
“When the doctor told me I had cancer a few years ago, Kirsten was right next to me holding my hand,” Bill said. “It wasn’t, ‘You have cancer,” it was, ‘We have cancer.’ And I did the same thing for her when she got cancer a few years later.”
The daily cards are part of the Bresnan’s recipe for making a relationship last, among other things.
“The key to any relationship is that you both have to work at it every day,” Bill said. “And never go to bed mad. Talk about everything. Everything should get resolved before your goodnight kiss.”
The couple continues to keep the romance alive through little things they do together in their daily routine, such as playing ‘Boggle’ over breakfast and having candlelit dinners with wine.
The Bresnans told CBS that another key to keeping the love alive and well is “Do things together, have fun, love each other.”
Bresnan hopes that their love story will hope inspire younger couples, who seem to be more in love with their gadgets. One of the biggest things Bill emphasizes for the new generation is to put the cellphones down and focus on each other.
“I see youngsters at restaurants sitting across from each other buried in their screens but never talking or looking at each other,” Bresnan said. “I want them to enjoy the time they have with each other and treasure it.”