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A Toronto woman received a card from a secret admirer every Valentine’s Day for 60 years

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Meryl Dunsmore shows off one of the many cards she received over her lifetime
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Meryl Dunsmore received her first card from her admirer when she was just 16. As the years passed, the cards were postmarked from Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and all over Europe.

In 1928, Meryl Dunsmore, then 16 years old, received a valentine in the mail from a secret admirer. A student at Toronto’s Central High School of Commerce (now Central Toronto Academy), had no idea who might have sent it.

The following February 14, another card.

By the time this photo was taken in 1986, Meryl had been receiving annual Valentine’s Day cards from her anonymous sweetheart for 58 years.

Meryl’s daughter Jeanette has some inklings as to who her mother’s mystery man is, but laughs, “It was definitely not my father.” Meryl’s husband, Alex, was never bothered by her admirer; “I’ve got the finest wife a man could ever have,” he said.

What’s even more impressive is that the special cards followed Meryl through two marriages, three surnames and six changes of address — all before the internet. Whoever her valentine was, he had some investigative skills, all the while leading an adventurous life of their own.

What’s more, Meryl’s “Secret Pal” (as the cards were often signed) only missed one year — 1968. But he later sent a postcard from Paris apologizing and explaining that an illness had prevented him from sending the annual valentine.

As the years passed, Meryl’s loving “Pal” wrote that there would come a time when he would only be able to stay in touch “from another medium.” Still, he promised that she “would always be in [his] heart.”

In the warm summer of 1988, Meryl, then 76, passed away peacefully at her Scarborough home. She had received a total of 60 valentines from her secret admirer over her lifetime.

A mysterious stranger was seen at her funeral. A close friend saw an unfamiliar man sitting at the back of the church. He followed the procession at a respectful distance to the gravesite.

No card ever arrived at Meryl’s home that following February. Her friend had said his final goodbye.

Story sourced from: The Toronto Star

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