In my very first year of blogging I was completely honored as a Guest Mom on one of the coolest, most fabulous & popular blogs, DesignMom, by Gabrielle Blair. I thought it would be fun to share them again. This post was written a few years before texting was used in our family and “143” became a commonly-known text sentiment for many.

143 – By Guest Mom Cathe Holden

September 3, 2008

Although I was too young to remember, it is told that the number 143 was always present on the back of every envelope of every letter that my father mailed to my mother while serving in the army. It’s code for “I love you”. The number represents the letter count for each word.

It’s a number my family still uses in correspondence to one another and one I sign off with when e-mailing my husband at the firehouse or jotting a note to my kids. And, because of its special meaning to me, I had a rubber stamp made with the number to use on various pieces of my collage art.

The other day I found the exact numbers, all by themselves, laying in order at an antique store. Those numbers now greet my family as they enter our home.

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20 Responses to 143

  1. #1 - Heidi says:

    This is one of the cutest, most touching things I have ever read.

  2. #2 - Rachel Lane says:

    A very fateful moment. That is just beautiful and inspiring.

  3. #3 - Nana Diana says:

    What a wonderful little reminder where I beleive God lets us find joy in the little things! How perfectly special is that? 143- love it..xo Diana

  4. #4 - Theresa Begin says:


  5. #5 - Lizzy Ford says:

    What a sweet story! I love the numbers and I bet it made your day seeing them in the antique store. I love the way you displayed them.

  6. #6 - clare's craftroom says:

    That is the nicest thing ever , I love it !

  7. #7 - Lori ODonnell says:

    Simply beautiful.

  8. #8 - Bonnie says:

    This is beautiful!!! I can’t wait to tell my husband about it when he wakes up in the morning…any way to reiterate “I Love You” to those I love is awesome!!!

  9. I love this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. #10 - Annie says:

    I love this… 143 was sounding so familiar- it took me a minute to make the connection. My granddad, a pastor, signs every card, letter, note & now email “Phil. 1:3, look it up!” {spoiler alert: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you”}. 143. 1 verse 3. Love <3

  11. #11 - Suzie says:

    Such a sweet post, when my husband and I were dating in High school we use to write alot of letters (just before email really took off) at the end of each email after our name we would write a symbol that meant hugs & kisses. It was a cross between the ‘@’ symbol & just putting ‘xo’. It looked like @ just with a ‘x’ instead of the ‘a’. Maybe I should memorialise that memory as you have.

  12. #12 - Rose H says:

    Such a wonderful sentiment Cathe, and touching too. I’m glad you found these numbers :o)

  13. #13 - Carol Dee says:


  14. #14 - Jen Y says:

    What fun. I love special symbols & rituals like this. Our family blinks the hazard lights on the car as we leave each other to say I love you. Not sure if we could get in trouble for that in town but I do it often when I drop dh off at work.

  15. #15 - Olivia says:

    I love this! I am inspired to incorporate this idea into my own home.

  16. #16 - Laurie says:

    Interesting! Oor house # is 143. I just sent this information to my husband. Very sweet!

  17. #17 - wendy baker says:

    totally sweet. who could say more. i might have to co-opt this. with a footnote.
    you always shine no matter what. thank you . xow.

  18. #18 - Kerry says:

    Very cool story! Love it! 🙂

  19. #19 - cindy says:

    Wow, how wonderful to have a special number like that!

  20. #20 - Jessica says:

    That is such a sweet story. I love hearing about little things families do to stay close. 🙂