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Once AOL automatically deletes any mail that has been in your AOL mail box too long, there is no way for you to recover it. The only way to recover deleted email is if you delete it yourself and then restore it before it is taken from your "recently deleted" mail section.
This is not true at all. You can bring up old emails from 2 years ago. Click on "read mail" then in the "search" box type in either the email address of the person who sent you the email or the subject if you can remember it. Double click the green search button, you might have to do this a couple of times, but much to your surprise, EVERY email you ever received from that one person will pop up.