I found this email in my hotmail account, and thought I'd share. A lot has transpired since then!
September 19, 2004
Things have happened very fast since you sent me that gift. Every day I'm actually in awe that I've been given this chance to start over, and I can't thank you enough.
I know that all these years, you may have thought that us kids only wanted to talk to you if we needed something, and boy did we feel guilty if we had to ask! I just wanted you to know that you've always been more than that to me. I adored you when I was little - and I've always regretted not being able to get closer to you as we got older.
It seemed as though things were going fine for awhile. We didn't always have much time for travel when we were working so much, and when we did have 4 or 5 days they were used for karate. Then Dale got sick, and started drinking, and many of my dreams died. Then after he died, and the life insurance was denied, I struggled financially. I financed a car with my widows benefit, and my rent and debts left over from my life with Dale took everything else. It seemed like there was going to be years and years of struggle to get back on my feet.
What you gave me wasn't just money - it was a whole new start. I paid off the balance of my car loan and credit cards, and applied for a mortgage. Thankfully, my credit rating had improved over the last few years, and it was accepted. Last week, I closed on a house in a newer area of town, and we moved in on Thursday. It took just about the entire amount that you gave me, but the mortgage payment will be doable for me on my salary and pension.
I've spent 2 nights in this house now, and each night before I went to sleep I've thought of all the things I wanted to say to you. I just can't believe how things have turned out - I went from always worrying about how I was going to give us a future, to actually realizing the dream of getting us a house. It's a bittersweet thing, doing this without Dale, and it's kinda lonely doing it myself - it'd be nice to be able to share it with someone. But given the fact that I'm almost 40, and my paycheque will go towards something other than rent, I'm grateful.
Thank you so much for thinking of us. Thanks for giving me a chance to start over. I hope that all is well with you and Ev, and that your health is still good. Talk to you soon;