Oct 21, 2001

My Dear Penny,

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday and Thank You.

For the last four months, I have been going through the worst time in my life. I have questioned my reasoning for being here and continuing on virtually every day. I wake up in the morning and try to find a reason to tell myself to make it through another day. I always seem to find a reason. I think that the reasons stem from your encouragement. I tell myself that I am not a bad person and not a failure, I just had a bad experience, and that I will learn from this 'adventure' and continue on my 'journey'. I tell myself that I will one day be happy. I believe these things because you give me the reassurance that I need in order to believe. You remind me that every painful experience causes me to evolve to a higher state of being.

When I was a child, I felt that the world was always coming down on me, that more was expected of me than anyone else. I felt like I was always being given the short end of the stick. I now realize that you and everyone else were merely requesting me to rise to the level of my abilities. You were encouraging my growth and for this I thank you, also. It was you who found a way to get me into reading. It was you who taught me that there is such a thing as love. It was you who made me understand that people are flawed and in order to become better yourself, you must not dwell on their flaws, but find a way to help that person overcome them, or use them to their advantage. It is you still, who reminds me that I am not a failure, not a waste, not a bad person and worthy of the best. I continue on searching a path for which my destiny calls.

Today you turn a new passage in your life. Most people would see this as another year of having been alive, but for you it is much more than that. It is another year of helping people overcome their problems; another year of giving others a reason to continue; another year of giving the best thing any person can, your friendship and love. In schools, they teach the writing and works of people such as Socrates, Plato, Hypocrates (spelling) and so on. Maybe one day, when our species has evolved enough, we will teach our children this level of understanding and caring on a global level. But at least for now, the luck few of us have is you to guide us. Thanks for always being there.