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Dear Santa,

There is only one thing on my Christmas list this year. I would like you to find two men and deliver this letter in a sealed envelope in their stockings. If they don’t have stockings, can you please hang one for them?

Here is all I know about the men, and why I want to give them this letter:

On a night back in 1997 I stopped my car on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, climbed over the railing and was hanging high above the icy water of the Puget Sound. A man stopped his car, came to the edge and said, “Give me your hand.” That man pulled me to safety.

On the same night, I took all of my prescribed medication and then drove my car. I passed out on I-5 between Tacoma and Seattle. A man stopped his car, tried to wake me, had difficulty getting me to respond, so he called 911 (I don’t know how as cell phone were pretty rare then). He waited with me, and tried to keep me conscious until an ambulance arrived. I remember him asking, “Is she going to be alright?”

Santa, here is the letter:

To the two men who saved my life,

You are directly responsible for giving me the opportunity to find the love of my life and experience 17 years of marital happiness. My husband and I are grateful.

You are directly responsible for giving me almost two more decades with my family (hopefully, there will be more). My family and I are grateful.

You are directly responsible for serving the elderly, the homeless, and college students in the jobs I have had since you saved my life. I am sure there are people whose lives I have impacted in a positive way that would be grateful.

You are directly responsible for the blog that I have been keeping over the last nine months that encourages, educates, and uplifts people living with, or caring for someone with, a severe mental illness.

You are directly responsible for allowing me to become and be a good friend to many people.

You are directly responsible for the woman I let get in front of me in the grocery line last night. You are directly responsible for the surprise, gratitude, and appreciation people have shown when I randomly bought their coffee or groceries, and for the neighbors who I have babysat for, made cakes for, and brought soup to when they were sick.

I am an average person, but in an average life, many people are touched, changed, loved, helped, and made to feel special or cared for.

I’m not going to save the planet or solve world hunger, but the past 18 years have been the best of my life, and I have tried to live with an attitude of gratitude and generosity. You made a remarkable difference in so many people’s lives – kept some from grieving, helped some find love, helped some find jobs, comforted others.

You never left your name so I could thank you in person, but I know Santa has his ways, so I’ll leave it in his hands.

I just wanted to tell you how much your choice on that night back in 1997 mattered. It mattered to a lot of people. It continues to matter. I am so thankful for the two of you.

I hope this letter finds you healthy and happy. Your kindness, compassion and concern have literally given me life. I don’t have anything but stories to share with you – I hope they will lift your heart.

Merry Christmas.