Dear Amber,

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I was cruising around on my Facebook page yesterday when I noticed that you had liked something I posted, so I clicked on your name and was taken to your page where I saw that you had quoted me and that a bunch of people had written lovely responses to the beautiful things you said about my writing. The Facebook page I have is a business page, so there's no newsfeed and I can't send messages or make comments on other people's pages. It's a one-way street, essentially, and so a bit odd and lonely, actually. If I could, I would give you a giant cyber hug via the Book of Face, but I can't, and so I'm here now, hoping you will have a lull in your day that's long enough and quiet enough for you to find this love letter to you.

Last night when I stumbled upon your post, I jumped for joy and giggled and danced around my kitchen. Because even though we haven't seen each other since we were in high school in the early 80s, I can tell that you have cultivated a very interesting, creative and bad-ass life for yourself and I value what comes from your mind and heart.

As I'm writing this right now, I'm getting a little weepy. Partly because the sun is just coming out from behind the clouds and shining in on me, and partly because, though I haven't seen you in thirty years, clearly you care. I don't even know where you live -- our lives only intersect in cyberspace -- but you have made that small place cozy and warm and inviting with your generosity of spirit. Though I write nearly every day and I love being a writer, find it difficult to not be a writer, it never ceases to amaze me that people read and appreciate my words.

Much of what matters in my life was born in my time growing up in Saratoga. On Thanksgiving I sat beside my older brother and listened in amazement to his stories of riding his bike everywhere as a kid: he and his friends rode far and wide, no helmets, of course, found a great fishing spot, then built a fire and cooked their catch. We dreamed our way back to the days when we could lay on the back shelf of the car and watch the clouds go by while Mom or Dad sped down the Northway. We laughed about the hours we spent playing four-square, riding to the candy store, building forts (he and his friends), hanging out at the bus stop, sneaking cigarettes (me and my friends). Those were great days; Saratoga was a very cool place to grow up. And you, Ms. Briscoe, are further proof of that truth. I don't know what angel guided you to my life to shine your benevolent heartlight on me, but I'm thankful. I can see from your profile photo that you are in love, which brings me a nice sense of contentment for you. I hope one day to feel the way you look in the picture with the handsome tuxedo-ed man kissing you. Thanks for the inspiration and the generosity. And thanks for always being the original work of art that is you.

Love,
Melissa