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Dear David,

Life has proven to me many times over that all things truly do work together for the good. Though things themselves are not always good, when combined with the right elements, even the bitter can become sweeter than we could ever imagine. And, so was my life without you.

Like chocolate, my love for you was hidden in the heart of a bitter seed. Even after sprouting and - eventually - harvesting, the deliverance of my life from bitterness happened only when combined with the sweetness of your love. Now, our two loves combined together have made life rich and sweet and full of flavor.

Could I have known that it would all begin with a simple contest entry? Could I have known that the "participation" prizes awarded to "non-winners" could make me such a true winner in the end? Could I have known that when the studio took a picture of me that it would be one of my last pictures "alone"? Could I have known that they would eventually offer me a position with the company that would take me 3000 miles across the United States to meet the friend that said we would be perfect for each other? Could I have known then how right she would be? Could I have known that when I agreed to work alone on my birthday, that it would make every birthday since then so much more of a reason to celebrate my life? No, I could never have known any of it, but G-d had made it all a part of His wonderful plans for my life.

You once gave me a card that said, in part, "My friends told me that when true love came along, I would just know it...they were right!" I agree, they WERE right.

On February 14th, 1991, at the beginning of our 2nd telephone conversation, I wished you a Happy Valentine's Day. You responded by saying, "No, MY Valentine's day was two days ago." That had been the very first time we had ever spoken. I'll never forget any of it.

Looking back, when I agreed to speak to you for that very first time, I could never have known that less than two months later I would approach you at the end of a long, white-linen aisle and vow to be by your side until only death would part us. I could never have known that nearly eight years later I would be trying to capture and condense our wonderful love into the few words of this letter.

David, I truly thank you for every moment that you've added your sweet love to my life. Just as sugar and chocolate need each other, and make the perfect union, we too need each other and make the perfect union. Apart we each have special qualities, but none that compare to what we have become together. Truly, I will love you until death may try to part us...and beyond.

All My Love,

Forever And 3 Days,

Your Wife,

Crystal Arlene