New Year's Email

Feeling restless could not sleep, felt lonely, and a little, sorry for myself I got out of bed and sat at my computer desk. I started to work on my personal web site revising some documents and uploading images. The house was quiet and the only sound heard came from my keyboard. A loud boom outside startled me. Then there was another blast and then another. A quick peek at the computer clock told what was going on outside. It was New Years.

“Happy New Years,” I told myself feeling sorry and depressed. I told myself I had nothing to be happy for, stood up, and walked outside onto the front porch. Colorful fireworks exploded high above the sky next to the Tower of the Americas at the Hemisfair. Some cars had gathered in front of my house, on the street. There were couples and families sitting on the hoods of their cars watching the spectacular firework display. The families and couples enjoyed the firework show. I started my pity mood again then went back inside to continue working on my website.

A “You got mail” message popped up on the computer display. At first I thought it was one of my sons sending me a Happy New Year’s message, it was not. Who sends email at this time, junk mail perhaps, I thought. Curiosity nudged me to open it. It was from a man that lived in a small town in North Dakota, lots of snow came to my mind. He wrote that he was looking at my website when he noticed a color change on the page layout. He asked me why I was working on my personal website when I should be out celebrating the New Years with friends and love ones. I should be at a party somewhere having fun.

I gave the message some thought, started feeling lonelier, and felt even more pity for myself. Determine to let him know how bad off I was I responded to his message with my reasons hoping to convince him. So, I answered him letting know I felt restless, could not sleep, my three sons lived out of town and did not call me, no one invited me to a party, and that my wife had to leave town and visit her ill mother. It would be several days before my wife returned. I also asked him why he was surfing the Internet when he should be celebrating the New Year with friends and love ones and that he should be at a party somewhere having fun and I sent the email.

A few minutes later, the “You have mail” popped up on the computer screen. I did not expect the man to rely. He wrote he also felt restless, could not sleep, and that his kids lived out of town. He wrote that shortly before midnight he pulled his wife's new party dress out of the closet and laid it on the bed. He said that he spent New Year’s looking at his wife's new party dress remember that just 20 days ago he drove his wife all over town looking for that dress. His wife was looking forward to spending New Years with several couples, and she wanted a new dress for the occasion. Once his wife picked the dress she wanted, he drove her all over town again looking for the right shoes, to match the dress. It was fun watching her, he wrote. She should have been wearing her dress tonight and enjoying the season, but she passed away. He told me that I was very fortunate because in a few days I would see my wife again.

I sat at my chair staring at the computer screen, stopped feeling lonely, and stopped feeling sorry for myself. What do I say to a man I do not know, I thought. After some thought, I answered him. I wrote and told him I did not have the words to comfort him and I could only imagine his pain. I told him that this New Year would a difficult one, but I sincerely hopped that next New Years that he would be in the company of family and friends and not alone looking at his wife’s party dress.

I powered off the computer and remembered the words of that stranger. He said I was very fortunate because in several days I would see my wife again.