One Last Gift

Her husband had died ten years earlier, but she was suddenly receiving mail with his name on it. Was it for him, or from him?

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A gold heart pendant

One day in the middle of January, I was in the living room sifting through the mail when I came across an envelope addressed to my late husband, Bruce. I hadn’t gotten mail for him since shortly after he died, in 2004—a good 10 years before. Well, I shouldn’t say good. We were married 55 years and I still missed him every day.

I missed going to craft fairs with him. The carnations he’d give me “just because.” Our Valentine’s Day celebrations. That was a really special day for us because Bruce had proposed to me on February 14. I always baked him a heart-shaped cake, vanilla with pink icing. Bruce always made sure to get me an extra-romantic present.

I touched the gold heart charm on my necklace, the last Valentine’s gift Bruce had given me. Why was I suddenly getting mail for him now, 10 years later? It seemed almost cruel, a reminder of how long I had been alone.

I opened the envelope. Inside was a hundred-dollar check from a hospital, made out to Bruce L. Waters, and a note explaining that it was a settlement from a class-action lawsuit. I couldn’t cash it, so I put it back in the mail with a copy of his death notice. There. At least now I wouldn’t be getting any more reminders that Bruce was no longer with me.

Just two weeks later, though, I received another envelope from the hospital. This time it was addressed to me, as was the check inside. Somebody really wanted me to have $100! I set it aside and picked up the next piece of mail.

A thick envelope with a computer-generated address label. Junk mail. I was about to toss it when I noticed the name on the label. Bruce L. Waters. Again?

I ripped open the envelope, part annoyed, part dismayed, and pulled out an offer card. From the Danbury Mint. A beautiful gold heart pendant, inlaid with rhinestones.

The price? Ninety-nine dollars. яндекс

I sent away for the necklace. I knew Bruce would have wanted me to have it. It arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day, with an inscription engraved on the back—I Love You.

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