The following is a letter from AJ that he wrote late last night in the wake of yesterday’s blog post. I hope it touches you as much as it has touched me. This here is a good man. You there, you’re good people.
I just sat and stared at the words, “Dear Readers” for approximately 6.5 minutes. How do you even start explaining the feelings that come in the wake of something like this? I truly don’t know. All I know is what we feel and that we wanted a chance to explain to all of you some of that gratitude we are feeling.
Tobi and I asked Dan if we could both write our own separate letters. This is mine. Tobi is still struggling with hers. I have never seen her so completely lost in gratitude and emotion that the words are impossible to come by.
First off, I love Dan. For so many reasons. I grew up knowing who Dan was, but we were never friends. We went to the same school and I was friends with his younger siblings, but we never connected at any level more than “hey, how are you?” It wasn’t until two and a half years ago, through mutual friends of ours, that I really started getting to know him. He introduced Tobi to me, and that alone has made me grateful ever since. We have watched as he has done so much good for so many people. Both through this blog and behind the scenes on his own. He gives so much and asks for nothing in return. He is one of the most generous and trustworthy people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. When I really think about it, it should be of no surprise to me that he attracts to his blog, quite literally, the best people out there. Even before this happened, Tobi and I would both marvel at the amazing attitudes of generosity that all of you had any time Dan came to you looking to help someone in need. Each and every time, we would be mind blown at the willingness to help that all of you seem to have, and yet knowing the kind of person Dan was on a close friendship level, it made sense that only the best of the best people in this world would be following his blog. Something that became so obvious to me through this experience, is that you understand Dan the way that we do. You know of his goodness. Something we hope all of you know is that he knows of your goodness too. I have never heard him once take credit for anything that YOU have done. In other scenarios where I have tried to tell him how amazing he is for the incredible things he has provided to others through something like this, he has always stopped me and immediately given the credit to all of you. And he’s 100% right.
I didn’t fully understand just how right he was until today.
This has been, without question, the happiest year of my life. It has also been the hardest. I can’t even begin to try and explain the gift that you have given to us. To our children. To our family. We haven’t been trying to keep our heads above water financially. We have been trying to hold our breaths long enough while under, so that we can come up for air and get enough oxygen to go back down again. Surviving has been our theme. The weight of trying to be a provider has been heavier than I ever imagined it could be. I felt that I was doing my best, yet still could never provide as much as I needed to. That is hard for me to say.
Watching my sweetheart put herself through so much physical, emotional and mental pain in the name of supporting me in my fight for my children has been the hardest thing I have ever had to watch. I love my children more than words can describe. I would do anything for their happiness. To have someone by my side that understands and supports me in that is invaluable. But it has taken its toll in all ways, especially financially. Through this experience, and your extreme and humbling generosity, I feel like I suddenly have what I was running out of to keep going and protect our family. There is no way to thank you properly for that. You have given me a gift I literally couldn’t give myself.