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Some of this will sound a bit odd, but here's some background for context........

After college my daughter taught in the local public school system for a year and a half, after which she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to El Salvador as a "Youth Development Volunteer" (aka teacher). She was a double major in college, English and Spanish (a B.A. in each), and her motives for serving were not entirely altruistic, she really wanted to improve her spoken Spanish.

After she had been in-country for about 8 months and exposed to things I'm sure we would be horrified at, she wrote her mother and I this letter. So some of these reflect things she saw there. Edited slightly from the original to protect privacy (XXXX).

"Dear Mom and Dad,

I am writing this letter to say thank you. Thank you for everything you have given me through the years. Thank you for the love and support, the encouragement, and all the privileges you’ve given me.

Thank you for caring for me when I was sick as well as healthy. Thank you for giving me my vaccinations when I was young; for protecting me from illnesses that no child should have to suffer. Thank you for teaching me to wash my hands before every meal and after I use the bathroom. (And thank you for providing me with a bathroom in the first place.) Thank you for teaching me to blow my nose into a tissue, and for making me brush my teeth twice a day. Thank you for taking me to the dentist, the doctor, the optometrist. Thank you for putting me in braces. Thank you for keeping me home from school when I was sick, and giving me medicine, and milkshakes. Thank you for watching over me when I had colds, fevers, surgeries, and stitches. Thank you for sitting with me through the night when I was to scared to go to sleep.

Thank you for working, for keeping food on my plate and a roof over my head and walls around my body. Thank you for never asking me walk into a restaurant to beg for food. Thank you for clothing me in every season, for buying me coats and hats and gloves when it was cold, and bathing suits and shorts and t-shirts when it was hot. Thank you for raising me in a beautiful, comfortable home. Thank you for taking me to the beach, Six Flags, the zoo, Astros games, and the circus. Thank you for teaching me to swim and ride a bike. Thank you for gymnastics, dance lessons, tennis lessons, and basketball league. Thank you for sending me to camp, and letting me go on a road trip with XXXXX- showing me early on how big the world can be. Thank you for the museum trips and visits to flea markets. Thank you for dancing with me in the living room, and for teaching me to appreciate good music. Thank you for letting me play. For barbies, leggos, make-believe, and dress-up. Thank you for my childhood. It wasn’t perfect, but it was more beautiful and comfortable and peaceful than I could’ve realized then. Thank you for letting me be a child.

Thank you for taking care of my mind and spirit as well as my body. Thank you for helping me with my homework and school projects. Thank you for being disappointed when I brought home bad grades. Thank you for raising me not to wonder “Will I go to college” but “Where will I go to college”. Thank you for never making me worry about where the money would come from for classes, books, and housing. Thank you for being supportive even when I made bad decisions and got myself in trouble. For helping me buy a car. Thank you for continuing to care for me as your child well into my adulthood. Thank you for never questioning me or blaming me for moving back in with you after college. Thank you for not pressuring me to “grow up”, but for helping me understand on my own that I already was grown-up. Thank you for letting me come into my sense of independence on my own. Thank you for letting me do it my way. Thank you for supporting all my choices, even the ones that scared you. Thank you for somehow knowing how to hold on to me at the same time you let me go.

Thank you for everything. Thank you for my life. Thank you.

Your Daughter, XXXXXX"
 

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That's a very nice letter. You should be proud not only of your daughter but of yourself as well. Good job Dad & Mom!
 
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Congratulations on being wonderful parents and raising a daughter unafraid of taking chances and knowing how lucky she is. I was over 50 when I sat down one day to write a similar letter to my parents. I'm sure she realized how lucky we all are to live in America after her stint with the Peace Corps, but she was especially blessed. I'll bet you wouldn't sell that letter for all the tea in China. Your daughter just made the sun shine brighter in your life and sharing it did the same in mine. Thank you.
 

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Very nice letter, you should be proud. I had a similar moment when my son came home from basic training. He said to me "Dad, I want you to know that you and mom were right about everything. I just regret having to join the Marine Corps to figure that out." One of the best moments I've ever had with my oldest son.
 

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It will probably be a couple of years before I get a decent letter from my 19 year old son like that. For now, I'm just hopeful he makes his grades. He did jerk my chain last week!

I'm sure you are very proud of your daughter and a letter like that would swell the chest of any parent. Congrats on a fine daughter, raised very well.
 

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Congratulations on receiving a great letter from a wonderful daughter I know you are justifiably proud.

I'm just glad I lived long enough to hear one of my son's yell at his sons to....

"Shut the front door the air conditioner's on, do you think the government pays the electric bills!"

Tee-hee-tee-hee-tee-hee, now I can die in peace.
 

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Outstanding letter!

I think you have to really sit and talk to them every day. One of the best ways is to sit down, relax, and have dinner together every evening. Every single family member has something to say which will enhance and build a cohesion stronger than any negatives from outside.

Leave the TV OFF at those crucial times.
 

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Very nice Glen. I'm sure you're very proud of her.
And while you're at it, give yourself a pat on the back. Sounds to me like you did great job raising that girl.
 

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Be very proud, you did a fine job as a parent!!
 
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