DEAR ABBY: I have read your column for years; now it's my turn with a question. Two years ago, some friends of mine saw I was in a real bind, caught in a vicious circle I couldn't get out of on my own. They invited me to move into their spare room until I could meet some goals and was able to move on. I decided to accept their offer.
The time I have spent with them has literally changed my life. I have grown tremendously in the last year and a half -- emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I have even improved physically. From day one, they made me a member of their family, and I have come to love them as such. They have been my supporters, my advisers, my friends, and I count myself lucky to have been part of their household.
Now that I have met most of my goals, I am getting ready to move out, and I am not sure how to repay them. They have literally set my life in a new direction. Any successes I have from this point on will be success that they have had a hand in.
How do I thank this couple and their family for all they have done for me in the last 18 months? -- GRATEFUL WOMAN IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR GRATEFUL: I doubt that anything you could buy for these angels on Earth would mean as much to them as a handwritten letter from you expressing the feelings you have confided to me. I am sure it would be something they would treasure for the rest of their lives.
Of course, it goes without saying that being able to move out and live a full, successful and happy life will also show them that their efforts were not wasted. I cannot imagine a better tribute to their generosity.