ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - In this day and age, most of us drop a greeting card in the mail or we send an e-card on Mother's Day.
Many will agree sitting down and writing out a heartfelt note or a letter is becoming a lost art, but for one Zephyrhills mother a letter from her late son was delivered right on time.
Shirley LePage hates she never had a chance to say goodbye to her beloved son, Rick. The oldest of her six kids didn't die in combat, but from complications from cancer. He died suddenly at the age of 44.
LePage says, "I think he knew that he was not here for long and he worked very hard at making memories."
She says proof of that is when Rick graduated from bootcamp at the age of 19. He sent LePage a framed picture of himself.
Nearly two decades went by before a family member tried to have a copy made of it and when the frame came apart, a letter was discovered inside from Rick to his mother.
She says, "Rick was the type of person who loved surprises."
LePage had long prayed for a sign that her son was OK and in a better place. She says the letter was an answer to her prayer in her son's own handwriting. "He said, 'Well, mom, I'm in the Army now. No one I think of more is you. Thank you for support and loving me through the years and for helping me be what I am today -- an American fighting man."
She now has a message for other grieving mothers."I just want other mothers to know, that have been in the same situation that I have, that have lost a loved one, a child. There's just no way to describe what it's like to lose a child, but there is a better place they go. I know it."
LePage says, "I got up this morning. It was Mother's Day. I went to his picture and I said, 'Thank you, son, you gave me the best Mother's Day ever' and I got this overwhelming feeling that I was being hugged."
Tammie Fields, 10 News