I have a bag filled with letters that were given to me by friends and relatives throughout the years. For five years, there was one letter in that bag that I couldn't bear to read. It was only tonight that I finally mustered up the courage to open it again and read it.
Letters like that one are meant to be read right after they are given. You can't easily reply to a letter like that after five years.
Unfortunately, there are some things in life that come our way when we are not ready for them. More often than not, we manage to get by with mild scrapes; but sometimes, by the time we learn how to cope it's too late.