DEAR ABBY: I loved the letters you printed about "Pennies From Heaven." I have another one for your collection. My grandfather was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, and we knew he didn't have a lot of time left.
On Monday I went to see him. He was semi-conscious, but he knew I was there. When I asked him a question, he would try to answer. When I put my lips to his, he'd give me little kisses. I said goodbye that evening and promised him I'd return the next day.
On Tuesday he was weaker. We felt he was already on his way to heaven. Once again, I said goodbye. On the ride home, I prayed he would go peacefully. My grandmother had a long ordeal in the hospital during her last days. I didn't want Papa to suffer like she did.
On Wednesday morning, my mom called and told me that Papa had stopped breathing. I dropped everything and drove as fast as I could to be by his side, but I was too late. I was unable to say a last goodbye or tell him how much I loved him.
My husband and I own a car reconditioning business. That day, a car was being cleaned for a customer. The employee who cleaned the car found a penny under one of the seats, and because he knew I liked old coins, he placed it on my computer keyboard so I'd be sure to see it when I got back to work.
When I returned to the office, I examined the penny and bawled my eyes out. It was a 1919 wheat penny -- the year my grandfather was born. Although I didn't get to say a final goodbye to him, I feel this was his way of saying goodbye to me.
Ever since that day, I carry that penny in my pocket as a reminder that he is still with me. -- AT PEACE IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR AT PEACE: Although your grandfather was semi-conscious, I am sure he knew you were with him at the last and heard your goodbye. I have received letters from nurses in hospitals attesting to the fact that patients who are comatose often hear and understand conversations going on around them -- and that negative comments can impact upon a patient's progress.
However, I'm pleased that your discovery of the 1919 wheat penny brought comfort. Many readers have shared your feeling of reassurance after finding a "penny from heaven."
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Ted," and I have been happily married for five years. He gets along well with my family, but refuses to have contact with his own mother.
Ted's mother is an alcoholic and generally abusive because of it. (She even hit me once.) She has stolen money from his savings account, and once we had to bail her out of jail. She is also a pathological liar and has caused the whole family a lot of grief.
Ted's father left her, remarried, and is doing well.
Now and then, Ted's mother writes him and sends little gifts to show she's thinking about him. She says she has changed.
Ted doesn't want to give her the chance to hurt him again, but he is filled with so much insecurity because of his past that I think it might be time for them to reunite.
Do you think he should contact her, Abby? -- CONFUSED IN TEXAS
DEAR CONFUSED: I think the decision about whether to reunite with his mother should be strictly your husband's, and you and I should stay out of it.
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