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by Abigail Van Buren

Investment in Forgiveness Will Pay Big Dividends

DEAR READERS: This week is International Forgiveness Week. In years past, I have cited a portion of the lovely poem by George Roemisch, which is appropriately titled "Forgiveness":

"Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet which still clings fast to the heel that crushed it."

In response to many requests from readers to see the entire poem, here it is:


Forgiveness is the wind-blown bud which

blooms in placid beauty at Verdun.

Forgiveness is the tiny slate-gray sparrow

which has built its nest of twigs and

string among the shards of glass upon the

wall of shame.

Forgiveness is the child who laughs in merry

ecstasy beneath the toothed fence

that closes in Da Nang.

Forgiveness is the fragrance of the

violet which still clings fast to the

heel that crushed it.

Forgiveness is the broken dream which

hides itself within the corner of the

mind oft called forgetfulness so that it

will not bring pain to the dreamer.

Forgiveness is the reed which stands up

straight and green when nature's mighty

rampage halts, full spent.

Forgiveness is a God who will not leave

us after all we've done.


So, Dear Reader, a gentle reminder: If perchance you are the "heel" that crushed a violet -- this is the week to seek forgiveness. -- LOVE, ABBY

DEAR ABBY: Your readers' response to Rod Carew's letter concerning his daughter, Michelle, and her fight against leukemia was tremendous.

In his letter, Rod requested that readers contact the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and become volunteer donors to help patients in need of transplants. More than 22,000 Dear Abby readers have called 1-800-MARROW-2 (1-800-627-7692) for information. Many have already had the blood test necessary to join the registry of potential donors. The response to this letter has been greater than any other single print exposure of the NMDP's telephone number. Calls related to Michelle Carew currently total more than 47,000.

The National Marrow Donor Program thanks everyone who called for information, especially those who have, or will soon have, their tissue types listed to benefit the thousands seeking donors.

Abby, as the number of volunteers increases, more patients will find donors able to provide lifesaving bone marrow. To date, NMDP donors have given more than 4,000 patients the chance to beat their diseases, but many others are still waiting.

Our heartfelt thanks to you and your generous readers for their assistance. -- CRAIG W.S. HOWE, M.D., PH.D., CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL MARROW DONOR PROGRAM

DEAR DR. HOWE: Thank you for the update. Michelle Carew and the many others who await donor matches are in our thoughts and prayers.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600