DEAR ABBY: My mother recently passed away. She had led a long, happy life and was greatly loved.
Years ago, both my parents had the foresight to preplan and prepay all of their funeral arrangements. All Dad and the family had to do for Mother's service was order the flowers; then we were able to welcome and share condolences with more than 500 guests. It made her funeral a beautiful time of reuniting old friends and family.
Our freedom to share great memories was exactly what Mom and Dad had planned. The arrangements were impressive. Their gift of preplanning and prepaying is something we all should consider doing for our loved ones. -- A LOVING, GRATEFUL DAUGHTER
DEAR DAUGHTER: Please accept my condolences on the death of your beloved mother.
Although it's difficult to contemplate death, facing the fact that no one lives forever and planning ahead can prevent a world of confusion for grieving relatives at a time when they are most vulnerable.
As your letter illustrates, your parents' preplanning was wise, thoughtful, and a godsend during your time of grief.
DEAR ABBY: I just read the letter from the gentleman in Redwood City, warning women to be more careful with their purses while shopping.
While rolling my shopping cart along in my favorite supermarket with my purse resting in the child's seat, I was shocked to see a man's arm reach around from behind me and grab it. I whirled around to see my son grinning at me. He handed me my purse, gave me a big hug and said, "Let that be a lesson to you, Mom!"
Since then, I always loop the strap of my handbag over my arm, rest it in front of me on the child's seat, and never let go of the shopping cart. -- B.J. IN ARKANSAS
DEAR B.J.: That's good advice. Here's another one you might find interesting:
DEAR ABBY: I go shopping with my wife quite often, and when she puts her purse in the shopping cart we use the child safety belt to run through the handles of the purse. The little extra time it takes to put the belt through the handles is nothing, and the belt acts as a deterrent to purse snatching. I hope this bit of information will be helpful. -- ROY A. MCMULLEN, OKLAHOMA CITY
DEAR ROY: Although not all shopping carts are equipped with child safety belts, many are. Thank you for a good suggestion.
DEAR ABBY: Regarding your discussion with "Interested Bystander" about the age a youngster is old enough to go to a public rest room alone, may I share a humorous incident on that subject?
When I was a college student, I worked as a weekend salesman in the boys' department of a local department store.
One day, a woman approached me with a little boy about 4 years old in tow. She asked, "Do you have a rest room someplace? My boy has to go."
"Yes, we do," I replied. "There's a men's room on this floor, but if you want to go with him, there's a ladies' room on the floor below."
"Oh, no thank you," she said. "I went before I left the house." -- GIL RICH, LOS ANGELES
For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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