DEAR ABBY: In December of last year, I was traveling to college to take my final exams when I was in a serious automobile accident. It had been snowing most of the morning and I lost control of my car. I hit the guardrail, a large truck, a tree -- and ended up in a ditch.
When my car stopped spiraling out of control, I got out, and as I stood in the snow, I screamed but no sounds came out. I was crying, but no tears rolled down my cheeks. My body was in shock.
The first person to stop at the accident was Molly. She came to me, put her arms around me and held me. When she did that, I collapsed. I was so scared and so alone. She took me to her car where it was warm and safe. She calmed me by telling me about her young children and her Christmas tree. She was like a guardian angel. We sat in her car until the state police arrived.
After the police and rescue arrived, everything happened so fast I never got the chance to give Molly a hug and properly thank her.
Abby, would you please print my letter and my message to this dear woman? I'd like to say, "Molly, thank you for what you did for me. You were an angel, and I'll never forget you." -- SHEBA COTE, WINSLOW, MAINE
DEAR SHEBA: I'm pleased to publish your letter and message. Guardian angels are people who think first with their hearts. If Molly wasn't a heavenly angel, she was as close to one as a human being can get on that snowy day. Thank you for sharing your story.
DEAR ABBY: My stepdaughter and her husband have been married just five years, and now they want to renew their wedding vows. Their first ceremony was a "quickie" before a local judge with no family or friends present.
Would it be proper for them to renew their wedding vows in a church with a reception afterward? If so, who pays for the event, and do the guests bring gifts? -- CONFUSED IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR CONFUSED: A renewal or reaffirmation of wedding vows has become increasingly popular in recent years, usually for couples who have been married 10 or more years. Traditionally, wedding vows are repeated on the couple's anniversary, with each promising to continue to "love, honor and cherish."
There is no right or wrong way to renew one's wedding vows. It can be done as formally as a church ceremony (white gown and all), or as casually as giving a party, inviting a clergyperson, and verbalizing your love and commitment to each other in the privacy of your living room, surrounded by family and friends.
The couple pays for the event, including the reception. No gifts from the guests are expected, although it would be gracious to bring the couple a gift to mark their latest wedding anniversary. They may wish to exchange rings again, either old or new.
DEAR ABBY: At the risk of sounding prejudiced, can you tell me why so many Jewish celebrities constantly remind everyone that they are Jewish? For example, there is Larry King, Dr. Laura and Judge Judy. I have watched or listened to other celebrities for years, and they don't give you a clue as to their ethnic background or religious persuasion, which is fine with me. This seems to be a Jewish trait. Can you explain it? -- CURIOUS, TAMPA, FLA.
DEAR CURIOUS: I was not aware that "so many Jewish celebrities" constantly remind everyone that they are Jewish. The reasons probably vary from individual to individual. You will have to ask Larry King, Dr. Laura or Judge Judy.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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