DEAR ABBY: My dear, late father read the old Baltimore News Post newspaper from cover to cover. He would put me on his lap and read the funnies or something special to keep me current and interested in the news. I have read newspapers ever since -- and always your column.
The letter from the woman whose little sister was killed when a young neighbor backed her car out of the driveway brought back many memories.
I believe I knew the family. We were in our early 30s then, with two children of our own. We met the family at church functions. They carried that beautiful child on their shoulders as a trophy -- and beautiful she was.
The parents owned a religious bookstore. When news of the tragic accident spread, everyone who knew them showed up at the church service and funeral. I remember the eulogies. That outpouring of love for this precious family was overwhelming.
After the service, there was a profound silence. Then a strong, beautiful singing voice began to fill the church. The song was, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." I looked around and realized the voice was coming from the child's mother! People around me wanted to join in, but they couldn't choke back the tears.
I watched in amazement as this mother helped her husband to stand as their children followed. She led the entire church in the procession, never losing her strength or composure. Her voice soared above every other in that huge gathering.
She taught us that God loves us so much he grants supernatural strength when we need it most. Please tell this young woman that her family's example of strength and forgiveness touched my life and many others for more than 24 years. -- LINDA BRESSLER, TAMPA, FLA.
DEAR LINDA: And I'm sure your letter will touch the hearts of others, as it touched mine.
DEAR ABBY: I am 11 years old and in the fifth grade. I have a problem. I have homework that sometimes I can't do. I try to ask my mom and dad, but they are unable to help. Can you tell me the best place for me and my classmates to get homework help? I need some advice. -- HARD AT WORK IN FLORIDA
DEAR HARD AT WORK: I commend you for wanting help with your homework.
Ask your teacher to find an older student who has a clear understanding of the subjects with which you are having difficulty. Also, some local colleges have students who volunteer to help children who want to get ahead -- like you and your classmates. Perhaps your parents or teacher can contact a college for the names of students willing to help.
DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter in your column about the wearing of wedding rings, may I offer a suggestion?
My late, beautiful wife and I always agreed we would wear our wedding rings until we passed on. However, at times this has caused some embarrassment when people asked about my wife, not knowing she has passed on.
Since I do not want to remove my ring, I asked my jeweler to cut a groove in it and to blacken the groove. Now I wear it as a mourning ring, and it looks quite distinctive. -- JACK ANSPACH, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
DEAR JACK: What a loving and respectful idea. I'm sure that many widows and widowers will appreciate your helpful suggestion.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's "Keepers," P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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