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by Abigail Van Buren

Thrill Loving Mom Gives No Sympathy to Fearful Daughter

DEAR ABBY: In December, right before Christmas, my daughter and I went shopping. We visited several stores in a strip mall in the small town where we live. After returning to my vehicle, I left the wheelchair I use for long distances at the back for my daughter to load.

We were getting ready to leave town. I hurried home, wrapped the gifts I had bought, then rushed out again to deliver them in the next town. When we reached our next stop, I realized I had left my wallet in the pocket of my wheelchair. When I asked my daughter to retrieve it, she looked at me and said, "You took the wheelchair out?" That was when we realized she had forgotten to load it.

I started calling the stores to ask if anyone had turned in a wallet and wheelchair. The answer was no. When I decided to call the sheriff's department and ask if anyone had turned the items in, the dispatcher began asking me all kinds of questions about my whereabouts and safety. Abby, they thought I had been kidnapped! I felt terrible for upsetting everyone.

I would like to thank the good Samaritan who turned in my wheelchair and my wallet, intact, with nothing missing. The items in it could have been replaced, but there is no way I could have replaced the wheelchair because it was expensive.

I would also like to thank the sheriff's department, which had a deputy at the door before I was off the phone with the dispatcher, for their quick response. -- GINGER IN LIVE OAK, FLA.

DEAR GINGER: I'm pleased to publish your testimonial to the fact that there are honest, caring people in this world. Of course, it's no surprise, but we seem to hear an awful lot more about sociopaths and psychopaths than we do the good people who make up the vast majority. And hats off to your sheriff's department, who handled the situation with proficiency, humanity and professionalism.