DEAR ABBY: My friend and I read your column and discuss the letters and your replies. We usually agree with your answers. Now we have a question for you:
Let's say that "Mary" was shopping and ran into a young woman she had known in college -- we'll call her Beatrice. Beatrice had her 2-year-old son in a stroller, and when Mary looked at the little boy, she wasn't prepared for the shock she got. The child's face was terribly deformed and disfigured!
What should Mary have said -- if anything?
My friend said, "I would have ignored the abnormality and said something like, 'My, what a sweet child. How old is he?'"
I said, "I would have been more honest and said something like, 'I'm sorry about your baby, but I hear they are able to do amazing reconstructive surgery now.'"
Abby, what do you think a parent of a facially disfigured child would want to hear? My friend and I are hoping you will respond in your column. It would be helpful to many readers. -- NO NAME OR CITY, PLEASE
DEAR NO NAME: Just when I think I've seen everything, along comes a letter such as this one.
Only a person who has walked that path is qualified to answer that question. I hope someone who has will write and let me know. The answer would be helpful to many readers -- as well as to this columnist.