DEAR ABBY: I read a letter in your column that described how, for their parents' anniversary, the children asked friends and family to write letters recalling a special memory they had shared with the couple. The children put all of the letters into an album and presented it to the parents on their anniversary. I thought it was a great idea, but it wasn't until late last summer that I decided to take that advice myself.
My father's 70th birthday was approaching. Instead of requesting that the letters be sent to me, I asked everyone to send the letters directly to Dad during the week of his birthday. I intended to pay him a visit on the afternoon of his special day and collect them in a folder for him.
My father called me every day that week with such joy and excitement in his voice. He was getting about eight letters a day from people he hadn't heard from in years. All were filled with wonderful memories. I didn't tell him I sent the requests out, but someone who wrote him did. Dad thanked me and said it was the best gift he could have received. I promised to help him answer every letter.
Well, my father died on the afternoon of his 70th birthday of a heart attack. I am so grateful that I acted upon something I read in your column. I kept my promise and answered every letter.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to write your column. I'm 41 years old and have been a faithful reader since I was a teen-ager. I speak from experience when I say that although some people may read your column only for enjoyment, someday they'll need to use some of your sage advice. -- DEB LOGUE, EAST PETERSBURG, PA.
DEAR DEB: Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your beloved father. I'm gratified that an item you read in my column proved to be so meaningful. I have received many letters from readers who wanted me to know the pleasure that their loved ones experienced upon receiving a memory book. They make priceless, one-of-a-kind mementos.