DEAR ABBY: My beloved 93-year-old Grandma Beanie passed away recently. She was kind and gentle, and we were lucky to have her as long as we did. Her funeral gave my family and me time to reflect on what is really important in life.
What I remember and cherish most about Grandma Beanie are not the material things she gave me over the years. In fact, I can't remember a single toy she gave me as a child, although there were many.
What I DO remember are the countless times she let me help her make strawberry jam; the afternoon she took us kids into the woods and taught us how to hunt for mushrooms; the nights she patiently played Yahtzee with us; the fact that she made the most delicious chocolate chip cookies in the world; and how she loved it when we took her out for Chinese food.
There are many more memories. The point is, she did not share herself in material ways, but rather in the love she showed in everything she did with us.
When this world of ours seems scary, please remember that the child's hand you hold today -- and the time spent with the child -- is what makes this world a better place. -- CATHY IN MASON CITY, IOWA
DEAR CATHY: Right you are. You were fortunate to have had such a positive role model in your life. The most precious gift a person can give is a gift of self.