DEAR ABBY: When I was growing up, my parents had a framed poem from your column hanging on our kitchen wall. None of us kids could miss it because it was right next to the telephone. Before we moved out to start families of our own, Mom gave each of us framed copies of it to remind us of family values.
Won't you please run it again for your readers? The title of the poem was "Success." Young couples today would find it as beneficial as my parents did. It worked for my sisters and brothers and me. -- MIMI IN LOS ANGELES
DEAR MIMI: I'm glad to oblige. The poem, which was penned by Martin Buxbaum, is included in my "Keepers" booklet, which is a collection of favorite letters, poems and essays that have appeared in this column over the years. It was assembled because so many readers said the items were meaningful to them, and requested that they be compiled as a booklet. Read on:
You can use most any measure
When you're speaking of success.
You can measure it in fancy home,
Expensive car or dress.
But the measure of your real success
Is the one you cannot spend.
It's the way your kids describe you
When they're talking to a friend.
The booklet is titled "Keepers" because so many Dear Abby readers kept the poems, essays and letters to re-read. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.
"Keepers" covers subjects from temptation to forgiveness, animals, children and human nature. Filled with down-to-earth nuggets of wisdom, both witty and philosophical, it's a quick and easy read, and an inexpensive, welcome gift for newlyweds, pet lovers, new parents or anyone recovering from an illness because it touches on a variety of subjects.
DEAR ABBY: My single, 40-year-old cousin, "Gail," has two teenage daughters. Four years ago she built a beautiful three-bedroom house that she has never moved into. Instead, she lives with her mother and stepdad in a rundown farmhouse where her girls share a bedroom.
Gail's mother is afraid to ask her to move out, and the rest of the family can't understand why she would allow her house to stand empty. Let me add that Gail has an annual salary of almost six figures.
What's wrong with this woman? -- PERPLEXED COUSIN IN N.Y.
DEAR PERPLEXED COUSIN: Which woman? The mother or the daughter? I suggest that you ask them that question.