Here is an old clipping of a prayer from your column. It has yellowed with age, but has enduring wisdom that can help another generation of readers. Please run it again.
F.W. in Worcester, Mass.
That piece is at least 25 years old, but it is still filled with insight. Thank you for sending it on. Here it is, for "another generation":
My children are grown now, and I have wonderful grandchildren. I love them all, but please, God, let me remember that I have lived, loved and enjoyed this life. Do not let me take away from their enjoyment by complaining about every ache and pain. I have earned them all.
Please keep me from mentioning my swollen joints, stiff knees, poor eyesight and anything else that isn't as good as it once was. Let me remember that I have enjoyed a full and wonderful life, and have been blessed in so many ways. Now is not the time for me to begin complaining.
Please let my mouth be closed while my ears are open to hear the fun they are having. Let me remember that I am still setting an example for them, and that if I keep quiet, they will forever think that I never had a single ache or pain in my life, and that I miraculously escaped the ills of old age.
They will, in later years, remember me with pleasure and say, "I wish I had her genes. She never had anything wrong with her!"
That, dear Lord, will be the best legacy I can leave them.
My son, "Danny," was a perfectly adorable little 8-year-old. Unfortunately, when he started school, he did very poorly. Neither my husband nor I think Danny has a learning disability, but we were quite concerned when his teacher told us he only knew the letters A through H, and showed no progress in learning to read.
This past year, we decided to send Danny to a boarding school out of state. When he returned for the summer, things were worse. Danny used to have a gentle temperament, but now, he is angry and belligerent. He abuses the family pets, which he never did before. He rushes to answer the phone, and is rude to the caller. When I ask him how things are going in school, he says he hates it.
It sounds to me as if something might have happened to him at boarding school. I need to find out what is going on. What should I do?
Puzzled in Riverside, Calif.
I don't know if anything happened to him at boarding school, but it is definitely NOT the place for Danny. Please bring him home immediately and have him tested for learning disabilities.
Difficulties with school work can cause frustration and anger, and a setting that permits other boys to pick on Danny will make things worse. Call the counselor at your local public school and ask for assistance in having Danny tested. The sooner you find out what is going on, the better.
Dear Readers: It's daylight-saving time again (remember, Spring FORWARD, Fall BACK). When you change your clocks back one hour before going to sleep tonight, please don't forget to change the batteries in all your smoke alarms. Fires are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. In many instances, smoke alarms were in place, but they did not work because the batteries were old or missing. I don't want to lose a single one of my readers, so please, please, check your smoke alarms tonight.
(C) 1999, Creators Syndicate Inc.
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.