I divorced my husband in 1973, and a column of yours which appeared that year was a great help to me. It was your response to a letter from a clergyman in Casper, Wyo., who said that marriage is forever. I have reread it dozens of times. Will you please run it again, Ann. Your advice was excellent--and timeless. It meant a lot to me.
-- G.G.G., Phoenix
Although the advice is nearly 27 years old, it's still on target. Thank you for asking. Here it is:
I no longer believe that marriage means forever, no matter how lousy it is--or for "the sake of the children." I see too many people who had a rotten first marriage and are truly happy with a second husband or wife, or even a third. Our basic disagreement (yours and mine) lies in the interpretation of "what God has joined together." If God made the selections, it would be simple, but, unfortunately, the selections are made by humans. And humans make mistakes.
Here's another one for your "stupid crooks" collection. It appeared in the Binghamton, N.Y., Press & Sun-Bulletin.
-- L.A., in N.Y.
These stupid crook stories never cease to amaze (and amuse) me. Thanks for sending yours on.
"A Binghamton man was apprehended after state police saw him pushing a safe down the street. The 36-year-old man was charged with second-degree burglary. Two state police cruisers, returning from an accident scene, saw the man pushing an object down the street. Although the safe was covered with a white sheet, the troopers were suspicious, and began questioning the man.
The man's path could be traced by the grooves the safe dug into the sidewalk. He was also found to be carrying jewelry taken from a nearby residence."
Please share our family Christmas tradition with your readers. It might encourage them to do the same on other occasions during the year.
Each year, we used to give a piece of coal to the person who messed up the most that year, and believe me, there was always a deserving candidate. The one who received the coal had the privilege of presenting it the following year. After having received the coal for the second time in five years, I decided to change the tradition. I chose to award a gold star to the family member who had done the most good.
The first recipient was my mother. I decided she deserved some special recognition for her love and generosity. At the annual family reunion, I put a gold star on a piece of ribbon, and hung it around her neck. She was delighted, and wore it with pride. I told her that the following year, she would have the pleasure of selecting the next recipient.
I am convinced that this tradition has kept peace in the family, and has helped us appreciate one another. That gold star encourages all of us to be good to one another. I am preparing to give this year's gold star to my grandmother, not so much for her goodness, although she is a wonderfully generous person, but for the courage she displayed 60 years ago when she left her native Italy and sailed across the Atlantic to begin a new life in America. She made a better life possible for all of us. God bless her.
-- David S. in Milford, Conn.
What a splendid idea. I hope other readers will pick up on it for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, holidays, reunions and any other joyous event when the family gets together. It will help all of you feel closer.
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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