Dear Abby:

Our precious mother passed away in 1983 and left me her mink stole. I didn't think I'd ever wear it, so I gave it to my older sister. This year for Christmas, my sister gave me the delightful gift of a teddy bear made from Mom's stole!

It arrived in a large box filled with packing peanuts.

At the bottom of the box was a very worn penny. The date on it was 1997, the same year our brother passed away after a brief illness.

A few months before his death, he and his high school sweetheart had married after 40 years of marriage to other mates. They were like teenagers, so in love and so happy. Needless to say, his death was devastating.

My sister swears she didn't put the penny in the box.

I can usually find a logical explanation for strange phenomena, but this really touched me.

My sister and I believe the penny symbolizes a link between Mom and our brother, who are now with Dad -- and together they sent us this "article of faith."

I hope you'll print this, Abby. So many people need reassurance to help them through. I did, and now my faith has been restored.

Linda L. Johnson, Midlothian, Va.

I'm not sure which I find more impressive -- your finding the penny or your sister having found such a creative way to recycle the mink!

Dear Abby:

My wife, "Alicia," and I were married three months ago.

We have a large circle of friends who gave us wonderful wedding gifts.

Yesterday, a package arrived in the mail. It was addressed only to Alicia, but we opened it together.

Inside, we found a beautifully framed photograph of Alicia with her old boyfriend, "Enrico." It had been taken several years ago on Maui.

They were laughing with their arms around each other (in wet bathing suits) in front of a beautiful tropical sunset. I was very offended.

I took the photograph out of the frame and tore it up.

Alicia thinks I overreacted, but I couldn't help myself.

Enrico has never liked me because "I took Alicia away from him."

I believe he intentionally wanted to push my buttons -- and he succeeded. I totally trust Alicia, but feel my anger was justified.

What do you think?

Bummed by the Beach Photo

I think you played right into Enrico's hands. Look at it on the positive side: You have Alicia and a nice picture frame.

All poor Enrico has are his memories -- and the negative.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2003, Universal Press Syndicate