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"CLASSIC" ANN LANDERS Dear Ann Landers: Please tell your readers not to dump their mothers, fathers or other loved ones into just any old nursing home and assume they will be well cared for. Urge them to select a home that has been looked into carefully, one where they …Read more. "CLASSIC" ANN LANDERS Dear Ann Landers: I certainly can understand why some of the women who write to you need an unbiased party to help them avoid the land mines that show up in relationships AFTER they have become deeply involved. I was one of those women myself. My …Read more. "CLASSIC" ANN LANDERS Dear Ann Landers: You said in a recent column that young people must learn decent language at home. I believe outsiders also can be a big help. A few years ago, I went swimming with my 8-year-old granddaughter and her friends. Some teenagers nearby …Read more. RELEASE: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2015 Dear Ann Landers: We are well into the cold and flu season, and I am once again appalled by co-workers who insist on coming to work coughing and sneezing, sicker than dogs, not only with severe colds but contagious conditions such as strep throat. …Read more.
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Dear Ann Landers: Why don't YOU MYOB? A while back, you wrote a column on "Reconciliation Day" in which you urged your readers to "forgive and forget — let bygones be bygones."

At 10:30 on the night that column appeared, we received a telephone call from a relative we had not heard from in 20 years. It just about scared the wits out of us. Our friends know we turn in early and never call us after 9 p.m. This relative sounded as if he were either drunk or on drugs. He went on to say he had just read your column on reconciliation and was calling everyone he had ever hurt during his lifetime because he didn't have much longer to live.

Over the last several years, we have spent a lot of money (and time) to get this creep out of our lives. In one fell swoop, thanks to you, he was back again. That call reopened painful wounds and brought back memories of the worst time in our lives.

You should be smart enough to know that when a person shuts someone out of his or her life, there is a pretty good reason. These things don't happen out of the blue. I hope you will not give such lousy advice again. I'll sign off by saying, "Thanks but no thanks." — Longtime Reader in Rockford, Ill.

Dear Rock: My advice does not fall in the "one-size-fits-all" category. Who was it who said, "One man's meat is another man's poison"? I'm sorry I made trouble for you. Please keep reading for another letter on this subject.

Dear Ann Landers: My husband and I read your column on Reconciliation Day in the Boston Globe and decided to call my brother and his wife, who live in Detroit. We had not spoken to them for nearly nine years.

The ruptured relationship had to do with money, of course.

When I heard my brother's voice, there was such a lump in my throat, I could hardly speak. Finally, I said, "This is 'The Queen of the May.'" That is what he used to call me when we were kids and he felt I was getting special privileges. (I was the only girl in a family of four boys.) Of course, he was right, but I was stubborn and would never admit it.

At first, there was silence, and I thought, "My Lord, he hung up on me," but no such thing. He finally said, "Do you read Ann Landers' column? We get it here in the Detroit Free Press." I said, "Yes, I do. I've been reading her for years." He then said, "When I saw her column today on reconciliation, it really got to me. I almost picked up the phone and called you, but you know how stubborn I am. Gee, I'm glad to hear your voice."

Ann, we talked for at least 40 minutes and made plans to get together over Labor Day weekend. You really do change people's lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you. — Grateful in Beantown

Dear Grateful: Your letter was a terrific upper. I appreciate your letting me know that I helped bring you and your brother together. Please let me know how the reunion turns out. I'm betting it's going to be beautiful.

That first kiss, that first embrace ... Remember all those things that brought you and your loved one together? "How We Met," a collection of sentimental love stories, will make a terrific gift for that special someone. For a copy, please send a self-addressed, long, business-size envelope and a check or money order for $5.50 (this includes postage and handling) to: How We Met, c/o Ann Landers, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. (In Canada, $6.50). To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at




2 Comments | Post Comment
LW1: Funny thing is, this seems to be one of those letters I remember when it originally ran ... the LW who had an estranged relative that was intentionally kept away making contact with the person he wronged, trying to make amends.

There could be any number of reasons, of course, why the LW paid money and took extraordinary efforts to keep this individual out of their lives, but based on the clues (e.g., the use of the word "creep"), it's probable this involved sexual abuse.

I'm thinking the original advice was written with forgiveness over petty issues in mind, or at least differences that were resolvable, not forgiving and forgetting someone for the abuse, mental anguish, sexual assault, etc. the LW and his/her family endured. Because the LW is correct in that respect: There are some things that are beyond forgiving.

I keep thinking of the "American Top 40: The 80s" episodes that oldies and classic hits radio stations rerun, and the Jan. 18, 1986 episode, which was rerun in January 2013, nearly three years ago. At the time, they had a feature called "Long Distance Dedication," where a writer could request a song and dedicate it to someone, use it to mark their special occasion or affirm a special meaning. The one LW on this episode just about 30 years ago (hard to believe 1986 is now 30 years old in a few weeks) had gone to prison and it was for some unstated crime, except to say it was for something in which he would never forgive himself, and that he was now estranged from his entire family. I have always believed it involved sex and even possibly sexual abuse of a minor/statutory rape. I kind of shuddered when I heard that story, not because it affected me in any way (he lived in a different state where I have no family) but because it affected someone's family, there was the chance that one of the people this LW hurt so badly heard the repeat broadcast and that 30-plus years of trying to forget and finally having buried this horrifying incident was now all brought back, fresh as though it was happening right then and there. I understand that Premiere Radio Networks (which syndicates "AT40: The 70s" and "AT40: The 80s") may not have known, but still, if there's any doubt, best to err on the side of caution. (The song, BTW, was the Electric Light Orchestra's "I'm Alive," which he dedicated because he was looking forward to the day he got out of prison and would possibly be able to start a new, repentant life.)

So anyway, yes, there are things that Reconciliation Day is not appropriate for -- very likely sexual abuse that the LW endured and now had to learn how to bury again, and it was far more difficult to do, or the victims of the LW in the AT40 LDD from early 1986 -- but there are things, such as the second letter, that are.

Half a dozen of one, six of the other, I suppose.

Wonder how the dying relative made out, BTW, now that it's been 15-20 years? Did he ever get the peace he was seeking?
Comment: #1
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:58 PM
One other thought about the first LW: While I'm sure that reading this column triggered this individual's desire to call you and make amends, and that it triggered lots of bad memories for the LW, it's unfair for them to squarely blame her.

Perhaps this guy would have called at some point in the future anyway, if not that day at some point later on.

Comment: #2
Posted by: Bobaloo
Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:37 AM
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