Dear Readers: Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! We hope you are fortunate enough to be spending the holiday with family and friends, and that you will remember those who are alone and would love to be included with your family.
Our special thanks to those readers who are spending the day volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens. Bless you.
Dear Annie: A while back you printed a letter from "Desperate Times," a disabled single mother of two. She said her parents offered to buy her a house, but her sister tried to block it, even though she was married and well-off.
I have two sisters and a brother. My brother had a heart transplant 25 years ago. He had four children and was inundated with medical bills. Our parents bought a house for our brother and his family to live in.
As our parents grew older, I suggested they give the house to my brother now, not as part of his inheritance later. Mom said it wouldn't be fair to the rest of us. She explained that a few years before, she and Dad wanted to give our brother $1,000, but didn't feel it fair unless they gave the same amount to all of us. I remember how grateful I was, since it took two years off of our very young mortgage.
I reminded Mom that they had always been there for each one of us kids when we needed them, and each one of us needed them in different ways. That's what fair is. My sisters agreed that my brother and his wife should have the house.
When our parents died and we had to divide up their belongings, there was no greediness or resentment. It became part of our dealing with the grief we also shared. How thankful I am not to have selfish, jealous siblings. — Grateful Sister and Daughter
Dear Grateful: Your letter is a good fit for Thanksgiving Day, when we all should take a look at our blessings. Here's a poem we have printed in the past that might remind everyone of these things:
"Things to Be Thankful For" (Author Unknown)
Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.
Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends.
Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means that you are employed.
Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.
Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.
Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.
Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.
Be thankful people complain about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.
Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means you're alive.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.