Classic Ann Landers

By Ann Landers

March 24, 2019 4 min read

Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.

Dear Ann Landers: I am writing about something that happened in our town not long ago. A woman was killed in her own home by her husband. The woman had neighbors who heard her scream for help, but they chose not to become involved. This will haunt them forever, knowing they might have saved her life and instead did nothing.

I have been in a similar situation. I was out in the street one night, trying to get away from my abusive husband. He had knocked me down and was pounding my head into the pavement. I was screaming for help, but no one came. After he left me alone, a woman came out of her house and said she "hoped we had resolved our problems."

Fortunately, I survived, and through Al-Anon, counseling and good friends, I finally got my life together. I know others who, like me, needed to be rescued but weren't because people "didn't want to get involved." People need to help one another. Even if they call 911 and it turns out to be a false alarm, so what? You never know when you might be saving a life. — Santa Barbara, California

Dear Santa Barbara: There are times when MYOB is the best policy, but when someone is screaming for help, it is not one of those times. The next letter says it far better than anything I could come up with:

Dear Ann Landers: I recently saw this poem at work. The author is unknown, but apparently, she witnessed the death of her mother. I cried when I read it, not only because of the pain I felt, but because so many women out there need a wakeup call. — D.R. in West Palm Beach, Florida

Dear D.R.: Here it is. Poignant and powerful. Thank you for sending it on.

I got flowers today. It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.

We had our first argument last night,

And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.

I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said

Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.

Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.

It seemed like a nightmare.

I couldn't believe it was real.

I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.

I know he must be sorry

Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today, and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.

Last night, he beat me up again.

And it was much worse than all the other times.

If I leave him, what will I do?

How will I take care of my kids? What about money?

I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.

But I know he must be sorry

Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. Today was a very special day.

It was the day of my funeral.

Last night, he finally killed me.

He beat me to death.

If only I had gathered

Enough courage and strength to leave him,

I would not have gotten flowers today.

Forget to save some of your favorite Ann Landers columns? "Nuggets and Doozies" is the answer. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


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