Annie’s Mailbox: Tokens of Appreciation on Christmas
December 25, 2010
Dear Readers: Merry Christmas to one and all. In honor of the holiday, here is a short poem, author unknown:
May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
Dear Annie: There are some wonderful people in this world, but it seems we only hear about the bad things that happen. On October 10, I went to New York with a bus group to see a Broadway musical. The bus arrived early to give us some free time to explore the city. My friend Carl and I went to look at the shops inside a hotel and have a sandwich before show time. The hotel had a huge automatic revolving door, each section capable of holding several people. Carl went into one section, and I followed in the next one. As I entered, my shoe caught on something and I fell flat on the floor.
I am nearing 80 and have two bad knees. There was no way I could get up, and the door was still moving. As I crawled along, I looked up to see two darling little hands reaching down to help me. The little boy could not have been more than 9 or 10. He wasn’t quite strong enough to pull me up, but fortunately, another Good Samaritan behind me got his arms under mine, and the two of them got me to my feet.
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I never saw the person behind me. I was rather dazed. I hope you will allow me to use your column to thank him and also to express my gratitude to that wonderful boy who was so courageous and thoughtful to help a stranger in need. His little hands will live in my heart forever. My thanks also to the boy’s mother and father, because children learn kindness from their parents. I will always remember them — and all New Yorkers, who sometimes get an undeserving bum rap.
I hope they read this and know that I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
— Nancy in Fort Myers, Fla.
Dear Nancy: What a charming thank-you note. We hope they see it, too.
Dear Annie: This is for “Loving and Missing All at the Same Time” and all parents of freeloading children.
I am a 28-year-old male who was spoiled growing up. My every wish was entertained. No surprise that when it came time to spread my wings, I failed to launch. I was terrified of growing up and its attendant responsibilities. I tried moving out a few times, but never took it seriously because I knew my safety net (my parents) was always there to bail me out.
When I lived with them, I was a disrespectful and lazy slob who never contributed to the household. My loving parents, especially my mother, put up with it for many years, but they finally put their collective foot down. Because they stood up to me, I can proudly say that I am a man. I now live in a luxury apartment with my wife. We take pride in our place and keep it spotless. Money is tight, but I manage my finances and work hard.
I can now say no to myself because my parents finally did. And I have a better relationship with them and the rest of my family now than I did before. Please, parents, don’t be afraid to say no to your children. They will thank you for it later.
— Riverside, Calif.
Dear Riverside: You are a rare bird to recognize how indulged you were and how that swift kick enabled you to grow up and get your act together. Not all children are mature enough to appreciate that kind of parental guidance. Bravo.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.