Dear Abby: My beloved 93-year-old Grandma Beanie passed away recently. She was kind and gentle, and we were lucky to have her as long as we did. Her funeral gave my family and me time to reflect on what is really important in life.
What I remember and cherish most about Grandma Beanie are not the material things she gave me over the years. In fact, I can't remember a single toy she gave me as a child, although there were many.
What I DO remember are the countless times she let me help her make strawberry jam; the afternoon she took us kids into the woods and taught us how to hunt for mushrooms; the nights she patiently played Yahtzee with us; the fact that she made the most delicious chocolate chip cookies in the world; and how she loved it when we took her out for Chinese food.
There are many more memories. The point is, she did not share herself in material ways but rather in the love she showed in everything she did with us.
When this world of ours seems scary, please remember that the child's hand you hold today — and the time spent with the child— is what makes this world a better place. — Cathy In Mason City, Iowa
Dear Cathy: Right you are. You were fortunate to have had such a positive role model in your life. The most precious gift a person can give is a gift of self.
Dear Abby: A friend sent me a clipping that I think is very worthwhile, so I'm passing it along to you.
Wouldn't it be great if everyone would follow these rules? — Happy Granny In Pennsylvania
Dear Happy Granny: It certainly would. There would be a lot less stress in the world. Read on:
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR A LONG AND PEACEFUL LIFE
1. Thou shalt not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
2. Thou shalt not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.
3. Thou shalt face each problem as it comes. You can handle only one at a time.
4. Thou shalt not cross bridges before you get to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
5. Thou shalt not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.
6. Thou shalt not borrow other people's problems. They can take better care of them than you can.
7. Thou shalt be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It's very hard to learn something new when you're talking.
8. Thou shalt not try to re-live yesterday for good or ill — it is gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life today.
9. Thou shalt not become bogged down by frustration, for 50 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions.
10. Thou shalt count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones — for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.
Pauline Phillips and her daughter Jeanne Phillips both share the pseudonym Abigail Van Buren. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate