Dear Ann Landers, I want to thank you for the encouragement you give your readers to mend family fences before it is too late. You printed a letter from a woman who said her brother had little contact with his father, who was dying. I, too, was estranged from my father for several years, but we reconciled our differences a couple of months before he died, thanks to you. I am so grateful I took the time to read your column the day that letter appeared. I immediately related it to my own situation and helped care for my father at the end of his life. I also told him how much I loved him for the first time, and it made a world of difference.
I have been estranged from my mother for many years, as well, and recently learned that my stepfather is terminally ill and has only a few months to live. It made me realize the torment she must be going through. I decided to call my mom and tell her how much I love her before it is too late.
Thank you, Ann, for those wonderful words of wisdom. Your advice helped me have no regrets when I lost my dad, and now, I am going to make sure I have no regrets with my mom, either. -- R.L.
Dear R.L., It was good of you to take the time to write and let me know I helped. I hope your letter will encourage others who are estranged from family members to follow your lead. Some may be rebuffed, but those who find welcoming arms will be forever grateful. Trust me.